Last Friday, the Portland Raiders held off a furious comeback attempt by Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and hung on for a 29-27 win, improving to 7-1 on the year.
“Well I really feel like our last two games are playoff type games, playing a great Pontiac Notre Dame Prep team that is well coached and already in the playoffs, and it just felt like a playoff game atmosphere here.” Said long time Portland coach John Novara.
The Raiders locked up their third straight CAAC White title this season, but this has been a team that has steadily improved as the postseason approaches, especially in the trenches.
“We played Williamston and that’s kind of where the turning point was.” Said Raiders senior RB Brock Gross. “We didn’t block that great, then we brought it to Fowlerville and we just saw we had great blocking that game, wanted to continue and we knew that’s where we wanted to be at, not where we wanted to stop, but we wanted to keep growing from that game and keep learning and we have definitely done that.” He continued.
As Portland looks towards Marshall on Friday, and a looming pre-district matchup, the belief is strong that the Raiders can make their deepest postseason run since 2012, which ended with Portland winning the Division 5 State Championship.
“If you look at us in the first three weeks we weren’t a very good football team but something changed in them and we’re playing really good football the last five weeks.” Concluded Novara.
When asked if Portland has a “anytime, anyone any place mentality” Gross replied: “It doesn’t matter when we’re just gonna take it on one game at a time and it doesn’t matter who it is but were just gonna get it over with. I believe that we’re gonna win this year and hopefully come out on top. “
Congratulations to the Portland Raiders, our 6 Sports Team of the Week.