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  • Jim Townsend

Week Seven High School Football Preview

The St. Patrick Shamrocks were scheduled to travel to Covert this week, but according to the school website, that game is now identified as a “forfeit.” I was unable to get confirmation from Shamrock Head Coach Patrick Russman before the time of this posting, but it is my understanding that the Covert team has forfeited the game. I was only able to find one other scheduled game for the Covert team this year.

Prior to learning of the possible forfeit, Buck Geno from “ESPN 96.1’s Game of the Week” said, “This Friday night marks the first game of the season for the Covert Bulldogs, as the small school (enrollment of 96) only scheduled two contests this season. The once-dormant program was reborn in 2015 after a 4 year hiatus and has struggled as they make the transition to 8-man football as well as deal with building a program from the bottom up.”

The Portland High School Raiders will host the Eaton Rapids Greyhounds on Friday night. The Raiders are 5 and 1 after defeating Ionia last week, 44-6.

Through six games, the Raiders have now outscored their opponents 182-70. Senior RB Brock Gross has rushed for 663 net yards on the year, averaging 110.5 yards per game, with 12 touchdowns. QB Austin Allison has now thrown for 442 yards and five touchdowns. Gavin Dennany leads the team in receiving with nine catches for 189 yards, and two touchdowns. On the defensive side, Devin Miller leads with 89 tackles, followed by Dean Battley with 61. Dylan Arthur leads the team in sacks with five.

The Greyhounds come in with a 1-5 record. The Raiders and Greyhounds have faced common opponents of Lansing Catholic, Fowlerville, Ionia and Williamston this year. The Raiders have defeated all four of them. Eaton Rapids lost to Lansing Catholic 34-0, Ionia 20-7, Fowlerville 21-20 in OT, and Williamston 31-10.

Looking at this week’s contest, Portland Head Coach John Novara said, “We are expecting a tough, physical game against Eaton Rapids. They are big and physical and their defense has been playing well. They play multiple fronts, it will be critical for us to identify the fronts and make the necessary blocking adjustments. We have several starters that will be out due to injuries and illness. It will be a big game for players getting their first start of the season.”

When asked for his prediction on this game, Buck Geno from “ESPN 96.1’s Game of the Week” said, “After a resounding Homecoming victory over Ionia last week, the Red Raiders march towards an undisputed CAAC crown. The last step in that journey takes place Friday night against Eaton Rapids. The Greyhounds are winless in conference play and have only 1 win to date; with match-ups against Pontiac Notre Dame and Marshall on the horizon John Novara's troops cannot look past this week's contest.

Expect Portland to try and end this game early - jump ahead, get to a running clock situation, and then bring on the reserves to finish up. Eaton Rapids has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense has been serviceable. Points off of turnovers are something Portland should be hunting for. Portland 44, Eaton Rapids 6.”

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