Forest Hills Central rolls to easy win in playoff opener

Forest Hills Central defeated Mattawan 40-14 on Oct. 27, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Forest Hills Central’s Bryce Clay is one of those do-it-all football players.

On Friday night, the senior two-way standout showed off his versatility and helped the Rangers to a convincing 40-14 home win over Mattawan in a Division 2 pre-district game.

Clay caught a pair of first-half touchdowns and also had two interceptions as Forest Hills Central remained perfect at 10-0.

The Rangers will face Mona Shores next week in a district final. The Sailors defeated Portage Central 45-17.

“I’ll do whatever I can for this team and I love these guys,” Clay said. “I love playing both ways and I love football. It’s a sport I’ll cherish forever.”

Forest Hills Central coach Tim Rogers spoke highly of Clay after his all-around effort against the Wildcats.

“In my opinion, he’s the best player on the field each week and he can do it all,” Rogers said. “He’s an outstanding defensive player, he’s an outstanding offensive player and he goes back and returns kicks and punts. He could probably throw the ball too if we put him in at quarterback.

“Last week he was nicked up and we had to rest him, and when he’s on the field he’s a force to be reckon with.”

The Rangers raced out to an early 13-0 lead in the first quarter as junior quarterback Luke Majick tossed a pair of touchdown passes to junior Tate Hallock and Clay, respectively.

Majick extended the advantage to 20-0 on a 27-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

“Our coaches put us in a great spot to win every week and set us up for success,” Clay said. “It was good to get up early, especially at home with a big crowd behind us.”

Senior place kicker added a pair of field goals and the Rangers ended the half with another score.

Majick and Clay hooked up on a short touchdown pass as Forest Hills Central built a commanding 33-0 lead at the half.

“I was happy that the team stayed focused,” Rogers said. “The whole state knows what the next game is and when you are dealing with 16 and 18-year-olds it’s tough to keep their eyes on the task at hand. I thought they did a real good job tonight of focusing on Mattawan and doing what they needed to do to get an opportunity to play next week.”

A diving catch by Clay set up a 2-yard run by Majick and Forest Hills Central went ahead 40-0 in the third quarter.

The Rangers are looking forward to the challenge of playing Mona Shores (9-1), whose only loss was against top-ranked Muskegon.

“They are a great football program,” Rogers said. “We measure ourselves in our league through Lowell and now we’re looking at measuring ourselves in the state in Division 2 against Mona, who was in the state championship game a few years ago.

“It’s right where I want the program to be and we’ll see what we are made of next week.”