May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PREVIEW: It’s another PCL showdown as Portola hosts Northwood in battle for top spot

Sophomore Nova Kebeli was Portola’s MVP last week against University (Photo Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

It was just a couple weeks ago that Portola’s football team notched the biggest victory in school history, defeating Beckman 27-10 in the Pacific Coast League opener.

In the process, the Bulldogs, in only their second varsity season, gave notice to the rest of the league that they were for real and contenders for the league title.

Friday night, Portola has a chance to record yet another win, which would be the biggest in school history when it hosts Northwood at 7 p.m. Both teams are 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the PCL.

Last week, Northwood defeated Woodbridge 21-14 for its first win over the Warriors since 2012.

“Northwood is a well coached, physical team coming off of a big win against Woodbridge last week,” said Portola Coach Peter Abe. “(We) will need to play a more disciplined game Friday night, maintaining our physicality on the O/D line, while playing the ball better in the air. 

“Looking forward to a great week of practice and an exciting night on Friday. This is what high school football is all about… two teams down the street from each other battling over the top spot in the league.”

Abe praised the work of Northwood’s first year coach Paige Nobles.

 “Much respect for Coach Nobles for a great year thus far,” Abe said. “The Bulldogs continue to take things one day at a time… No looking ahead. Do the work, and give an admirable effort on the next play.

“Our young program has made some fantastic strides in 2019 toward re-establishing our standards for championship effort for future generations of Bulldogs to take note. “

Portola remained undefeated in league with a 46-14 victory over University (0-7, 0-2) Friday night at Uni.

Portola quarterback Brandon Yue completed 9 of 14 for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

As a team, Portola had 31 carries for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Nova Kebeli was the game MVP after rushing for 204 yards, Abe said.

“Defensively, we forced five turnovers, and Kaveh Wojtowich had tackles from the secondary (five solos, two assisted),” the coach said.

RELATED: Northwood QB Jaden Piazza leads team into showdown

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com