PDT Sports Contributor
Portsmouth- The Portsmouth Trojans (3-6, 2-4) lost Friday night by a score of 34-7 as Coal Grove (5-4, 4-1) held both Cole Lowry and Austin Hollins in check for most of the night.
Coal Grove put the first points on the board after cashing in on a Hollins fumble deep within Portsmouth territory. Needing only one play, Tanner Henry would run the ball in for a 12-yard score. Again, the Hornets would find the end zone on the ground during the second quarter, this time with Jacob Clark finding a huge whole up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown.
Portsmouth would answer back, though, as on the next possession Lowry found Dylan Mullins for a 51-yard touchdown pass to the end zone. Portsmouth went into the half down 13-7, finding some success when they were spreading the field and Lowry was allowed to scramble. Their good fortune wouldn’t hold.
Whenever Portsmouth got into a rhythm, it seemed a flag would fly. Indeed, penalties were a big problem for both teams as the officials tallied a total of 35 penalties for 290 yards. “The officials may want to go home and ice their elbows,” joked Portsmouth Coach Aaron Duncan. He clarified, “There were a lot of flags during the game. It disrupted the flow of the game, but, to be fair much of the things happening out there were legitimate flags on both sides. They called a tight ball game, there were emotions on both sides of the ball and they managed to keep things tempered.”
The referees may have been keeping a tight lid on the officiating because of a play that happened in the 3rd quarter when Hornet’s defensive lineman Josh Waulk sacked Cole Lowry in a very unpleasant, very illegal method. This drew the ire from the crowd, and earned the Hornet’s sideline a warning. From then on it appeared as though the referees made a conscience choice to not allow any more bad sportsmanship.
Portsmouth failed to score in the second half. Lowry stopped finding room to scramble and Hollins wasn’t able to run as the Trojans were trying to catch up. The Hornets found the end zone three more times during the ball game, the last score coming on a one yard quarterback sneak from Matty Cordle after a series of three off sides penalties in a row on the one yard line.
“We started off with some turnovers, which has been a problem all year,” Duncan said. “Our kids fought and we went into the locker room only down a touchdown. In the second half they got into their brand of football, the power run and we sputtered.”
“We are 3-6, we are going to lick our wounds and come out and try to finish the season strong.”
The Trojans go on the road to Waverly next Friday. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Coal Grove- Tanner Henry 12-yard run. PAT good.
Coal Grove- Jacob Clark 50-yard run. PAT no good.
Portsmouth- Lowry 51-yard pass to Mullins. PAT good.
Coal Grove- Cordle 38-yard pass to Isaac Howard. PAT good.
Coal Grove- Henry six yard run. PAT good.
Coal Grove- Cordle one yard run. PAT good.