PDT Sports Editor
The Portsmouth Trojans lost to the Chillicothe Cavaliers 57-27 Friday night to close out their 2013 football campaign.
Making his sixth start of the year, Sky Oliver completed 16 passes on 24 attempts for 284 yards and three scores. Oliver also led the Trojans in rushing with 76 yards on 19 carries while adding a touchdown on the ground.
“He makes plays,” Portsmouth coach Jason Sparks said. “He’s going to get better, he’s had six games this year under his belt. He’ll come out, and compete in the spring and fall, and we’ll see what happens.”
Defensively, Portsmouth allowed 417 yards to Cavalier ball carriers with Markle Cain rushing for 194 yards on 20 attempts and three touchdowns to lead Chillicothe.
Despite the finish, Sparks was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We played hard, we played a better team tonight and our kids never quit,” Sparks said. “A few balls didn’t bounce our way and we didn’t take advantage of a few situations.
“I don’t want to take anything way from what these kids did, they played their hearts out. They never gave up, they got down on the scoreboard but they never gave up.”
The Trojans finish the season with a 3-7 record, which is two wins better than their 2012 campaign.
“(This season) a stepping stone, we want to get better every year,” Sparks said. “We now have a base line. We have something to build on, we’ve got to get better every day.”
Unlike last season’s 63-0 loss to the Cavaliers, Portsmouth challenged them in several areas.
On their second possession of the game, the Trojans broke a scoreless tie with an Oliver 35-yard touchdown run. In an empty set, Oliver ran a quarterback draw up the middle, slid to his right and broke a tackle on his way to the end zone.
“He’s an athlete, he just makes things happen,” Sparks said. “”If protection breaks down, he’s able to do stuff. If protection is good, he’s able to make reads.”
After Chillicothe tied the game, Oliver hooked up with Isiaha Lisath for a 47-yard touchdown to put Portsmouth on top by six after the missed extra point.
With the Cavaliers leading by a point, Oliver took the shotgun snap, rolled to his left and found the out stretched arms of Brandon Wedebrook in the back corner of the end zone to give the Trojans a 19-14 lead with 10:33 left before the intermission.
Chillicothe appeared to be heading to the break with a 28-19 lead, when the Cavaliers blocked a Zach DeLotell punt with seven seconds remaining to increase the lead to 35-19 at half.
With a 1:33 to play and the game no longer in doubt, Oliver threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Lattimore.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twitter @crslone.
Chillicothe 14 22 14 7 —57
Portsmouth 13 6 0 8 — 27
P— Oliver 35 run (DeLotell kick) 6:07
C— Vinson 26 pass from Mathis (Weber kick) 4:27
P- Ison 47 pass from Oliver (kick failed) 3:21
C— Cain 18 run (Weber kick) 0:57
P— Wedebrook 30 pass form Oliver (rush failed) 10:33
C— Cain 5 run (Weber kick) 10:00
C— Rosenbauer 7 run (Weber kick) 4:51
C— May 15 return (Cain rush) 0:07
C— Rosenbauer 1 run (Weber Kick) 6:01
C— Harris 24 run (Weber kick) 3:42
C— Cain run 8 (Weber kick) 4:41
P— Lattimore 45 pass from Oliver (TEAM pass from Oliver) 1:33
Team — Chillicothe Portsmouth
First downs — 19 17
Rush yds. — 417 126
Pass comp-att — 3-11-0 16-25-0
Pass yds. — 46 284
Fumbles-lost 0-1 1-1
Penalities-yds. 5-35 6-50
Passing — Chillicothe: Mathis 3-11-0 46 yards; Portsmouth: Oliver 16-24-0 284, Wedebrook 0-1-0 0.
Rushing — Chillicothe: Cain 20-194, Rosenbauer 16-120, Mathis 6-56, Harris 1-24, Shumaker 1-13, Farrar 2-9, Staggs 2-5, Hall 1-0, Beard 1-(-4); Portsmouth: Oliver 19-76, Charles 12-49, Rideout 1-1.
Receiving — Chillicothe: Vinson 1-26, Rosenbauer 1-16, Elliott 1-4; Portsmouth — Lisath 5-86, Wedebrook 5-84, Lattimore 3-75, Dickerson 3-26, Charles 1-13.