Football

Portland 2-point gamble pays off in win over L. Catholic

Portland's Logan Lefke snags a fourth quarter pass and runs in for a TD against Lansing Catholic on Friday, September 16, 2016 at Portland. Portland won 36-35 on a risky two-point conversion when QB Austin Allison pitched to RB Gabe Schrauben who ran in for the two-point play.

Portland’s Logan Lefke snags a fourth quarter pass and runs in for a TD against Lansing Catholic on Friday, September 16, 2016 at Portland. Portland won 36-35 on a risky two-point conversion when QB Austin Allison pitched to RB Gabe Schrauben who ran in for the two-point play.

PORTLAND – Gabe Schrauben wasn’t going to be denied.

In a game that featured plenty of highs and lows for him, Schrauben wanted to end it on a positive note.

And the senior did just that.

Schrauben scampered to the end zone for a 2-point conversion with 25 seconds remaining to lift Division 5 No. 8-ranked Portland to a 36-35 victory over No. 3-ranked Lansing Catholic in Friday’s key CAAC White matchup.

“I had to get it done,” Schrauben said. “I had to do it. There wasn’t an idea going through my head that I couldn’t. I had to.”

Schrauben hoped the Raiders wouldn’t go for an extra point after Kollin Carl caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Austin Allison to narrow their deficit to one.

And with the trouble Portland had stopping Lansing Catholic’s offense most of the night, coach John Novara made the call to go for the win.

“I didn’t want to get into an overtime situation with them, so we decided to go for two,” Novara said. “I think our kids executed well. Our fullback, who had been out for a few series with a cramping issue, ran hard and got into the end zone.

“If you remember last year, they stopped us on a toss trying to go in when it was 21-14 (in the playoffs) so it was kind of scary calling the toss again. But that was one of our best plays tonight.”

And teammates sensed a confidence that Schrauben was going to get the job done.

“I told Gabe, no matter what happens, I’ll still love him forever,” Carl said. “He told me he was going to get it done for us, and he did. He did everything he could.

“I knew there was no stopping him. He’s an animal.”

Austin Allison threw three touchdown passes – two to Logan Lefke – and Schrauben had a pair of touchdown runs to help the Raiders (4-0, 2-0 CAAC White) win their 13th consecutive regular season game and take a big step toward winning a second straight league title.

Michael Lynn III threw four touchdown passes – all to Konnor Maloney – and rushed for a score for Lansing Catholic (3-1, 1-1) in what was a back and forth contest.

The Cougars never trailed until the final minute, which was their first regular-season setback since falling to Portland last September. Lansing Catholic had a chance to go ahead two scores late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t convert despite getting 23 yards away from the end zone.

Portland drove 77 yards in under two minutes to give itself a shot for the win and converted in the clutch to remain unbeaten.

“It was a great game, two great teams,” Lansing Catholic coach Jim Ahern said. “They are really good. I don’t think people gave us much credit to even be in it, and we had a chance to win it.

“We just made some mistakes that turned out to be really costly. When you play really good teams, that’s what happens. One or two really key mistakes is the difference in the game.”

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

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