Spring Lake’s Football Season Comes to an End in Heartbreaking Fashion
Coming off a big emotional win, this Lakers football team was ready to take on the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks in a must-win district semifinal matchup. The high school playoffs for football is known for its competitive nature and high intensity. Friday night's game did not disappoint those expectations in any way. From the beginning of the game it was obvious that these two teams would be in for a dogfight. Even though the two teams played two totally different styles of football, at the end of the day, the two were very evenly matched.
It was the Hawks who struck first on a fifteen-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Making the score 0-6 after the extra point was missed. The Lakers didn’t back down and continued to fight over a long scoring drought eventually ending with an eighteen-yard Zach Mitchell touchdown pass to Ty French to give the Lakers a 7-6 lead with 2:47 left in the second quarter. The Lakers then went on to beat the odds and scored another touchdown with only a few seconds left on a twenty-seven yard touchdown run by Steve Ready. This gave the Lakers all the momentum going into the half making the score 14-7 after a made extra point by sophomore kicker Carter Ball.
Forest Hills Eastern was to receive the ball to start the second half and the Hawks quickly made it obvious that they were not backing down. The Hawks converted on the opening drive of the second half with a forty-yard touchdown pass and a converted two-point conversion to notch the game up at an even 14-14 score going into the final quarter of play. The team that took the lead heading into the final stretch of the game was the Lakers with an impressive forty-six yard touchdown pass from Zach Mitchell to Andrew Vonwhalde. But, the Laker fans' excitement was soon hushed by a 56-yard touchdown pass by the Hawks and a converted extra point to tie the game once again at 21. In the few remaining minutes neither team was able to score to finish the game sending the game to overtime. The Hawks received the ball first in overtime and punched in a short run for a touchdown on third-and-goal making the score 28-21, forcing Spring Lake to score a touchdown and giving them an opportunity to win the game with a score and a two point conversion. However, a mishandled snap on first down resulting in a loss of five yards on the Lakers first play of what would be the final series of the game did not help their case. The Lakers would go on to throw a ball that would be tipped and intercepted by a Hawk defender to end the game and the Lakers season in heartbreaking fashion.
Post-Season Awards and Honors Included:
All Region Honors: Steve Ready, Hunter Throop, Travis Throop, and Christian Folkert
All Conference First Team: Sam Sheridan, RJ Lisman, Steve Ready, Hunter Throop, Travis Throop, and Christian Folkert
All Conference Honorable Mention: Andrew Vonwhalde, and Alex Lee