Freshman football pulls off its second shutout of the season in a dominating 28-0 performance against Forest Hills Northern

Freshman football pulls off its second shutout of the season in a dominating 28-0 performance against Forest Hills Northern

Following a slow first quarter, the second one lit up fast for the freshman football team. As the rain began pouring, Max Holser bombed the Huskie defense all the way to the endzone to meet Brendan Cargill. After that, there was little Northern could do.

Last week, there was no freshman game. Instead, the freshman played with JV against Grand Rapids Christian. It was a great way for the freshman to get a preview of what next year will have in store. But it was in no way an off week.

“We wanted to keep our players hungry; we’ve been focusing on Northern all week,” head coach Anthony Sultini said.

It was evident that the freshmen were well prepared for their game against Forest Hills Northern, but with only 16 players this week due to injuries and illness, there were doubts about how well they would play.

Throughout the first quarter, it was a slow game. Both teams spent the 12 minutes on the 50-yard line, neither moving too far past. It was a tug of war at midfield, and neither team could dig their heels in. Luckily for the Rangers, the second quarter would be much more productive.

The second quarter started off with Northern giving up a botched snap, setting the Rangers up at the 40-yard line. However, this was all the Rangers needed to set up for a touchdown. A monster throw from Max Holser landed perfectly in the hands of Brendan Cargill, and Cargill was able to walk into the endzone as the rain started falling.

When Northern got its hands on the ball again, it was no use. Linebacker Seder Middaugh was able to slip past the offensive line and take the quarterback down for a big-time sack. Back on offense, the ball was handed off to Bryson Jenkins for a long run downfield that ended with Jenkins throwing a defender off and obtaining a couple of extra yards.

That run would be enough to set up for a scrambling touchdown for Max Holser, putting him on the stat sheet with a touchdown in the air and on the ground. While the running game did end up finding success later in the game, Holser’s touchdown run was really the only sign of hope in the running game.

”The running game didn’t work amazing in the first few quarters, but that’s because Northern was so keyed on the run that they weren’t prepared for the pass and gave us some huge passing plays,” running back Micah Meadow said.

After a missed extra point, the Rangers were back on defense, where Bryson Jenkins made a big tackle that would send the game into halftime, Rangers up 13-0. During halftime, the rain began pouring and would continue to leave a lasting effect on both teams’ offenses for the rest of the game.

“We didn’t pass as much as I would have liked to because of the rain,” wide receiver Ty Ryan said, “so we kept it on the ground and beat them that way.”

To start the second half, the Rangers returned the kickoff all the way to the 40-yard line, but it was called back due to holding. In return, however, Brendan Cargill caught a 44-yard pass and set the Rangers up at the 50-yard line. Then, Seder Middaugh got himself into the passing game, snagging a diving catch to put the freshmen in the red zone. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they weren’t able to score, which allowed the Huskies to retain possession. Again, northern was met with more of the same defense that had stopped them the entire game.

“Our defense has been the team’s backbone the entire season,” coach Sultini said. “I was impressed with how they were able to stop the run today.”

Back on offense, receiver Ty Ryan led the team down the field with multiple small completions, but again the Rangers were unable to score. Luckily, Max Holser was not done scoring this game, as he ran it himself 77 yards downfield for his second rushing touchdown of the game as the fourth quarter began. The Rangers also pulled off the two-point conversion, giving them a commanding 21-0 lead over Northern.

The Rangers were back on offense as the game ended, and a forced throw from Max Holser was picked off. But the unbreakable defense made short work of the Huskies and forced the turnover on downs. That turnover was enough to end the game, as running back Micah Meadow padded the stats with a 14-yard touchdown, finally breaking through the defense after being held in the backfield the entire game. In the end, FHC defeated the Huskies 28-0.

The weather was obviously a significant factor in this game, but the freshmen were able to pull together early and pull off their second shut-out of the season.

“As you know, our passing game has been in the spotlight as of late, and the rain certainly put some pressure on us today,” coach Sultini said. “Luckily, we were able to find our rhythm and dominate the game today.”

Next week, the freshmen will be away at Byron Center. At Byron, the Rangers are hoping to continue their two-game winning streak.