“A positive mental attitude is an irresistible force that knows no such thing as an immovable body.” - Napoleon Hill
Friday night, Portland was the irresistible force and the immovable object. The Raiders forced their will upon the Irish finishing with a 27-0 win.
The game started under a cold October drizzle. The Raider offense however started flat, turning the ball over on two of their first three possessions. Compounding things, the Raiders were plagued with penalties all night too. However, the momentum of the game would change late in the 1st when the Raider defense stopped the Irish deep in Raider territory. With 1:15 left in the 1st quarter, the Irish had the ball 1st and goal and Sr. Irish QB River Shea rolled out left trying to get to the end zone, but was drilled by Sr. S Cade Parmalee at the 3-yard line. Shea was injured on the play but was able to return. On 3rd down, Sr. DE Jacob Hickling would come up with a big tackle for a loss setting up a 4th and goal from the Raider 10-yard line. The Irish would attempt a 28-yard field goal, but Jr. K Julian Lee’s kick would sail wide left. End of the 1st quarter Portland 0 Pontiac Norte Dame Prep 0.
The 2nd quarter would not cure the Raider miscues. With 4:37 left in the half, a 4th down punt took an unfortunate roll and hit a Raider player making the ball live which was recovered by the Irish on the Raider 3-yard line. Once again, the Raider defense would come up huge in a goal line situation. On 3rd and goal from the Raider 1-yard line, Sr DE Matt Koster put pressure on Shea forcing an incompletion setting up 4th and goal from the Raider 1-yard line. The Raider defense would tip Shea’s pass, where Sr. S Griff Summers intercepted the pass and returned it back to the Raider 40-yard line with 2:50 left in the half. Portland would put together a small drive but couldn’t score. The Irish would down the ball to end the half. Half time Portland 0 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 0.
The Raiders would kick the ball off to start the 2nd half. This would be one of the unsung heroes in the 2nd half. Sr. K Tate Dziewiatowski kicked the ball to the goal line where the kickoff team would come up with a tackle at the Irish 14-yard line. With each kick the kickoff team came down the field harder and hit even harder. With 7:07 left in the 3rd Quarter, the Raiders would finally find the end zone when Jr. QB Owen Russell hit Sr. SB Trevor Lattimer for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Dziewiatowski converted the extra point putting the Raiders up 7-0. After another great job by the Raider kickoff team, the Irish would have to start from the 15-yard line. Neither team was able to sustain a drive on the ensuing possessions. The Raiders would have the ball to end the 3rd Quarter. End of the 3rd Portland 7 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 0.
The Raiders would start a scoring onslaught in the 4th quarter when Sr. SB Jake Veale raced to a 58-yard TD on 3rd and 3. Dziewiatowski converted the extra point with 11:50 left in the game the Raiders went up 14-0. The kickoff team once again pinned the Irish inside their own 20. The Irish started at their own 12 but would be forced to punt 3 downs later from their own nine. After the Irish punt, the Raiders took possession at the Irish 48. On 1st down Veale would bust another long run with a 48-yard TD.
Dziewiatowski converted the extra point with 10:20 left in the game putting the Raiders up 21-0. With 8:20 left in the game, Sr. CB Hunter Hohman intercepted a pass, but after a Raider penalty the ball would be moved back to the Raider 33-yard line. The Raiders would drive down the field where, Jr FB Blake Meyers, scores from 7 yards out. The extra point was no good putting the Raiders up 27-0 with 2:49 left in the game.
After a mistake filled 1st half this team was able to put together a much better 2nd half. The Defense was outstanding with Sr. LB Owen Guilford leading the way with 9 tackles. Offensively, Veale had a big 2nd half finishing with 212 yards and 2 TD’s. The special teams play by Dziewiatowski, Jr DB Christopher Teachout, Jr DB Jordan Selby and Sr NG Hunter Hoppes was just as outstanding. This team will see nothing but playoff quality teams from here on out as they return home for Senior Night against Montague this Friday at 7 p.m.
After the game Coach Novara said, “Our defense was incredible again tonight, holding a very good team to 0 points. They stepped up time and time again as our offense turned the ball over in the 1st half. Our offense returned to form in the second half scoring 27 unanswered points and controlling the line of scrimmage."
Portland 0 - 0 - 7 - 20 = 27
PNDP 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 = 0
25 yard TD pass Owen Russell to Trevor Lattimer
Jacob Veale 58 yard TD Run
Jacob Veale 48 yard TD run
Blake Meyers 7 yard TD run
Jacob Veale 22 carries 212 yards 2 TD's
Blake Meyers 14 carries 86 yards 1 TD
Gavin McGregor 3 for 17
Trevor Lattimer 1 for 2
Owen Russell 1 for 1
Owen Russell 4 for 10 for 64 yards 1 TD
Brody Smith 1 for 2 for 10 yards
Owen Guilford 9 Tackles
Griffin Summers 7 Tackles 1 INT
Mitchell Mallek 7 Tackles
Hunter Hohman 3 Tackles 1 INT