The Raiders traveled to Lansing Sexton on Friday night for their first CAAC White match-up of the 2019 season.
The Big Reds of Sexton came into the game with a 0-2 record after losing to Olivet in week one, 40-18, and Haslett in week two, 20-6.
The Raiders came into the game 2-0 after betting Ovid Elsie in week one, 35-0, and a big win over DeWitt in week two, 29-27.
Sexton received the opening kick, but after one Sexton first down, the Raider defense quickly forced the Big Reds to punt.
The Raiders stared their first possession on their own 25 and were able to develop a nice drive. After a first down run by senior Gavin McGregor on 3rd and two, senior Blake Meyers broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run. The point after by junior kicker Cameron Roof was good, putting the Raiders up 7-0 with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter.
Sexton started their next possession on their own 18, and after one first down, the Raiders forced the Big Reds to punt. The Sexton snap sailed over the heap of sophomore Dontel Wright, but he was able to scramble for a first down.
A few plays later, Sexton’s pass was intercepted by Portland’s Meyers, and the Raiders took over on their own 49. At the end of the first quarter, Portland led 7-0.
Just after the second quarter began, the Portland pass intended to senior David Svanda was intercepted by Sexton’s Wright.
The Raider defense was able to hold and forced the Big Reds to punt again.
Portland started their possession in the Big Red 35. Portland’s Meyers picked up a first down putting the Raiders at first and goal at the Sexton four-yard line. Behind the blocking of the left side of the Raider offensive line, Meyers was able to punch it in for his second touchdown of the game. The point after by Roof was good, and the Raiders led 14-0 with 6:43 remaining in the second quarter.
Both teams would exchange punts to close out the second quarter, and at halftime the Raiders still had a 14-0 lead.
Portland would receive the kick to start the third quarter, and started on their own 45. Senior Jordan Selby ran for two Raider first downs, and then with the Raiders sitting first and goal on the Big Red three-yard line, Selby would punch it into the endzone. The PAT by Roof was wide right, and the Raiders had a 20-0 lead with 8:17 remaining in the third.
The Raider defense forced the Big Reds to punt once again, but this time Sexton ran a fake on the punt play. Portland’s Selby stuffed the Big Red ball carrier short of a first down and the Raiders took over on the Big Red 40 with 5:42 left in the third quarter.
The Raiders were quickly forced to punt back to the Big Reds, and Sexton would take over on their own 21 with 3:19 remaining in the third.
As the Sexton offense began to pick up some momentum, Portland senior Ty Snitgen intercepted a Big Red pass, and the Raiders took over on the Big Red 39.
The Portland offense developed some momentum of their own, getting first down runs by sophomore Haden Getchell and Selby, putting the Raiders on the Sexton 12. As the Raiders sat 4th and 11, Roof nailed the field goal, putting Portland up 23-0 with 11:06 remaining in the game.
Both teams would stall offensively and be forced to punt in their following possessions.
As the Big Reds started to move the ball, that drive was ended when Portland senior David Svanda intercepted the Sexton pass and ran it back 39 yards, starting the Raider offense on the Sexton 20.
Raider sophomore Reis Philips’ first down run set the Raiders in a first and goal situation on the Big Red six-yard line. The Raiders were forced to go for a field goal attempt by Roof, which was good, and the Raiders led 26-0 with 2:29 left in the game.
Sexton would start on their own 29, and piece together their first scoring drive of the night. With 1:10 remaining in the game, Sexton junior Jaeveyn Carswell would scramble for a 15-yard touchdown run, getting the Big Reds on the scoreboard. The Big Reds were successful on their two-point conversion.
Portland was then able to take a knee and run out the clock, and the Raiders won the game 26-8.
After the game, head coach John Novara told the Beacon, “It was a sloppy game for us. We had that great DeWitt game last week, and then you could feel it in the atmosphere tonight, the kids were not completely ready to play. We made mistakes. We really struggled throwing the football. We have got to be able to throw it, and we missed a lot of blitz pick-up. I am a little bit disappointed on how we played, but I am happy to get out of here with a win. Sexton is a good football team with some physical players. They are really well coaches defensively. We just have to do a better of job coming ready to play each week.”
The Raiders move to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the CAAC White. Sexton falls to 0-3 overall, 0-1 and CAAC White.
The Raiders next action in on Friday night when they host the Charlotte Orioles for Military Appreciation Night. Charlotte is 0-3 overall, 0-1 in the CAAC White. They lost to Fowlerville 28-7 in week one, Mason 50-0 in week two, and Ionia 53-20 in week three.
Scoring by Quarter:
Portland 7 - 7 - 6 - 6 = 26
Sexton 0 - 0 - 0 - 8 = 8
Blake Meyers 46-yard TD run
Cameron Roof PAT
Blake Meyers 2-yard TD run
Cameron Roof PAT
Jordan Selby 3-yard TD run
Cameron Roof 27-yard FG
Cameron Roof 25-yard FG
Sexton Carswell 15 yd TD run
Carswell to Lenoir pass (2 pt)
Rushing Totals for Portland:
Blake Meyers 9 for 97 2 TD's
Gavin McGregor 5 for 36
Jordan Selby 5 for 44 1 TD
Paton Russell 2 for 16
Haden Getchell 5 for 7
Reis Philips 4 for 9
Owen Russell 2 for -20
Passing Totals for Portland:
Owen Russell 1 for 5 for 3 yards