SOUTH POINT — It was just too much Taylyn Parker.
The South Point Pointers led 14-12 at the half before Parker scored three second half touchdowns to rally the Portsmouth Trojans to a 40-20 Ohio Valley Conference win on Friday.
Parker ran 30 times for 323 yards and five touchdowns as the Trojans improved to 6-3 and 4-2 in the OVC. Parker is just shy of 1,200 yards on the season.
“I’m 42 years old and I’ve coached Portsmouth football for 42 years, and in my lifetime, we’ve never had a freshman running back eclipse the 1,000-yard mark,” Trojans head coach Aaron Duncan said. ” … I would think it’s a record. I don’t know how far back the annuals go but in my lifetime, he’s the first freshman running back to go over 1,000 yards.
“He hasn’t been fully healthy this year and he’s only 14 years old, and for him to accomplish that last night was amazing. And he’s just so humble, whenever you give him praise and accolades, he just smiles and his motto is ‘well done is better than well said.’”
South Point (0-9, 0-6) stayed in the game behind the running of Owen Chafin and John Kuhn. Chafin finished with 132 yards on 22 carries and a score while Kuhn had 94 yards on just six carries and two touchdowns.
The Pointers had 250 total yards with 225 coming on the ground.
Portsmouth finished with 365 total yards including 315 on the ground. Luke Purdy was 3-of-7 passing for 50 yards and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, Parker got free on a 39-yard run for a 6-0 lead.
But Kuhn bolted 73 yards for a touchdown and Drew Smith’s conversion kick put the Pointers ahead 7-6.
Parker came back with a 36-yard touchdown run and a 12-7 lead only to have Chafin answer with a 53-yard gallop and Smith’s kick put the Pointers up 14-12 at the half.
Parker came out and had touchdown runs of 48 and 45 yards in the third quarter to take a 26-14 lead.
Parker’s 32-yard run with 7:25 to play opened up a 32-14 lead.
Kuhn got his second score on an 11-yard run as the Pointers cut the deficit to 32-20 with 6:16 left.
But Purdy’s 27-yard scoring pass to Parker Johnson with 3:05 on the clock and D.J. Pearsall’s conversion run settled the outcome.
With the victory, the Trojans guaranteed themselves a winning season for the first time since Trojan Coliseum was built. It’s only the second winning season since the 2004 campaign.
“It’s big and speaks volume’s for this senior class for getting ourselves back on the winning track and guarantying ourselves a winning season,” Duncan said. “Hopefully this jump starts our program in the right direction.”
Portsmouth will return home Friday for a rivalry game against the Ironton Fighting Tigers.
“It’s Ironton, it’s the third longest standing rivalry in the state of Ohio,” Duncan said. “We have a great amount of respect for Ironton’s program. It’s the biggest rivalry on our schedule. I think we’ve played Ironton for over 100 years. It’s definitely a game our kids will get up for and 7-3 sounds better than 6-4.”
Jim Walker of the Ironton Tribune contributed to this report
Portsmouth — Parker 39 yd run (Kick failed)
South Point — Kuhn 73 yd run (Smith kick)
Portsmouth — Parker 36 yd run (Conversion failed)
South Point — Chafin 53 yd run (Smith kick)
Portsmouth — Parker 48 yd run (Conversion failed)
Portsmouth — Parker 45 yd run (Conversion good)
Portsmouth — Parker 32 yd run (Conversion failed)
South Point — Kuhn 11 yd run (Conversion failed)
Portsmouth — Johnson 27 yd pass from Purdy (Conversion good)
Rushing — Portsmouth: Parker 30-323, Pearsall 1-11, Wedebrook 1-2, Lansing 1-(-1), Purdy 8-(-20); South Point: Chafin 22-132, Kuhn 6-94, Sloan 2-3, Whitt 1-2.
Passing — Portsmouth: Purdy 3-7-50; South Point: Jackson 1-5
Receiving — Portsmouth: Johnson 1-27, Williams 1-12, Parker 1-3; South Point: Adams 1-25
South Point 0-9 (0-6); Portsmouth 6-3 (4-2).