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Hawks v Wildcats: Soaring into the Playoffs

Team Name Score
Forest Hills Eastern 55
Wayland Union 6

Cold night. Rain fell on the turf, creating a hazardous playing field for Eastern’s last home game of the season. Despite the weather and the quickly darkening sky, droves of students attended last Friday’s game. Not only that, but they also brought school spirit in the form of Halloween costumes. Looking into the stands, it was impossible to miss: a skeleton on someone’s shoulders, a Chucky-cheese mascot, and an astronaut among countless other costumes. The fans roared as Eastern’s team ran onto the field, screaming words of encouragement at the players.

Forest Hills Eastern gained a 55-6 victory over Wayland Union.

Now, a breakdown of the game:

Forest Hills Eastern started the game with possession of the ball at their 19-yard line. Only 1:04 minutes in, Eastern made a touchdown. Bryson Kuzdzal (‘23) caught an unbelievable 78-yard pass from Brayden Stratbucker (‘22). Clune VanAndel (‘23) completed the extra point. 7-0.

Kuzdzal runs towards the endzone.

Wayland received possession of the ball at their own 20-yard line. They kept the ball for 3:31 minutes, advancing to their 39-yard line before punting. However, Eastern’s Collin Fridsma (‘23) blocked the punt return, brought the ball into the endzone, and scored another touchdown. VanAndel completed the extra-point kick. 14-0.

Forest Hills Eastern kicked off, and Wayland got possession at their own 32-yard line. They traveled to their 30-yard line in the following 2:16 minutes, then punted the ball. Eastern started at their 34-yard line. They had the ball for a grand total of 4 seconds before fumbling at their 48-yard line. Wayland started at Eastern’s 48-yard line, then spent 2:13 minutes working their way down the field. They made a 27-yard pass to score their first touchdown of the night. Eastern managed to block their extra point. 14-6.

Eastern promptly scored a touchdown after Fridsma completed an 85-yard kickoff return. VanAndel completed yet another successful extra-point kick. 21-6.

Eastern players celebrate after a touchdown.

Wayland gained possession of the ball at their 20-yard line. They ran out of downs at their 24-yard line after advancing four yards in 2:09 minutes. Eastern’s offense picked it up at Wayland’s 24-yard line, then made a touchdown in the following 1:43 minutes with Kuzdzal completing an 18-yard run. VanAndel completed the extra-point kick. 28-6.

The ball went back to Wayland at their 20-yard line. They made it to the 50-yard this time before fumbling the ball. Forest Hill Eastern’s defense kept them at bay for 4:30 minutes. In the next 2:50 minutes, Fridsma caught a 12-yard pass from Stratbucker. VanAndel completed another kick. 35-6.

Eastern’s defense tackles the ball-carrier.

Wayland got the ball on their 20-yard line, attempted to advance for 58 seconds, then punted the ball. Eastern caught the ball at Wayland’s 34-yard line. 2:23 minutes passed, then Eastern attempted a field goal at Wayland’s 14-yard line. VanAndel successfully completed the field goal, bumping the score up right before the end of the first half. 38-6.

After halftime, Wayland received the ball at their 29-yard line. They kept it for 5:51 minutes, making it to Eastern’s 39-yard line before running out of downs. Eastern started at their 39-yard line. They had possession of the ball for 1:28 minutes, then Jacob Snell (‘22) completed a 14-yard run into the endzone. VanAndel completed an extra-point kick. 45-6.

Wayland, now way behind in the game, obtained the ball after kickoff at their 16-yard line. They fumbled it 4-yards later, at their 12-yard line. Only 1:35 minutes elapsed. Starting where Wayland left off, Eastern advanced two more yards, making it to Wayland’s 10-yard line in 2:51 minutes before VanAndel kicked a successful field goal. 48-6.

Now in the fourth and final quarter, Wayland gave one last push. They went from their own 23-yard line to Eastern’s 33-yard line in 6:40 minutes. They lost the ball due to downs. Eastern, with five minutes left on the clock, received and then fumbled the ball, using two minutes of the time. Wayland regained possession for a moment before fumbling the ball at Eastern’s 34-yard line. There were 1:35 minutes left. Eastern had the ball for 1:25 minutes. With 12 seconds left on the clock, Owen Hardy (‘22) caught a 24-yard pass from Dillon Wieschhorster (‘23). With VanAndel’s successful kick, the score was finalized. 55-6.

Forest Hills Eastern played like it would be their last game. Fortunately, it isn’t. Eastern (5-4) will be advancing to the playoffs against Unity Christian (9-0) in Hudsonville. So please, show up to support your team this Friday.

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