The Portola football team is mowing through the competition. The Tigers most recent victory took place April 9 at Portola High School during a triple-header.
PHS JV football received a challenge from Greenville varsity, then the up-and-coming flag football teams from PHS and Redding put on and exciting 20 minutes before the varsity match between the Redding Lions and the Portola Tigers took over the field.
The varsity Tigers won the match 35-0, although the game on the field played more like an even tussle than the score relays. In the end, Portola managed to make the plays that counted up on the scoreboard, but the Lions had the crowd guessing as they held the Tigers back for the better part of the first quarter.
The scoreboard stayed undisturbed until, with two minutes left in the quarter, senior Zach Mulhall rushed 1 yard over the goal line for Portola. Senior Shane Curren made a good kick to end the quarter 7-0 for PHS. In the second quarter, punts were forced as both teams took turns holding each other back through all four downs. Curren made a dramatic 80-yard rushing touchdown with two minutes remaining in the half, and followed with a good kick, to widen the Tiger lead to 14-0. With under a minute in the half, Curren intercepted the Lions pass on the Redding 42-yard line. Redding then made a fumble recovery on the PHS 47-yard line. PHS Tiger Michael Steward then intercepted another Redding pass to take possession on the Portola 15-yard line, but time ran out and the half ended with the Tigers in the lead, but it hadn’t been easy.
The second half of the game showed skill by the teams taking advantage of any shortcomings. Redding recovered a PHS fumble on the 50-yard line. A minute later, PHS senior James Sampson intercepted a Redding pass on the Lions 28-yard line. Mulhall rushed 5 yards to score with four minutes left in the quarter, 20-0. Curren landed another good kick, 21-0. Redding had to turn over possession over downs with two minutes left on the Redding 28-yard line. Senior PHS quarterback Dylan Gonsalves through a 28-yard pass to senior Owen Bowling who took the ball into the end zone to score for the Tigers, 27-0. Curren, consistent all night, landed a good kick, 28-0 thus ending the third quarter.
Senior Diogo Juarez got in on the Tiger action scoring a 6-yard TD, 34-0. Curren landed his fourth good kick of the evening with three minutes in the game, 35-0. Sampson made another interception on the Redding 29-yard line. The Lions picked up a fumble recovery with a single minute remaining in the fourth quarter on their own 30-yard line, but time ran out, with no score allowed in Portola for the Redding Christian Lions.
“I was very pleased with our performance last night,” said Portola head football coach Steve Heskett. “This group of young men play hard and physical from start to finish and as a coach you can’t ask for more than that!”
Tigers 21, Bulldogs 8
The Tigers brought home another victory from their away game last week, April 2, as they beat the Los Molinos Bulldogs on their home turf.
Tiger James Sampson was the first on the scoreboard receiving an 11-yard pass from PHS quarterback Dylan Gonsalves. Shane Curren provided a good kick for the extra point, 7-0. Only the Bulldogs scored in the second quarter with a TD and a successful 2-point conversion to take the lead 8-7, watch out Tigers. The Bulldogs held on to the lead through the third quarter but the Tigers defense successfully stopped Los Mo from increasing their 1-point advantage.
The fourth quarter showed a surge from the Tigers to maintain their undefeated status for 2021. Curren caught an 11-yard pass from Gonsalves to score, 13-8, regaining control for PHS. Tiger Owen Bowling cemented the win for Portola with the help of a 5-yard pass from Gonsalves. Switching things up a bit, Curren passed to Gonsalves for a successful 2-point conversion and the final 21-8 score.
Curren had 17 carries for 95 yards, senior Zach Mulhall made seven carries for 16 yards, and senior Diogo Juarez had two carries for 24 yards. Gonsalves had eight completions of 11 pass attempts for 127 yards, and two quarterback carries.
Bowling caught three passes for a total of 45 yards, junior Michael Stewart caught two passes for 41 yards, and Sampson caught two passes for 17 yards. Curren made a punt return of 13 yards to bring his total all purpose yards to 119 for the game.
Portola defensive line was led by Bowling, Juarez and senior Xander Loomis who each made 10 tackles. Senior Carver Wearin made eight, junior Miles Silva landed seven, and senior Rafa Silva, Xavier Avila and Mulhall all made five tackles each. Bowling and Silva picked up 26 yards with quarterback sacks! Nice work.