CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Forest Hills Central’s Luke Majick accounted for all five of his team’s touchdowns on Friday night.
However, the junior quarterback was quick to deflect praise, instead applauding the effort of his teammates on the other side of the ball.
“The first half they were driving pretty good on us, and in the second half they got mad,” Majick said. “They had some great key turnovers and I’m proud of the defense. They won this game tonight.”
FHC’s defense shrugged over a shaky first half performance and helped spark a 35-20 road win over Cedar Springs.
The Rangers shut out the Red Hawks in the second half en route to capturing their first O-K White conference championship since 2011.
“At halftime we made some adjustments, personnel-wise, in order to get back to the original defensive scheme and play like we wanted to play,” said FHC coach Tim Rogers, whose team stayed perfect on the season at 8-0.
“It took some other guys stepping up when we had guys down to execute that scheme in order for it to work in the second half. They did a great job.”
The Rangers trailed 21-20 at the half after Cedar Springs’ junior running back Ryan Ringler tallied three first-half touchdowns.
The Red Hawks (5-3) looked poised to add to their advantage in the third quarter, but a nearly six minute drive stalled when FHC’s Andy Trapp came up with a huge interception inside the 10-yard line.
It proved to be a major turning point as the Rangers scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 29-yard pass play from Majick to Bryce Clay.
“A veteran guy made a great play,” Rogers said. “They do much misdirection and it is difficult to see what they are doing, but he figured out what they were doing and made a big play. It put a little wind in our sails, but we still had a lot of work ahead.”
The Rangers extended their lead to open a fourth quarter. Majick tossed a 31-yard touchdown pass and then sealed the win with a 16-yard touchdown run with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
Majick finished with four touchdown passes to four different receivers. He threw a pair in the first half to Tate Hallock for 62 yards and Kyle Basch 68 yards, respectively.
“We got a lot of big strong guys that can run and block and we try to keep the defense on their toes,” Majick said. “I’m proud of my receivers and very excited to get a conference title. We did it for the community and we and did it for our teammates.”
After a string of lopsided wins, the state-ranked Rangers survived a challenge from the home team that also was seeking to win the conference crown.
“It’s a huge win for our program,” Rogers said. “I’ve been here six years and we’ve been through the highs and we went through the lows. They did not panic and they made the plays when they needed to. I’m really proud of them and they are a great bunch of kids.”