- Pete Hoffmeyer
Raiders Sink Mariners to Head to Ford Field
The Raiders extended their record to 2-0 on John Dukes Field in Howell on Saturday. It was six years ago to the day that Portland first played a semi-final game on that field. Portland won that game six years ago and they won this one to advance to Ford Field in Detroit to play for the Division 5 State of Michigan Football Title after beating Marine City 35-14. Portland will play Hudsonville Unity Christian Saturday, November 24th at 4:30 p.m.
The Mariners would start the game with the ball but the Raider Defense would force an early punt. The Raider Offense went to work putting together a six-minute 78-yard drive capped off by a touchdown by (Jr) QB Owen Russell from one yard out. (Sr) K Tate Dziewiatowski’s extra point was good to put the Raiders up 7-0 with 4:17 left in the 1st Quarter. The Mariners would answer quickly on the ensuing kickoff when (Jr) KR Angelo Patsalis returned the kickoff 95 yards but (Sr) NT Dylan Arthur blocked the extra point attempt to keep the Raiders in the lead 7-6 with 4:00 left in the 1st quarter. End of the 1st quarter Portland 7 Marine City 6.
The Raider Offense would start the scoring off early in the 2nd Quarter when they drove 60 yards where Russell again scored from 1 yard out. Dziewiatowski’s extra point was good to put the Raiders up 14-6 with 11:21 left in the 2nd Qtr. The Mariners would answer again after taking over on their own 45 when Patsalis scores again this time from 53 yards out. (Jr) RB Aren Sopfe would score on the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 14-14 with 8:24 left in the 2nd Qtr. The Raiders would march down to score again when (Sr) SB Owen Guilford ran through 4 Mariner defenders to s ore from 13 yards out. Dziewiatowski’s extra point was good to put the Raiders up 21-14 with 1:24 left in the 2nd Qtr. The Mariners would turn the ball back over to the Raiders after a fumbled snap and fumble recovery by (Jr) LB Carson Frewen to set the Raider Offense up on the Mariner 37-yard line with 1:11 left in the 2nd Qtr. The Raiders moved down to the Mariner 1 where (Sr) SB Jake Veale scored. Dziewiatowski’s extra point was good to put the Raiders up 28-14 with :22 seconds left in the 2nd Qtr. The Mariners moved down to the Raider 18-yard line after 2 questionable penalties at best but kept the Mariners out of the end zone. Half Time Portland 28 Marine City 14.
The 3rd quarter would see no scoring. End of the 3rd Qtr. Portland 28 Marine City 14.
Veale would score the final touchdown of the game from 9 yards out. Dziewiatowski’s extra point was good to put the Raiders up 35-14 with 8:06 left in the game.
After the game Coach John Novara said, “Our kids did a great job of preparing for a very good football team. They run multiple sets and are very complex. Defensively we played great again today, and we were able to run the ball successfully. I am proud of our kids and this community. We will have our hands full obviously next week."
So, onto Ford Field, but as Coach Novara told the kids, “we’re not just going to Ford Field, we are going there to win”! That is the hope from everyone. The genuine raw emotions throughout the game and at the end were amazing to see. The tears of joy, the hugs, the smiles. All so memorable but there’s still work to do for this team. As I write this the coaching staff has already been hard at work preparing for Saturday’s game. A game that will be played 6 years to the day that Portland won their other Division 5 state title. Can’t wait to see the Portland side filled at Ford Field. To see the buses leaving. To see the community line the streets for this incredible journey. This is a journey that every Raider football player dreams of and aspires to. This group is the first undefeated Portland team to play at Ford Field and hopefully they will finish undefeated. I can guarantee one thing; this community will show up and these kids will play their hearts out! GO RAIDERS!! Scoring Summary Portland 7 - 21- 0 -7 = 35 Marine City 6 - 8 - 0 - 0 = 14 1st Quarter P - Owen Russell 1 yard TD run Tate Dziewiatkowski XPT MC - Angelo Patsalis 95 yard kick return Xpt blocked 2nd Quarter P - Owen Russell 1 yard TD run Tate XPT MC - Angelo Patsalis 53 yard TD run 2 pt run P - Owen Guilford 13 yard TD run Tate XPT P - Jacob Veale 1 yard TD run Tate XPT 4th Quarter P - Jacob Veale 10 yard TD run Tate XPT Rushing Jacob Veale 32 for 157 2 TD's Blake Meyers 11 for 65 Owen Guilford 13 for 105 1 TD Owen Russel 2 for 2 2 TD's Trevor Lattimer 1 for 3 Blake Patrick 1 for -6 Passing Owen Russell 3 for 7 for 72 yards Receiving Blake Meyers 1 for 39 Owen Guilford 1 for 24 Jacob Veale 1 for 9 Defense Grant Werner 8 Tackles Carson Frewen 6 tackles 1 FR Griffin Summers 3 Tackles 1 INT