- James Townsend
Raider Football play-off run ends at GRCC
On Friday, November 11th, the Portland High School football team traveled to Grand Rapids Catholic Central for an MHSAA Division 5 regional championship contest. Despite keeping the contest close most of the game, the Raiders fell 42-19 after a late surge by the Cougars.
GRCC scored on their first possession, but Portland struck right back. The Raiders started on their own 35 and drove deep into Cougar territory. The drive was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Marc Nobis. Portland extra point kicked was blocked and GRCC led 7-6 with 52 seconds left in the first.
GRCC would strike again with 8:12 left in the second quarter on a 70 plus yard punt return touchdown giving them a 14-6 lead.
After starting at their own 16, Portland would strike again, this time on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Nobis to senior running back Drew Miller. The Raiders went for a two-point conversion but were stopped, and GRCC led 14-12 with 3:48 remaining in the second quarter.
After exchanging punts, the Cougars would find the end zone once again, this time on a 39-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 left in the second quarter. The point after was good, and GRCC led 21-12.
In their first possession of the second half, the Raider offense would start on their own 25. Portland converted on a 4th and eight to keep the drive alive. Nobis connected with Miller again to move the ball deep into Cougar territory. Nobis would finish the drive with a one-yard touchdown on a keeper up the middle. Junior kicker Aiden Pulling connected on the point after and the Raiders cut the GRCC led to 21-19 with 5:41 remining in the third.
In the next possession, the Portland defense would force the Cougars into two fourth down situations, and GRCC was able to convert both for first downs. The drive extended into the fourth quarter of play, and GRCC found the endzone on an eight-yard run by their quarterback. The extra point was good and GRCC extended their lead to 28-19.
The Cougars were able to recover their onside kick attempt and started their drive in Portland territory. GRCC found the endzone again on a five-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good and GRCC led 35-19 with 10:04 left in the contest.
Onside kick recovered Cc
After a Portland punt, the Cougars would take over near midfield. The GRCC offense was able to slowly move deep into Raider territory, and scored on a three-yard QB sneak. The point after was good and the Cougars led 42-19 with just 3:00 left in the game.
The Raider offense tried to put together another drive, but a Cougar defender intercepted a Portland pass and the Cougars took over on their own 12 with jus 34 second left in the game.
GRCC would take a knee to run out the clock and secure a 42-19 win.
Portland finishes the season with an overall record of 10-2, were District Champions, and were CAAC White Champions with a perfect 5-0 record in conference.
GRCC improves to 11-1 overall. They will face Gladwin on Saturday at Ithaca High School at 1:00 PM in the Division 5 semi-finals. The winner of that game will move on to face the winner of Frankenmuth and Detroit Country Day in the State Championship.
Photo courtesy of Renea Goodman.