Portland and West Catholic were a part of some thrilling playoff contests in the 2010s. It was only fitting that these two would play once again to start the 2020s. This contest was a phenomenal football game, and late touchdowns by Portland lifted the Raiders to a 28-21 victory.

In the first quarter, both teams matched each other on the scoreboard. Noah Arsulowicz kept the football and barreled across the goal line from a yard out. Before the quarter ended, Haden Getchell broke off an eighty-three yard touchdown to even the score at seven.

Portland would score the only touchdown in the second quarter, giving the Raiders a 14-7 edge heading into the locker room. Reis Phillips was able to breakaway from the West Catholic defense to cover twenty-one yards on his way to the end zone.

West Catholic evened the score with the lone touchdown in the third quarter of play. Tim Kloska powered across the goal line with a one-yard touchdown.

Just nineteen seconds into the final quarter, the Falcons took the lead back. Noah Arsulowicz used his legs once again and scored from five yards out to put the Falcons ahead by seven. Five minutes later, Haden Getchell was back in the end zone for Portland. This sixteen-yard score evened the game at 21.

With 2:12 to play, Portland took the lead. Trent Trierweiler rattled off an eighteen-yard touchdown run that gave the Raiders a 28-21 lead that they would not relinquish.

West Catholic had a balanced offensive approach in this game. Arsulowicz was 13/17 for 120 yards through the air, and he added ten yards and two rushing touchdowns on ten carries. Tim Kloska had 28 carries, but he was limited to just 118 yards.

Portland was able to assert their presence on the ground. The Raiders rushed 41 times for 306 yards. Haden Getchell led the way with 177 yards and two touchdowns on sixteen carries. Reis Phillips added sixty-nine yards, Caden Galey added thirty-six and Trent Trierweiler chipped in twenty-four, nearly all of which came on the game-winning touchdown.

Next week, the Raiders will hit the road to face off against Grand Rapids Catholic Central. The Cougars, the defending Division 4 State Champions, now playing in Division 5, rolled Belding 41-6 on Friday night. The Cougars enter next week’s district championship on a nineteen-game win streak.