Boys varsity lacrosse survives a chippy game and handily defeats Forest Hills Northern 16-4


Going into the regional final against arch-rival Forest Hills Northern, sophomore Rowan Clay and the varsity lacrosse team knew there would be some chippy play involved.

“We knew it was going to be a chippy game and came in knowing we had to be smart with how we reacted to it,” Rowan said after his four-goal and three-assist performance. “We couldn’t afford to be in the penalty box for the game.”

Husky defenseman Matthew Papp tested the Rangers’ thick skin when he clobbered sophomore goalie Crandall Quinn in the fourth quarter on an illegal blindside hit during one of Crandall’s journeys into the offensive zone. Right after the hit, it was clear that words were exchanged between the two sides. But, although things had the potential to turn ugly, Crandall kept his composure, as did the rest of his team, and let the refs finish the job. At that point in the game, FHC comfortably led by ten goals. So, that ejection-worthy hit was fueled by frustration and disappointment. 

The contest started off a little shaky for FHC, as Northern shot its way to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Compared to possible state championship contenders such as Detroit Country Day and Forest Hills Eastern, Northern did not present FHC with a huge challenge in the grand scheme of things. That doesn’t mean that they jogged out onto the field for the National Anthem without any mojo, though. In fact, some could argue that they had even more because of the Huskies’ crosstown disdain for the boys from Central.

Towards the end of the first half, senior Carson Deines broke open the game with one of his four goals of the game, sending FHC into halftime with a commanding 9-2 lead. It was all FHC from there on out, as the Rangers defeated the Huskies 16-4.

“It’s just a good rivalry, always good games, always bringing the hype, great student sections,” Carson told FOX 17 reporter Zach Harig. “It’s great to be out here against guys you know on and off the field.”

In 2019, the last time the Rangers were in the semifinals, their roster looked totally different, with players such as Tate Hallock and Luke Majick leading the charge. FHC sprinted past the Eaglets of Orchard Lake St Mary’s for a 21-5 win in that game. This time around, FHC faces a familiar foe: Forest Hills Eastern. Forest Hills Eastern not only played FHC earlier this season, but they also were the state finals runner-ups in 2019 when FHC won its fourth state championship. Sophomore Jack Elliott and company wore down Michigan commit John Morgan in the two team’s most recent matchup, so head coach Andy Shira intends to keep younger players in the main rotation against Eastern on Wednesday.

“We have four or five sophomores on this team that either start or see significant time,” Shira told FOX 17 reporter Zach Harig, “especially missing their whole freshman season last year due to the pandemic, just young and how inexperienced we are, to be back in the semifinals is quite a testament to the work these guys put in.”