Varsity football secures a spot at Ford Field after a win in double overtime


In the state semifinals, the whole season of hard work and the possibility to make it to Ford Field is always just a win away, and although the snow and wind kept many off the roads Saturday, FHC’s true fans buckled up for the ride.

On Saturday, November 19, at Portage Northern, our FHC Rangers battled through the storm against Dexter for what would make or break both teams’ entire seasons. The Dreadnaughts of Dexter came into the game undefeated just like our mighty Rangers. However, only one team could keep a zero in the loss column.

The game as a whole was an emotional rollercoaster like no other. Dexter came out of the gates strong with a touchdown from the University of Michigan commit, Cole Cabana. Although this would have been a strong start to a normal game for these two teams, it turned out to be unlike none other.

Both teams would end up going back and forth in a game of cat and mouse, but how this game differs from the rest is that both teams showed up wanting the win and were willing to battle through anything to get it. The score would stay 7-0 Dexter until the very last second of the game when FHC obtained a clean touchdown by senior Sam Sneider to tie up the game with no time left. This meant on top of what the teams had just put up with, they would now also have to get their way through overtime.

Overtime was an oddity for these teams. The Rangers scored first with a touchdown by none other than junior JT Hartman, and after a Dexter, touchdown to answer back, the score after overtime was 14-14. This meant that the game would then be sent into double overtime where they would get four plays each to claim a victory over the other. 

With the ball in the Dreadnaught’s hands to start off double overtime, the Rangers had to work extra hard to push Dexter back without errors. FHC was successful in this fight as well when Dexter only scored three points, making the score 17-14. When it was FHC’s time to pull ahead for good, the crowd knew they would be on their feet cheering within seconds. This became true when the quarterback, junior Mason McDonald, ran right to the end zone, and just like that, the game was over with cheers heard all the way from Ranger country.

FHC won the state semifinals game 20-17 over Dexter, handing the Rangers a one-way ticket to Ford Field for the state championship. Not only was the community ecstatic about this win, but the players’ reaction after the last touchdown said it all. 

“We feel great, going to Ford Field is what we’ve worked for this whole season,” Sam Sneider said. “I’m really proud of our whole team and how much time and effort they put in to make it there.”

The talent and skill put into this game shows that neither team has gotten to where they were they are without all of the hard work and dedication they have for the game and their teams and was truly the game of the season. 

“That was a good team with a lot of great players,” senior Crandall Quinn stated. “But we played better as a team, which ultimately helped us win. We made plays when we needed to and it paid off.” 

With all of the excitement in the air as the Rangers travel to Ford Field for the first time since 1994, but the fight is not over yet. FHC will be at Ford Field, on Friday, November 26, at 1 PM, to claim the ultimate prize against De La Salle High School in the state championships. This is the last game of the season for not only the Rangers but also the seniors who have grown through the program over the past few years and who have worked day and night to get to this very moment. We send all of our support to Ford Field for a strong green and white win. 

“Knowing we will play at Ford next week feels good,” captain Raymond Cargill said. “We got one more though so we have to keep this push going.”