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  • James Townsend

Raiders eek out Homecoming win over Sexton

The Portland Raider football team hosted the Big Reds of Lansing Sexton on Friday, September 23rd, during Portland’s 2022 homecoming celebration.

Despite jumping out to a 14-0 first half lead, the Portland squad had to battle back late in the game to earn a 21-20 victory.

The first points of the game were scored by Portland with 6:11 remaining in the second quarter of play when senior quarter back Marc Nobis connected with sophomore receiver Christopher Battley on a 60-yard touchdown pass. Kicker Aiden Pulling connected on the extra point giving Portland a 7-0 lead.

The Raiders would find the endzone one more time before halftime when Nobis connected with Caden Thelen for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Puling nailed the point after, extending Portland’s lead to 14-0 with 2:51 remaining in the second quarter.

Early in the third quarter, Sexton found the endzone for the first time of the night when John Douglas recovered a Portland fumble and returned it 56 yards for a Big Red touchdown. Sexton’s Dequarias Jones was successful in running it on the two-point conversion putting the score at Portland 14, Sexton 8, with 10:23 remaining in the third.

The Big Reds would score again with 3:13 remaining in the third. This time when Jones connected with Kyrece Smith on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The two-point attempt failed and the score was tied at 14.

Sexton took the lead for the first time in the game when Jones ran it in himself for a five-yard touchdown with 10:34 remaining in the game. The two-point conversion was no good and Sexton took a 20-14 lead.

The Raiders would start their next possession on their own seven-yard line with only 10:19 remaining in the game. Facing a third and long, Nobis connected with Battley for a first down. Senior running back Drew Miller would run for three more first downs for the Raiders, and Portland would move the ball into Sexton territory.

With only 2:59 left on the clock, Miller would punch it into the endzone from three yards out to tied the game at 20. Pulling connected on the point after giving Portland a 21-20 lead.

The Big Red offense would find themselves starting at their own 16 with just 2:53 left on the clock. But just a few plays later Portland’s Caden Thelen put an end to any plans for a Sexton comeback when he intercepted the ball, sealing a Portland 21-20 victory.

You can watch Portland head coach John Novara’s post game comments here.

You can see a great video of the Portland team celebrating the win with the PHS band and student section here.

Portland Rushing Totals:

Drew Miller 22 for 89 1 TD

Conner Kazamer 2 for 5

Caden Thelen 6 for 11

Marc Nobis 1 for 26

Baron Seal 2 for 8

Branson Goodman 6 for 35

Portland Receiving Totals:

Chris Battley 6 for 121 yards 1 TD

Drew Miller 3 for 13

Caden Thelen 1 for 55 1 TD

Portland Passing Totals:

Marc Nobis 10 for 18 for 196 yards 2 TD's 1 INT

Portland Defensive Totals:

Reice Thelen 8 tackles

Conner Kazamer 6 tackles

Caden Thelen 3 tackles and one interception

Portland improves to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the CAAC White.

Up next, the Raiders travel to Charlotte. The Orioles are 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the CAAC White.

According to the MHSAA, here are the current Capital Area Activities Conference-White standings.

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

Charlotte 3-0 5-0

Portland 3-0 4-1

Lansing Catholic 2-1 2-3

Lansing Sexton 1-2 2-3

Ionia 0-3 1-4

Eaton Rapids 0-3 0-5


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