Prep football: Portland rolls to victory with big first half

Prep football: Portland rolls to victory with big first half

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Prep football: Portland rolls to victory with big first half

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PORTLAND

Portland scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions to advance to its Division 5 district title game with a dominating 48-6 victory over Leslie on Friday night.

Sam Goodman and Caleb Hickling each scored twice to lead the Raiders, who set a school record for points scored in a playoff game in their 17th postseason contest.

“I thought we were really sharp,” Portland coach John Novara said. “We had to make a couple of defensive adjustments early, but our offense was clicking tonight.”

Goodman rushed for 126 yards on 15 carries and Hickling gained 87 yards on seven rushes for the Raiders.

It was Leslie’s first visit to Portland since both were members of the old Ingham County League in the early 1990s.

Leslie played without the services of injured starting quarterback Joey Kobus and saw its leading rusher and best defensive player, Gregg Davis, go down on the first play of the game.

“No excuses,” Blackhawks coach Scott Farley said. “The other guys come to practice, too. I’m proud of our guys.”

Logan Seal, Jacob Kimmell and Andrew Click also found the end zone for the Raiders, who opened the scoring with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Allison to Goodman on fourth down to take a 7-0 lead with 6:21 left in the first quarter.

The Blackhawks answered with a 13-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped off with a 7-yard TD pass from Josh Hayes to John Baughan on the second play of the second quarter, but the two-point conversion attempt failed.

Portland blew the game open in the second quarter, as the Raiders scored five touchdowns and had another called back on a penalty.

Seal took a swing pass from Allison down the sideline 45 yards for a touchdown with 10:37 left in the second, and then picked off a pass and ran it back 40 yards down the same sideline for what looked like a pick-6, but a holding penalty on the return negated the score.

Goodman scored two plays later on a 35-yard run that made it 21-6.

Hickling scored the next two times Portland had the ball, taking the Raiders’ next snap 50 yards for a touchdown, and then breaking free for 49 yards to set up a 4-yard TD plunge that stretched the lead to 34-6 with 3:23 left in the half.

Seal picked off his second pass on a twice-tipped ball two plays later, and Allison found Kimmell on a 3-yard TD pass with 36.8 seconds left to give the Raiders a 41-6 lead at the half.

Click capped off a 6-play, 65-yard Portland scoring drive on its first possession of the third quarter with a 21-yard TD run that made the final score 48-6.

Novara said that speed was the key to his team’s near-perfect performance on defense.

“We’re different this year,” he said. “We’re smaller but we’re quicker, and it’s fun to see kids fly around to get to the football. They did a good job tonight.”

Portland will look to win its first-ever district title next week at home against Olivet, which upset defending state runner-up Lansing Catholic 28-14.

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