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  • James Townsend

Raider Football tops Charlotte to clinch share of League Title

The Portland High School football traveled to Charlotte on Friday night for a match up of state ranked teams. The Orioles entered the game 5-0, the program’s best start since 2004.

After a narrow defeat of Lansing Sexton at home last week, the Raiders were not messing around with the Orioles, and picked up a decisive 40-13 win, and guaranteeing at least a share of the CAAC White conference championship.

After Portland recovered a Charlotte fumble in the first possession of the game, the Raiders wasted little time in finding the endzone. Senior running back Drew Miller ran it in from 13 yards out. Junior kicker Aiden Pulling connected on the extra point giving Portland an early 7-0 lead. After exchanging punts, the Orioles would find themselves taking over at their own one-yard line. The Portland defense would take advantage tackling an Oriole ball carrier in the endzone for a safety, extending Portland’s lead to 9-0 with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Raiders would start their ensuing possession at midfield. A few pays later senior quarterback Marc Nobis connected with junior Caden Thelen for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Pulling nailed the point after and Portland’s lead would sit at 16-0 with 4:00 left in the first. In the second quarter of play, the Raiders would find the endzone again. This time on a five-yard run by Miller, his second of the night. Pulling was successful on the point after and Portland extended their lead to 23-0 with 5:14 left in the second quarter. The Oriole offense found some momentum on their next possession driving deep into Portland territory. Charlotte was eventually able to score on a one-yard touchdown run by senior running back Devon Eaton. Cutler Brandt connected on the extra point and the score moved to Portland 23, Charlotte 7, with 1:42 left in the second. In the third quarter, Charlotte would score once again. This time on an 80-yard touchdown run by senior Braden Hill. Portland stopped the Charlotte two-point conversion attempt and the score sat at 23-13. Portland would quickly strike back when Miller picked up his third touchdown of the night, this time on a 54-yard run. Pulling connected on the point after and Portland moved the score to 30-13 with 7:44 remaining. The Raiders would find the endzone again on their next possession when Miller picked up his fourth touchdown of the night on a 44-yard run. Pulling was good on the extra point and Portland led 37-13 with 6:30 remaining in the game. After an interception by the Portland defense, the Raiders offense would start on the Charlotte 31. The Raiders were able to pick up three more points when Pulling connected on a field goal, moving the score to 40-13. Neither team would score again, and the Raiders secured a 40-13 win.

You can watch Portland coach John Novara speaking with the media after the game at the link below.

With the win, Portland improves to 5-1 overall, 4-0 in the CAAC White. Next Friday they host rival Lansing Catholic for Portland’s final regular season home game. The Cougars are currently 2-4 overall, 2-2 in the CAAC White. Last week the lost to Ionia 19-18 in overtime.

If Portland defeats Lansing Catholic, they will secure sole possession of the CAAC White Championship.

According to the MHSAA, the current standing for the Capital Area Activities Conference-White are:

Team W-L (Conference) W-L (Overall)

Portland 4-0 5-1

Charlotte 3-1 5-1

Lansing Sexton 2-2 3-3

Lansing Catholic 2-2 2-4

Ionia 1-3 2-4

Eaton Rapids 0-4 0-6


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