Right from the opening kick off, the game at Bob Perry Field between FHC and Lowell was charged with energy and intensity. The mighty Rangers fell just short of achieving the unthinkable by losing to number one ranked Lowell 41-37.
FHC faced an uphill battle early on when Lowell returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Fortunately enough, the team was up for the battle and made fans proud to be cheering for them as they fought back against a very talented team. The Rangers chipped away at the Red Arrow lead in their first drive on offense. FHC was forced to punt it away, but Lowell fumbled on the return and the result was a Ranger recovery. The offense came right back out and allowed junior kicker Daniel Riser to do what he is best at and convert a field goal for three points.
After the field goal, FHC really turned things up to a whole other level that would put FHC in a prime spot to take down Lowell. Toward the end of the first quarter, FHC mounted a drive that was finalized by touchdown pass from senior Tanner Hallock to senior Jack Uecker. Within less than a minute having gone by in the game, the two experts at their own crafts performed an encore. Tanner found Jack again and slung his second touchdown of the night through the air to give FHC the lead 17-7 with 2:24 left in the first quarter.
At this point, the Rangers had sent the message to Lowell that they were for real. As the Red Arrows tried to respond, they could not get anything going against the Ranger defense. The Red Arrows now had a fourth down in their own territory. Lowell snapped the ball for the punt, but the long snapper launched it high over the punter’s head and set up FHC with a prime opportunity for six. The Rangers took advantage and scored following the errant snap. Tanner ran it in and put the Rangers up 24-7.
After a high scoring first quarter, FHC gave everyone in the away bleachers something to believe in. FHC added to the lead when Tanner found senior Sal Sidebotham and passed it to him for six. The Rangers made the decision to try a fake field goal and go for two, but they could not convert and the score stood still at 30-7.
Right before the half, Lowell was able to bring the deficit to within 17. The Red Arrows trailed FHC 30-13 at halftime.
This certainly was the ideal way to start out any football game for FHC, let alone against a team like Lowell. The Red Arrows have always been the team to embarrass FHC and make the fans leave early. Tonight the story was a little different. This time FHC was embarrassing Lowell and giving last year’s Division II state runner-ups some major difficulties in the first half.
However, there seemed to be a role reversal in the second half after Lowell had played themselves right back into the game. With 11:30 left in the game, Tanner ran in the lone touchdown for FHC in the second half to put them up 37-20. The emotions started to run high on both ends as the closing moments set in. The intensity was upped quite a bit and both teams were trying their best to pull off a victory for the possibility of being crowned conference champions.
FHC parents and students knew that the boys had to hold it together for eleven more minutes. Unfortunately, Lowell scored three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give them their first lead since they had their kickoff return on the first play of the game.
The game was not over yet though, not if the hungry Ranger offense could do anything about it. FHC was down 41-37 going into their last drive of the game with 2:11 left on the game clock. The Rangers successively marched down the field thanks to excellent play, led by Tanner. FHC found themselves on the doorstep of Lowell and were 13 yards away from pay dirt. Unfortunately, the Red Arrows held strong and made a stand when they needed to.
This game marked the Rangers’ second loss this year to put them at 5-2. However, it is hard to type out that FHC lost, because truthfully it felt as if they won. All the FHC players played an incredible game and almost beat Lowell, one of the best high school football teams in Michigan. By the looks of it this year, FHC certainly falls under that category as well.