Portland Tops Ovid-Elsie in Season Opener
In a tough Week 1 game, Portland was able to pull away from Ovid-Elsie for an 18-0 victory to start the season. This would mark the 53rd consecutive opening game matchup between Portland and Ovid-Elsie. It was a well fought battle on both sides. Portland able to get a few things going against a very tough Ovid-Elsie team. As Coach John Novara pointed out in my preview article, “We have a tough schedule in front of us starting with week #1 at Ovid-Elsie.” Coach Novara was not wrong as Portland earned a hard-fought victory.
Portland opened up the game with the football but would go 3 and out. Ovid-Elsie would start at the Portland 49 and would drive to the Portland 29 where Sr K Evan Morris would attempt a 46-yard field goal that was missed to the left with 6:20 Jeff in the 1st Quarter. On this possession Portland would start moving down the field. On 2nd and 8, Jr QB Brody Smith would find Sr WR Blake Patrick with a 25-yard pass moving Portland to the O-E 9-yard line. End of the 1st Quarter, Portland 0 O-E 0.
The O-E defense would stiffen bringing up a 4th down on their own 3-yard line. Coach Novara would call a timeout before this critical play. After the timeout, Sr SB Jake Veale punched it in to open up the scoring for Portland on the season. Veale sliced in over the left side but the XP attempt would fail with 11:16 left in the 2nd Quarter Portland 6 O-E 0. With 4:59 left in the half, Sr CB Mitch Mallek would intercept a 1st down pass from O-E Sr QB Jakob Loynes. On the very next play Jr QB Owen Russell would connect with Jr SB Gavin McGregor for a 74-yard touchdown strike. After 2 Portland penalties the 2-point conversion failed with 4:47 left in the first half it was Portland 12 O-E 0. With 2:39 left in the half, the O-E defense forced a turnover taking over possession on the Portland 35-yard line. O-E would drive to the Portland 16-yard line where the defense would force a turnover on downs on 4th and 3 with :53 seconds left in the half. At the end of the 1st half it was Portland 12 O-E 0.
To begin the 2nd half, O-E would start with the ball putting together a very impressive 10:04 drive where Portland would finally stop them at their own 10-yard line. End of the 3rd Quarter Portland 12 O-E 0.
To begin the 4th Quarter, Smith would again find Patrick on 3rd and 9. This time for a 28-yard strike with 11:54 left in the game. However, the O-E defense would force Portland to punt. Portland would get the ball back after forcing a turnover on downs. Portland began the possession on the O-E 41-yard line. After a Portland timeout, Smith would break off a 31-yard run on 4th and 3 but was stripped of the ball from behind where Jr FB Blake Meyers hustled to recover the ball for Portland. With 4:49 left in the game, Veale would find the end zone once again to score his 2nd TD of the night from 3 yards out. The 2-point conversion attempt would fail making it Portland 18 O-E 0. Final score Portland 18 O-E 0.
After the game Coach Novara had this to say, “I am proud of the way our kids played tonight, especially our defense. We beat a very good Ovid-Elsie team, they are tough, physical, and well-coached. We were able to make just enough timely plays to get us in the endzone a few times. It was a hard-fought physical battle. We have several things we need to improve on before our home opener against Corunna, next Thursday night.”
Portland will face Corunna at home Thursday August 30th at 7 pm.
Photos courtesy of AJ Guilford.