Big picture: The Lake Central football team led host Portage by four points when a lightning delay — that ended up being more than three hours — began Friday night, but Portage scored two touchdowns in the second half to come back and win 18-10 just after midnight Saturday. Run-heavy Portage completed only one pass, but overcame three lost fumbles by picking up a whopping six quarterback sacks, including three by junior Humberto Morales, on defense.
Turning point: With 11:30 to play in the game and at about 11:30 p.m., Portage faced fourth-and-goal from the 2 and called timeout. Quarterback Zack Warchus, a junior, then darted through the gaps to score a touchdown and give Portage a 12-10 lead about four hours after Portage had fallen behind 7-6 in the first quarter. With 3:47 to go, Warchus added a 72-yard scoring sprint.
Lake Central player of the game: Senior wide receiver Quincy Tribble - The inside receiver took advantage of a soft cushion to make seven catches for 71 yards and keep the chains moving. He had two third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion. Tribble also added five carries for 23 yards.
Portage player of the game: Warchus - In just his third varsity start, Warchus ran for 142 yards on 21 carries (6.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. “Zack’s got that speed, and he can do some things,” Portage coach Darren Rodriguez said. “He’s got some savviness, and he’s a tough kid who runs hard. I think he’s going to be good as he starts to learn more and more about the option and just seeing more and more scenarios.”
Quote: “It was rough. There were a couple of times where we got all ready and fired up, and then the buzzer went off again, and we had to go back in and cool off,” Portage quarterback Zack Warchus said of the multitude of lightning delays.
Beyond the box score: Portage has won five consecutive games against Lake Central.
Up next: Merrillville at Portage (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday; Lake Central (2-1) at Crown Point, 7 p.m. Friday.