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  • James Townsend

Raiders clinch outright CAAC White Championship with 33-14 win over Lansing Catholic

The stadium at Portland High School was buzzing on Friday night as the school celebrated senior night for its marching band, cheerleaders, and football team. The 2022 class if the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame was also introduced before the game.

On the field, the Raiders faced off against long time rival Lansing Catholic. Portland entered the game 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the CAAC White, while the Cougars of Lansing Catholic came in 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the CAAC White.

After the Portland defense forced the Cougars to punt in their first possession, the Raider offense went to work quickly. Starting at their own 29, the marched down the field. The drive was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Marc Nobis. Junior kicker Aiden Pulling nailed his point after and the Raiders led 7-0 with 5:49 remaining in the first.

After exchanging punts, the Raiders would drive deep into the Cougar end of the field as the second quarter of play began, but the drive came short of scoring as Lansing Catholic recovered a Portland fumble in the Cougar endzone.

The Cougars would not have the ball long as junior defensive back Caden Thelen picked off a Lansing Catholic pass giving Portland possession at the Cougar 34. Unfortunately, the Raiders were not able to reach the endzone on their possession.

The Portland defense forces the Cougars to punt again, and Portland’s offense would get back to work on their own 49. A few plays later, Caden Thelen would break free for a 38-yard touchdown run for Portland. Pulling connected on the extra point and Portland extended their lead to 14-0 with 4:55 remaining in the second.

Before the Cougar offense could build any momentum, Caden Thelen intercepted his second pass of the night.

After exchanging punts, the Raider offense went back to worth at their own 40 with just 1:20 left before halftime. Big runs by Caden Thelen and senior Branson Goodman moved Portland deep into Cougar territory. With just 16 seconds left on the clock, Nobis would run it into the endzone from the Lansing Catholic one. Portland’s extra point kick was blocked, and the score sat at 20-0.

As the final seconds of the second quarter ticked away, Lansing Catholic took to the air again, but the drive came to a quick end when Portland junior Conner Kazamer picked up the Raiders third interception of the game.

In the third quarter of play, the Cougars would finally put some point on the board. They capped off a 55-yard scoring drive when senior Jack Jacobs ran it in from eight yards out. The extra point by sophomore Braden Rabideau was good, and the score moved to Portland 20, Lansing Catholic 7, with 4:36 remaining in the third.

After a short kick return, the Portland offense went back to work at their own 26. Senior running back Drew Miller picked up multiple first downs behind the blocking of his offensive line. Goodman also ran for a first down in the drive. Portland would finally reach the endzone with 1:18 remaining in the third when Caden Thelen punched it in from five yards out. Pulling connected on the point after and the Raiders led 27-7.

As the third quarter came to an end, and the fourth quarter began, Lansing Catholic’s offense found some momentum and moved the ball all the way to Portland’s nine-yard line, but the Portland defense came up with a huge stop and forced a turn over on downs.

The Raiders were then forced to punt, but the Cougars mishandled the ball and Portland’s Miller recovered the ball deep in Lansing Catholic territory. Soon after, Miller would find a hole and punch it in on a three-yard touchdown run. Portland’s extra point was no good, and the score sat at Portland 33, Lansing Catholic 7 with less than six minutes left in the game.

In the final minutes of the game, the Cougars were able to piece together their second scoring drive of the night. This one was capped off with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Jacobs to senior Brandon Lewis. Rabideau connected on the extra point and the score was Portland 33, Lansing Catholic 14 with 1:17 left in the game.

The Raiders were able to successfully manage the clock for the final minute, and secured a 33-14 victory.

Portland Rushing Statistics:

Drew Miller 22 for 133 yards 1 TD

Marc Nobis 6 for 0 2 TD's

Caden Thelen 10 for 101yards 2 TD's

Branson Goodman 9 for 70

Baron Seal 3 for 27

John Dodson 2 for 6

Evan Gross 1 for 6

Portland Receiving Statistics:

Baron Seal 1 for 4

Chris Battley 1 for 59

Branson Goodman 1 for 9

Portland Passing Statistics:

Marc Nobis 3 for 7 for 72 yards

Portland Defense Statistics:

Conner Kazamer 9 tackles 1 Interception

Marc Nobis 7 Tackles

Baron Seal 7 Tackles

Caden Thelen 2 Tackles 2 Interceptions

Portland Head Coach John Novara’s post game comments at video below:

Portland will travel to Cadillac next week. Cadillac is currently 5-2 overall. They defeated state ranked Belding 24-6 last week.


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