The 7-1 Portland Raider football team traveled 100 miles on Friday evening to face the 6-2 Wildcats of Montague High School.
After the Raider kickoff, Montague started off on their own 33-yard line. The Wildcats were able to use a combination of run and pass plays to move the ball deep into Portland territory, but the Raiders were able to hold Montague to a field goal with 5:24 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Wildcats kicked the ball out of bounds, the Raiders would start on their own 35. The Raiders were not able to achieve a first down and punted.
The Wildcats started on their own 33, and were forced into a fourth and 23 situation. After taking their first time out of the game, Montague would punt back to Portland.
The Raiders would start at their own 24. After picking up five yards on a QB keep up the middle, senior Owen Russell would connect with sophomore Ethan Patrick for a first down at their own 37. As the second quarter began, the Wildcats would be flagged for pass interference giving the Raiders another first down. The Raider drive would stall and they would turn the ball over to Montague on downs at the Wildcat 35.
The Raider defense would put Montague in a third and nine, but that is when Wildcat senior Brennan Schwarz would break free for a 64-yard touchdown run. On the point after attempt, the Wildcat holder would mishandle the hold, but was able to scramble and pass to one of his receivers for a two-point conversion. With 8:07 remaining in the second quarter, Montague would extend their lead to 11-0.
After starting on their own 39, the Raiders would once again be forced to punt.
Montague would start on their own 44 and was able to drive down to the Portland 15. As the Portland defense forced the Wildcats to a fourth down, sophomore kicker Andrew Kool would attempt a field goal. The field goal would fall short and the Raiders would take over on downs with 4:26 left in the second.
Senior Blake Meyers would dash for one first down for the Portland, but the drive would stall and Portland would punt once again.
Montague started on their own 27 with 1:53 on the clock. The Wildcats would quickly move the ball to the Raider 44. A sack by Portland senior David Svanda would push the Wildcats into a fourth and four, and Portland would take over on their own 38 after an incomplete pass with 14 seconds left.
Blake Meyers would run the ball to the Montague 49. Meyers would then run for another first down to the Montague 33. With only two seconds left, Portland would take their second timeout of the half. On the following play, Russell would connect with Patrick for a 33-yard touchdown pass as time expired. The point after by junior kicker Cameron Roof was no good, and at the halftime break, Montague’s lead would be cut to 11-6,
Portland would receive the second half kick and would begin on their own 35. The Raider offense came out of the break looking rejuvenated and would quickly pick up a first down on a run by senior Gavin McGregor on the Portland 45. Blake Meyers would then break free and run the ball down to the Wildcat 45. On third and seven, Meyers would pick up another big run moving the ball to Montague’s 21. The Raiders would work themselves into a fourth at nine on the 20, but an incomplete pass would result in the Wildcats taking over on downs at their own 20 with 4:36 left in the third.
The Wildcats would fail to make a first down and would punt.
The Raiders started on their 31. With a third and two on their own 39, McGregor would pick up a first down up the middle moving the ball to the 42. As the fourth quarter began, Roof would run for a first down around the left side of his line moving the ball to the Wildcat 46. The Montague defense would force Portland to a fourth and three, but Russell would connect with McGregor for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Russel would connect with Meyers for a two-point conversion and Portland would take a 14-11 lead with 9:19 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats would start their next drive on their own 25. After a first down run by sophomore Dylan Everett, the Wildcats would connect on a long pass moving the ball to the Portland 20. The Wildcats would then move to a first and goal situation on the Raider 10-yard line. After a completed pass and two run plays, the Wildcats would have fourth and goal on the Raider three. The Wildcats would cap the drive off with a completed pass for a touchdown. Kool would connect on the point after and Montague would take a 18-14 lead with 5:20 remaining in the game.
Portland’s offense would start on their own 28 with 5:05 remaining. On third and one, the Raiders would pick up a first down on a run by senior Jordan Selby moving the ball to the Portland 39. On a fourth and inches play, Russell would sneak behind the left side of his offensive line to pick up a first down at the 50-yard line with 1:55 on the clock. Russell would then connect with sophomore Trent Meyers for a huge pick up before he was pushed out at the Wildcat 17 with 1:35 to play. Blake Meyers would run the ball to the Wildcat 12, but the Raiders would be pushed into a fourth and six situation with less than a minute to play. On fourth down, Russell would throw into the endzone but his pass intended for McGregor would fall incomplete and the final Raider drive of the night would come to and end.
The Wildcats would be able to take a knee to end the game, and would earn a 18-14 victory over Portland.
Both teams will learn who their first-round playoff opponent is at 7:00 on Sunday when the MHSAA announces the brackets. You can watch that announcement on Fox Sports Detroit Plus, or online HERE.