The Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars are seeking their fourth straight State Championship. On Friday, they were home against Portland in the Regionals. A close game heading into the fourth quarter, the Cougars pulled away for a 42-19 victory.

In the first quarter, GRCC scored first. Connor Wolf and Michael App paired up for a 2-yard touchdown toss. The Raiders would rally back, with a Marc Nobis quarterback keeper. The 1-yard scamper brought Portland within a point, but a blocked kick left them down a point.

In the second quarter, the Cougars’ next score came on special teams. Billy Mikolay fielded a Raiders punt at his own 30 yard line. The return man made some great moves, caught some solid blocks, and he was off to the races. 70 yards later, Mikolay was in the end zone for a score.

Portland once again found a counter. This time, Nobis aired it out. He connected with Drew Miller for a 43-yard touchdown. Hoping to even up the score, the Raiders went for two. The pass fell incomplete, and they instead trailed 14-12.

Before the half, GRCC got one more score to add to their tally. Kellen Russell-Dixon hauled in a pass from Wolf, as the duo completed a 39-yard touchdown play. As a result, the Cougars led 21-12 heading into the locker room.

The only scoring play in the third quarter came from the Portland Raiders. Marc Nobis used his legs once again, bulldozing his way in from a yard out. A successful PAT kick allowed Portland to get within two points, 21-19, as the final frame began.

Just six seconds into the fourth, GRCC extended their advantage. Connor Wolf used his legs on an 8-yard keeper. Over the final ten minutes, Russell-Dixon and Wolf each returned to the end zone on short runs to give the Cougars a convincing victory.

Connor Wolf finished 7/12 passing for 74 yards in this game. He added 26 rushing yards, and finished with three total touchdowns. Kellen Russell-Dixon added 151 rushing yards on 22 carries.

Next week, Grand Rapids Catholic Central will participate in the semifinals. They will square off with either Gladwin or Oakridge, whomever captures the victory on Saturday afternoon.