After being uncharacteristically swallowed up at Caledonia a week ago, Lowell was charged with refocusing for nearby OK White rival Forest Hills Central.
A Ranger football team which defeated Caledonia 31-19 in week three.
“I was a little concerned with what the mind set of our young football team would be after that loss to Caledonia,” admitted Lowell football coach Noel Dean following his club’s 41-21 win over Forest Hills Central Friday night on Bob Perry Field.
What Dean’s Red Arrows did was reestablish the pillars of Lowell football during Dean’s tenure.
Lowell ran the ball well. It churned up 205 yards on the ground. It complimented its ground game with efficient passing, completing 10-of-14 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. All of this while its defense, after surrendering two first-quarter touchdowns, silenced the pass-happy Rangers until mid way through the fourth quarter.
“Our running and passing games complimented one another and our defense was strong ,” Dean said.
The win in the final game of the regular season improved Lowell’s record to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the OK White. The Red Arrows finished tied for first with Caledonia, marking the second consecutive year Lowell has earned at least a share of the league title. Last year Lowell won it outright.
“It felt to good win another conference title,” Dean explained. “This was a good step forward. Now it’s time to continue to build on that.
Lowell will begin its 16th consecutive journey into the high school state football playoffs on Friday. It’s opponent will be announced Sunday night at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.
Red Arrow fans will notice a small variation to this year’s run for a state title. Lowell will compete in Division 3.
FHC drove 80 yards in eight play on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead. Brett Miller connected with Dylan Otolski on an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Lowell responded on the ensuing kickoff when Gabe Steed took the ball in on his own two-yard line and raced 98 yards for a touchdown. Lowell trailed 7-6 following a missed point after attempt.
The Rangers built on their first-series success as they marched 80-yards, this time in seven plays to extend their lead to 14-6. Miller found Matthew Mills this time for a 22-yard touchdown.
Lowell, again, had an answer. The Red Arrows engineered an 80-yard drive of their own with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Stevens to Josh Branagan evening up the score. The two also combined for the two-point conversion.
Second quarter touchdown runs of five and two-yards by Max Dean enabled Lowell to build a 28-14 halftime lead. Dean finished the game with 109 yards rushing.
Neither club scored in the third quarter, however, Lowell did tally its fifth touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter when Trevor Shurlow busted one in from the two-yard line.
Lowell added its final score on the night with a little less than two minutes on the clock when Stevens found Steed on a 12-yard pass-and-catch.
Central’s only second half score came in the final 12 minutes when Miller teamed up with Otolski for their second touchdown of the night.
FHC threw for 279 yards and rushed for just 25. The Rangers finished the season at 2-7 overall and 2-3 in the OK White.