The Forest Hills Central Rangers were back in the Regional Finals for the first time since 2017. Much like that Tim Rogers’ team, this bunch entered the Regionals with an 11-0 record. These Rangers were able to match their 2017 brethren with the school’s 4th regional championship. Mirroring the 1995 Rangers, Forest Hills Central defeated East Lansing in the Regional Finals. This time, they secured a 21-17 victory.
In the first quarter, FHC shot out of the gates. Mason McDonald got the Rangers on the board with a 2-yard carry. Andrew Novay booted the extra point. In the closing seconds of the frame, the Rangers doubled their lead. This time, McDonald aired it out to Ty Hudkins for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give FHC a 14-0 advantage.
Offense was limited in the second quarter. Mitchell Roberts booted a 25-yard field goal to get East Lansing on the board. This was the lone scoring play by either team, leaving the Trojans eleven points heading into the locker room.
On the opening possession of the third quarter, East Lansing found the end zone. Quarterback Kanye Jackson kept the football, slipping past the Rangers’ defense for a 10-yard touchdown run. FHC wasted no time in responding, as JT Hartman broke free. His 10-yard touchdown carry extended the Rangers’ lead back to eleven.
East Lansing scored again to open the fourth quarter, as Kanye Jackson found Dorijan Jackson on a 19-yard touchdown strike. Their score, paired with an extra point, brought the Trojans within four points.
On the final drive of the game, the Trojans had the football. With enough time to heave the ball toward the goal line, East Lansing had the opportunity to win on the last play. Ty Hudkins delivered for the Rangers’ defense, intercepting Kanye Jackson and sealing the victory.
Mason McDonald finished with 24 carries for 145 yards. He added 44 yards passing, as he scored two total touchdowns. JT Hartman turned 17 carries into 114 yards, and he added 7 tackles defensively. Chase Robinson and Maxwell Richardson finished with 7 and 5 tackles respectively.
The Rangers will return to the State Semifinals next Saturday when they take on Dexter. The Dreadnaughts also improve to 12-0 with their 42-7 rout of Midland. The location of next week’s semifinals will be released later this weekend.