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Historic win over Portage propels Ferndale to the 1A Semi-final (Includes Video Highlight Reel)

Written by: on Sunday, November 12th, 2017


Ferndale and Portage battled all night long, with the Yellow Jackets coming out on top

“We haven’t beat Portage in thirteen years. Gary Gouse over there at Portage, he runs a superb program there year in and year out. If you get an opportunity to play them twice in one year, that’s a priveledge, for us to come here and get the win at their place, in a playoff, that’s when it counts the most” said Ferndale Yellow Jacket head coach Don Robertson. In a 42-15 loss to Portage earlier in the year, the Jackets were shut out in the second half while Mustang running backs Zach Wiggins and Tommy Randazzo ran all over the Ferndale defense. Last night in Portage, the Yellow Jackets returned the favor, shutting down the prolific Mustang running duo and held on for a 14-12 win. ”

Knowing how they lost in their first match with the Mustangs, receiver Nate Pudliner and quarterback Hunter Kinsey went right to work. “Three weeks ago we didn’t get it done, we just had to come out and prove we could do it” said the senior receiver. On the first offensive series of the night for Ferndale, Kinsey got things rolling quickly. He missed on his first throw of the night, but the second one found Anthony Ribbet for 25 yards to the 49.  The Mustangs appeared to stop their drive but Kinsey was hit late as he delivered a pass on third down extending the drive. It cost the Mustangs as, several plays later, Kinsey found Pudliner for a 32 yard score. They didn’t get the 2 pointer, but led 6-0 with 4:54 left in the first.


The Mustangs answered right back. Tommy Randazzo carried the ball 4 times on the next Portage drive. The carries went for 25, 11, 32 then finally a 3 yard score to tie it at 6 with 3:12 remaining in the game. They too, missed on their extra point try.


The next few possessions were basically a battle of field possession that Ferndale eventually won. Portage delivered an errant punt that gave the Jackets the ball on the Mustang 25. Kinsey carried three times for 20 yards, then found Brennan Mitchell on the right side for the score. Kinsey then took the ball in himself for the 2 point conversion making it 14-6 with 4:30 left in the half.  Before this reporter finished entering the score on his sheet, Portage struck back. Randazzo ripped off a 30 yard run, then Wiggins tore off a 38 yard td run to make it 14-12 just before the break.

“I knew our coaches put in a great game plan, we had a great week of practice, and our kids went out and executed it. We had to make some changes at halftime, the Randazzo kid was running all over us in the first half” said Yellow Jacket coach Robertson. Those changes worked as Ferndale shut down the Mustang offense for the second half. “Hats off to them” said Gary Gouse. “They played a great game. It’s just tough, this was a special group of kids I coached this year, my best group ever. Great leaders on the team, in the community, in the school.”

Ferndale moves on to play at Homer-Center next Friday at 7pm



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