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  • Pete Hoffmeyer

Raiders Outlast Cougars in Thriller

Friday Night’s Division 5 District Championship was the definition of a tale of two halves when Portland held on to beat Lansing Catholic 17-13.

The Cougars would start off the game with the ball but would have little success as the Raider Defense held strong forcing the Cougars to punt the ball to the Raiders. The Raiders would open their first possession of the game at their own 45-yard line. The Raiders would move down to the Cougar 32, but would be faced with a 4th and 13. (Jr) QB Owen Russell would hit (Sr) WR Cade Parmalee for a 32-yard strike. (Sr) K Tate Dziewiatowski would convert the extra point to put the Portland up 7-0 with 6:23 left in the 1st Qtr. The Raider Defense would keep the Cougars off the board to maintain the Raider lead through the rest of the 1st Qtr. End of 1st Qtr. Portland 7 Lansing Catholic 0.

Both teams would exchange possessions in the 2nd Qtr. with no points going up on the board. Midway through the 2nd Qtr., the Cougars would mount a drive moving into Raider territory until (Sr) CB Mitch Mallek intercepted Cougar (Sr) QB Josh Kramer’s 1st down pass and return it all the way to the Cougar 12-yard line with 6:21 left in the half. The Cougar Defense would come up with a big stand though forcing the Raiders into a 4th and 17 from the Cougar 19-yard line. Coach John Novara decided to bring on Dziewiatowski for a 37-yard field goal attempt which was good. With 4:43 left in the half the Raiders went up 10-0. The Raider Defense would give the Offense one more crack at scoring after forcing another Cougar punt that would pin the Raiders at their own 6-yard line with 2:41 left in the half. This would give (Sr) SB Jake Veale and the Raider Offense a chance to go to work. Veale would move the ball out to the Raider 31 with :50 left in the half after a nice little run to gain another 1st down. On the next play Veale would sprint to a 69-yard touchdown. Dziewiatowski converted the extra point to put the Raiders up 17-0 with :38 left in the half. Half time score Portland 17 Lansing Catholic 0.

The Raiders would start the 3rd Qtr. with the ball moving down to the Cougar 35-yard line setting up a 4th and 5 for the Raiders. Coach Novara took a timeout to think things over with 6:37 left in thec3rd Qtr. The Raiders came out of the timeout where Russell tried to connect with (Sr) WR Blake Patrick that was originally called a catch for the 1st down but was overturned after a brief officials’ conference. The Cougars would take advantage of the turnover on downs as they drove down the field and scored on 3rd and goal when (Jr) SB Charlie Nylander scored from 3 yards out. It appeared that Nylander had fumbled reaching for the goal line and recovered by the Raiders, however the side judge on the opposite side of the field stepped in and after another conference the play was ruled a touchdown. The Cougars would not convert on the e tea point. With 3:42 left in the 3rd Qtr. Portland 17 Lansing Catholic 6. At the end of the 3rd Qtr. Portland 17 Lansing Catholic 6.

In the 4th Qtr. the Cougars would put together another scoring drive when Kramer found (Jr) WR Zach Gillespie from 7 yards out. The Cougars elected to go for the 1-point extra point kick which was good. With 9:34 left in the game Portland 17 Lansing Catholic 13. The Cougar Defense would force another Raider punt. Kramer would go to work trying to move his team down the field but on 4th and 5 at the Raider 41, the Raider Defense broke up a Kramer pass to turn the ball back over to the Raiders with 4:42 left in the game. The Raiders would mount a small drive with a key 3rd down Russell pass attempt fell incomplete when Patrick and the Cougar CB fell down after a lot of contact along the Cougar sideline with no flags, setting up another Raider punt with 3:40 left in the game. On the punt return, the Raiders were flagged for unnecessary roughness which moved the ball out to the Cougar 32-yard line. Kramer went back to work trying to mount a comeback finding Cougar WR’s for short gains that kept the chains moving matching the ball into Raider territory. With :51 left in the game, Kramer found a Cougar WE in the end zone but a holding penalty would wipe the TD out. The game would hinge on a 4th and 6 play from the Raider 12-yard line with :34 left in the game. After a Cougar timeout, Kramer rolled right with the Raider Defense in pursuit. Kramer heaved a desperation pass up but (Sr) LB Owen Guilford cane up with the interception to preserve the win for the Raiders. The Raiders took 2 knees to finish the game. Final Portland 17 Lansing Catholic 13

After the game Coach Novara said, “I am proud of our kids efforts tonight. We played a great first half, but knew the Lansing Catholic kids would not go away. Both teams played with great effort and we were able to make a play at the end of the game. Our kids did not panic and were able to hang on tonight, and that is what you have to do in playoff football games. Big play by Cade Parmalee catching a touchdown pass on his only offensive snap of the game and our kicker came through with a 37-yard field goal."

It’s not always pretty but these kids gutted out a tough game. They fought through adversity and made just enough plays to host a Regional Game. A little fact, this is the only Portland team that has ever been 11-0. That is no small feat considering the rich history of the program. While this is the first meeting between these 2 programs, both coaching staffs will have their teams ready to go.

The Raiders will move on to host Frankenmuth next on Saturday, November 10th, at 1:00 p.m.


Portland 7 - 10 - 0 - 0 = 17

LC 0 - 0 - 6 - 7 = 13

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

Owen Russell to Cade Parmalee 32 yards TD Pass

Tate Dziewiatkowski XPT

2nd Quarter

Tate 37 yard Field Goal

Jacob Veale 69 yard TD run

Tate XPT

3rd Quarter

Charlie Nylander 3 yard TD run

XPT failed

4th Quarter

Josh Kramer to Zach Gillespie 7 yard TD pass

Kick was good



Jacob Veale 25 carries 210 yards 1 TD

Blake Meyers 7 carries 26 yards

Owen Russell 2 for -6

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Zach Gillespie 4 for 6

Mitch Gruber 3 for 15

Josh Kramer 14 for 39

Charlie Nylander 3 for 15 1 TD



Owen Russell 4 for 9, 50 yards 1 TD


Josh Kramer 27 for 36 for 192 yards, 1 TD 2 INT


Mitch Mallek 9 Tackles 1 INT

Carson Frewen 14 Tackles

Owen Guilford 5 Tackles 1 INT

UPDATE 11/4/18: Please note that the Portland vs Frankenmuth kick off was previously listed as Friday at 7:00 PM but it has been moved to Saturday at 1:00 PM.

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