Zack Martinez attempts to stand up after completing a pass for Portola that left him on the ground. Photo by James Wilson
The crowd cheered on Portola’s varsity football team as the Tigers pulled off a stunning 29-26 victory against the Upper Lake Cougars last Friday, Sept. 14.
Portola started the game right by stopping all the drives Upper Lake made in the first quarter.
Portola’s Ricky Lowdermilk scored the first points of the game, running the ball in for a touchdown. The first quarter ended with the Tigers up 7-0.
Upper Lake came right back at the beginning of the second quarter. The Cougars scored a touchdown, but couldn’t convert for the extra point.
The Tigers countered Upper Lakes’ touchdown with one of their own, run in by Zack Martinez.
After the kickoff, Upper Lake failed to drive up the field and Portola obtained possession. The Tigers raced against the clock to score one more time. With a second left in the half, Portola’s Oscar Romero attempted a 45-yard field goal that bounced off the goal post. Portola was up 14-6 at the half.
A spirited dance-off between the two teams’ mascots entertained the crowds during half time. Both teams’ cheerleaders got into the mix as well, raising the crowds’ energy level.
At the beginning of the second half, The Tigers’ Michael Martinez caught a pass and ran the ball into the end zone for Portola’s third touchdown of the game. Portola subsequently ran in the two-point conversion, giving them a small cushion against Upper Lake.
Upper Lake responded by scoring its own touchdown with a two-point conversion.
Martinez ran in the Tigers’ last touchdown of the night, putting Portola up 29-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Upper Lake’s offense came back hard in the fourth quarter to score two touchdowns. Each time Upper Lake attempted two-point conversions and failed.
With less than a minute on the clock, Upper Lake attempted an onside kick. The attempt failed and Portola sat on the ball to run out the clock.
Portola will play Hamilton at home Friday, Sept. 21. The junior varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m.; the varsity will follow.