FHC vs Lowell: A Chance at Redemption

Before one of the most anticipated games of the entire playoff, Joe Freihofer describes three crucial things that FHC must do to pick up a win on Friday.

FHC vs Lowell: A Chance at Redemption

Joe Freihofer, Sports Reporter

The words of senior Nick Beaumier on the previous Ranger Rundown described it perfectly.

“We’ve been waiting to play them ever since the clock struck zero,” Nick said. “Right after that game ended, we all said that we were going to see them later on in the playoffs. I know that everyone on this team is looking forward to that; it’s another chance at redemption.”

In only their second loss of the season, the Rangers fell to the Lowell Red Arrows 41-37 in a dramatic fashion. The Rangers dominated for the entire first half and the third quarter, but a streak of offensive success by Lowell and errors by FHC allowed Lowell to get back into the game. The Rangers struggled to put their foot back on the gas and found themselves down with only minutes to go in the game. FHC never recovered and lost to their bitter rivals at Bob Perry Field that night. Head coach Tim Rogers and his Rangers are headed back to Lowell to take on the Red Arrows in the biggest game of the decade. The players have been anticipating this matchup since they clinched a playoff spot, and now the time has finally come. With the game only a few days away, here is what FHC needs to do to keep Lowell on their heels at home and win the game.

1: Keep them guessing on defense

FHC has found an incredible offensive rhythm in the past couple of games. Quarterback Tanner Hallock is now extremely comfortable in the pocket and trusts his offensive line to provide him with enough protection to work down the field in the air. Receivers Bryce Clay and Jack Uecker have been nothing short of dominant in the regular season and the playoffs causing major problems for the opposition’s secondary. Many teams enjoy moving their more dominant corner to the best receiver, but in the case of the Lowell defense they will have to pick their poison between the dominant duo. Sophomore Cam Dienes has also been playing well, racking up a lot of rushing yards and taking some weight off the shoulders of senior Ty Collins. When you add everything together, there is a laundry list of players that FHC could give the ball to. By keeping the Red Arrows guessing on defense, the Rangers should have a lot of success moving the ball down field. With the ability to effectively run and pass, it gives the FHC coaching staff the freedom to use what is working.

2: Win the battle at the line of scrimmage

Lowell is infamous for its ground and pound style of football. They love to run the ball play after play, making the opposing defense exhausted. When this happens, Lowell then airs it out long to their receivers downfield. FHC must keep the quarterback pressured during the entire game, something that they have been doing all season long thanks to a relentless defensive line. They also need to close off the gaps on running plays and stop the Red Arrows in their tracks, forcing them to pass against FHC’s athletic secondary. If FHC can force Lowell to keep the ball in the air and let the defensive backs go to work, I believe that the Rangers could come up with a few turnovers, an aspect of the previous game between the two that turned out to be the deciding factor.

3: Tackle well on every unit

In the opening play of the previous matchup, the Red Arrows housed the opening kick from FHC’s Daniel Riser. It sent a shockwave through the entire team and gave Lowell every single ounce of momentum only seconds into the game. By keeping big time plays by the Red Arrows to a minimum, FHC can maintain composure and play level headed in an atmosphere that can prove to be deadly. Bob Perry Field is one of the toughest places to play in all of the OK White conference, and Tim Rogers and his Rangers know it all too well. By starting the game off on the right foot and executing on every single play, FHC can pick up a lot of momentum that could carry them deep into the game and help them to bring home the W.

The Division II state quarterfinals between these two teams will be one of the most exciting matchups of the entire year, so be sure to head out to Lowell high school and Bob Perry Field on Friday at seven o’clock.