The Wayland varsity football team dropped a 21-20 heartbreaker Friday night at Forest Hills Eastern.
The loss dropped the Wildcats’ season record to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the O-K Gold Conference.
The Wildcats fought until the final whistle but came up just of the goal line at the end.
Trailing 7-0, the ‘Cats got on the scoreboard with a methodical drive out of halftime on a 7-yard Coby Dressler run. After the Hawks answered to go up 14-7, both teams stalled on their next few drives. With time running short, the Wildcats were forced to go for a long fourth down play, which Forest Hills stopped. Two plays later the Hawks scored to go up 21-7.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, Devin Jakey threw the football back to Caleb Wolf, who returned it deep into Hawks’ territory. Capitalizing on the field position, Wayland scored on its first play when Carter Morse hooked up with Coby Dressler for the touchdown pass with less than 90 seconds remaining.
After the Hawks recovered the onside kick, the Wayland stopped them on three downs with 15 seconds remaining. FHE attempted to punt, but a bobbled snap led to a block, which Braeden Anderson scooped and returned for a touchdown with 7 seconds left. However, the two-point conversion attempt was stopped inches short of the goal line.
Wayland now will face its toughest opponents of the season in undefeated and league-leading East Grand Rapids, once-beaten Grand Rapids Christian and a quality Forest Hills Central squad currently 6-0 overall in the a non-league season finale.
O-K GOLD Standings — East Grand Rapids 3-0 league, 6-0 overall; Grand Rapids Christian 2-1 league, 5-1 overall; South Christian 2-1 league, 5-1 overall; Forest Hills Eastern 2-1 league, 3-3 overall; Wayland 2-2 league, 3-3 overall; Wyoming 1-3 league, 1-5 overall; Middleville Thornapple Kellogg 0-4 league, 1-5 overall.