Game of the Week: Reigning D5 champs GR Catholic Central ends Portland’s season

Cougars flew championship muscle against Raiders.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:38 PM EST
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - For years now, Grand Rapids Catholic Central has been the program to beat both in Divisions 4 and 5.

After Portland took its 10-1 mark on the road to GRCC in the Regional title game, that sentiment remained true after the Cougars ended the Raiders season with a 42-19 win.

“We made a few mistakes tonight, but we lost to a great football team,” head coach John Novara said. “They’ve got a lot of good football players on their special teams and they just made some plays. So it just gives us a measuring stick at where we got to get to and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Portland made some untimely mistakes, but also had a few key opportunities they couldn’t take advantage of.

Down 21-19 midway through the third quarter, the Raiders defense had several third down opportunities, including a pivotal 4th-and-2 they could not come up with.

A few plays later, CC found the endzone to balloon its lead before catching Portland sleeping on an ensuing onside kick.

The Cougars pounced on the Raiders error and a few plays later put the game out of reach with another touchdown.

“Just little things that happened and they made the plays. They’ve got really good athletes and they’ve been doing this for a long time,” Novara said.

The Raiders finish their season 10-2 overall but will have to find a way to move on next season as an impactful senior class graduates.

“I’m really proud of our seniors. They put a lot of work in and a lot of time in,” Novara said. “They believed in what we were doing.”

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