FHC Varsity Football Dominates First Round Playoff Game

FHC Varsity Football Dominates First Round Playoff Game

Kyle Peirce, Sports Reporter

In a game that was hyped up all week as the biggest game of the year, the final score certainly didn’t reflect that sentiment. When the dust finally settled, the score read 52-7 with FHC in the lead. With this victory, FHC is into the 2nd round of the playoffs, where they will take on Portage Central in their next matchup.

FHC (8-2) beat Battle Creek Lakeview for their first playoff win in 21 years. After going three and out on their opening drive, the Spartans drove down field and punched it into the end zone to tie the score at seven.  Just minutes earlier, senior Tanner Hallock connected with fellow senior Jack Uecker to give the Rangers the first score of the night. The rest of the night, however, was rough for Lakeview’s offense which was unable to get any sort of momentum going.

Junior Bryce Clay was fired up about how FHC’s defense responded to Lakeview’s power running.

“Our linebackers had a heck of a game,” Bryce said. “We put 8 or 9 guys in the box, and they couldn’t handle us.”

Head Coach Tim Rogers was equally impressed with his defense and their effort.

“Our defensive line played very, very well,” Rogers said. “[Lakeview] is powerful up front but our defensive line penetrated  nicely. I thought our linebackers did a really nice job as well.”

The combination of Jack and Bryce would prove to be too much for Lakeview to handle. Following the Lakeview score in the first, Jack took the ensuing kickoff eighty yards. Bryce did the rest the very next play on an end-around run for a touchdown.

Jack was tired but was excited after the excellent return.

“I was just trying to make it,” Jack said. “I got pretty winded on the way, but I was trying my best.”

The defense fed off their energy, forcing a fumble to give the offense the ball in Lakeview territory. The dynamic duo would strike again, with Jack taking a screen pass thirty yards to set up a first and goal. On the next play, Tanner threw to Bryce for a score from three yards out to cap off the drive. Tanner would connect with Bryce again from 35 yards out to make it 28-7. Sophomore Cam Dienes would join in on the fun and run it in from three yards out to make it 35-7 going into halftime.

Rogers was pleased with how the team played in the first half.

“It felt like we were pretty well prepared,” Rogers said. “We had a good week of practice. The JV guys came up and did a nice job helping us in practice which kept us a lot more fresh.”

FHC came right out of the halftime locker room with another excellent kickoff return, this time by Bryce. Shortly after, Cam ran it all the way from thirty yards out to make it 42-7.

Here is what Rogers had to say about the duo of Jack and Bryce.

“[Jack and Bryce] are dominant,” Rogers said. “They are difference makers. I mean, you get them the ball in space and they do a great job. Obviously they’re very good 2-way players. They do a great job of helping us on defense.”

In the 4th quarter, FHC started to let off the gas, as Lakeview scored again on another running touchdown. By the end of the game, FHC added one more touchdown and a field goal to make it 52-14.

The Rangers are still alive and are looking to do more of the same for next week’s clash.

“Just keep working hard every day in practice,” Bryce said. “Working as a team. I love this group of guys. This is the closest team I’ve ever been on.”