“I am very proud of the way our team came out and played tonight,” said Shaffer “We executed our offense and jumped out to an early lead only to have bad breaks. But our guys stuck to the gameplan and we battled back.”
The Senators struck first before a packed crowd at the Coliseum. West marched down the field and a 24-yard scamper by Kyle Auger put the Senators up 6-0. The Senators followed the score with an onside kick, which was jumped on by the West at the Trojans 24-yard line. West was looking to take control early, but those plans were derailed when the Senators fumbled the ball while attempting to punch it into the endzone. The ball bounced into the hands of Portsmouth senior Zaide Whitley, who raced 99 yards the other way for 6.
“We had opportunities tonight” said Portsmouth head coach Curt Clifford, “We capitalized on few but missed way too many.”
The following kickoff by the Trojans saw another bounce go their way when they forced and recovered a Senator fumble on the kick return. Five plays later the Trojans cashed in with a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Mason Jordan.
From there, however, the West ground attack took charge and ate up clock and yards.
“We didn’t get very many possessions” Clifford said, “We knew they had a big experienced line and we had guys much smaller but give the kids credit they got in there and threw their bodies at them.”
West would strike again before the half ended as senior quarterback Levi Ratliff made a few cuts and found the hole to pay dirt.
“Our line is what helped make the difference for us tonight as they opened up big holes for our backs” Shaffer said.
The second half saw much more of the West ground game as they controlled most of the clock and possessions. For the game, West ran 67 plays to Portsmouth’s 36.
West played the second half without first half workhorse Kyle Auger, who had 20 carries in the first half. Picking up the slack was Adam Bricker and the stable of other backs.
“We all lean off of each other and if one goes down we pick up where they left off. Up front the hogs provided a great push and great holes for us to run through” said senior Adam Bricker, “When Kyle went down we moved some people in and out and just lined it up and played smashmouth football.”
Ratliff and Bricker would both find the endzone in the fourth quarter with Bricker’s coming from 32 yards out on his twentieth carry.
For the Senators, they improve to 2-0 and play host to South Point (1-1). Meanwhile, the Trojans fall to 0-2 and will be home again next week versus rival Wheelersburg (1-1).
West 6 7 0 13 – 26
Portsmouth 13 0 0 0 – 13
W – Auger 24 yd run (PAT missed)
P – Whitley 99 yd fumble return (Whitley PAT)
P – Jordan 1 yd run (2pt failed)
W – Ratliff 31 yd run (Morgan PAT)
W – Ratliff 7 yd run (Morgan PAT)
W – Bricker 32 yd run (PAT missed)
Passing – P - Jordan 8-20 108 0 3; W - Ratliff 0-3 0 0 0.
Rushing – P - Jordan 9-1, Whitley 3-4, Edwards 3-16, Evans 1-8; W – Auger 20-127, Bricker 20-102, Ratliff 12-45, Crace 7-35, Summers 7-38, Meeker 1-8.
Receiving – P - Evans 1-15, Adams 2-27, Whitley 4-61, Albrecht 1-5.
Totals – P – 137 (29 rush, 108 pass), W – 355 (355 rush, 0 pass).