Friday Night Frenzy Game of the Week: Portland handles Charlotte; clinches share of CAAC White

Raiders improve to 5-0 all-time against the Orioles.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - As long as the Portland Raiders have been members of the CAAC White conference, it largely has a say as to who is the conference champion at the end of the season.

That rung true again on Friday in a conference clash, as the Raiders handed the resurgent Charlotte Orioles its first loss of the season 40-13, clinching at least a share of the league title.

“It’s our goal every season, you know to win a league title,” head coach Jon Novara said of his team. “I’m proud of our kids tonight, you know like I said, they had a great week of practice and that really made a big difference to start the game.”

Senior tailback Drew Miller has come up big time and time again for Novara’s club and did that again Friday.

Miller tallied two first-half rushing touchdowns and then after Charlotte’s Braden Hill cut the Raider deficit to ten with an electric 80-yard score, Miller responded with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to deliver the knockout blow.

Miller finished the night with an enormous stat line: 23 carries for 205 yards and four touchdowns.

“I always like the coaches putting the ball in my hands when the game is on the line,” Miller said. “I always feel confident that I can get the job done and I enjoy that part knowing my coaches have trust in me that I can do that.”

The Raiders move to 5-1 on the year and have a chance to win the league outright next week against the team that did it a season ago: the Cougars from Lansing Catholic.

“Last year we fell short of that [winning the league outright] against Lansing Catholic,” Miller said of next week’s matchup. “So we’ll be looking to go at them next week and making sure we control it.”

As for Charlotte, which falls to 5-1, it’s a team that certainly has the respect from Novara and Portland.

“They got a lot of good players and are gonna make some noise in the playoffs,” Novara said. “They’re definitely up and coming. They’re gonna be a force in this league for a very long time.”

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