• Andrew Seavey

Portland Overcomes Early Struggles to Outlast a Talented Pennfield Squad


With the playoffs just around the corner, Portland looked to end the regular season on a high note. The final hurdle of the regular season; an under-rated Battle Creek-Pennfield team, hungry for an upset.

Pennfield burst onto the scene early, forcing a fumble and establishing excellent field position. Panthers wide receiver, Luke Davis used a significant reception to score a touchdown for Pennfield. Their greediness paid off as Battle Creek was able to add a two-point conversion, extending their lead even further. The Raiders remained optimistic, capitalizing on penalties and utilizing dual-threat quarterback, Haden Getchell’s speed to its full potential. Caden Galey capped off the Raider's first drive with a rushing touchdown. The momentum continued on the defensive side of the ball for the Raiders, as Jayce Gillette recovered a fumble. This set Getchell up for an easy touchdown run.

The second quarter was sloppy all around. Portland was unable to score on the first drive of the quarter, but they got the ball right back on a muffed kick by the Panthers. Immediately after that, Pennfield recovered a Raider fumble. The Panthers passing got the job done on their next drive scoring another touchdown through the air. Portland ate up the majority of the clock in the second quarter, slowly creeping down the field towards the end zone. Caden Galey and Drew Miller traded first downs, giving the Raiders a legitimate chance at the lead before the half. Galey plowed past the goal line for his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. The Raiders entered halftime with a slim 21-16 lead.

The turnovers continued throughout the second half for both sides. The Raiders first drive of the half ended in an interception. The defense didn’t shy down though, making big plays down the stretch, including an Ethan Patrick interception. Haden Getchell took advantage of the excellent field position, tallying his second touchdown of the day. For the majority of the second half the Panthers were unable to gain any significant yardage. Pennfield used the play-action pass as their primary offensive tactic, but big defensive plays by Chandler Murton, Nathan Zimmerman and Trent Meyers kept Battle Creek off the board. The Raiders nearly capped off the afternoon with a massive touchdown run by Reis Phillips, but the touchdown was called back due to an illegal block. However the Raiders finished the job anyway, winning by a final score of 28-16

Portland took to the air a few times throughout the game, catching Pennfield off guard. When asked why the Raiders took this approach, Head Coach John Novara stated, “ They had 9 guys in the box to stop our run, I mean everyone knows we are going to run the football. So when they did that we decided we would have to throw the ball a couple of times. We missed a touchdown pass and we had one guy wide open, but we’ve got to be a little more balanced than we have been in the past, especially heading into the playoffs”. The playoffs will be no easy task for the Raiders as they have a few tough matchups lying ahead of them in Districts. Portland will have to stay focused and continue to make the necessary plays if they want to make another run at a state title, but there's no doubt they have the tools to do so.

Scoring summary:

Portland 14 - 7 - 7 - 0 = 28

BC Pennfield 8 - 8 - 0 -0 = 16

Rushing

Caden Galey 23 for 105 2 TD's

Haden Getchell 8 for 37 2 TD's

Reis Phillips 12 for 46

Drew Miller 3 for 27

Trent Trieweiler 9 for 26

Jace Gillette 2 for 8

Passing

Haden Getchell 4 for 8 31 yds

Defense

Jayce Gillette 8 tackles FR

Chandler Murton 7

Cam Roof 7

Nathan Zimmerman 7

Trent Meyers 2 INT's

Ethan Patrick 1 INT

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