PORTSMOUTH — Gallia Academy junior kicker Caleb Stout made his kick when it mattered most.
Despite missing two extra points over the course of the game, Stout’s 31-yard field goal with 9.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter pushed the Gallia Academy Blue Devils past host Portsmouth 36-34 at Trojan Coliseum on Friday night.
The go-ahead drive for the Blue Devils began on their own 45-yard line.
From there, the Gallia Academy offense needed just five plays to get within field goal range at the Portsmouth 14 — with just seconds until the final buzzer.
Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb called a timeout prior to Stout’s attempt, but the icing attempt proved unsuccessful — as Stout’s kick sailed through the uprights.
“He’s a lefty. We watched him go for it in warm-ups and we knew he was good for it,” Kalb said, following the game. “That’s why we went ahead and took the timeout to try and ice him, we saw them take the run to the right hash and knew they were going to go for it. We went out for a block and did as best we could, but that kid’s a pretty good kicker. Hat’s off to him.”
On the preceding drive, Portsmouth marched 68 yards in nine plays and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard pass from Tyler Duncan to Reade Pendleton, putting the Trojans ahead 34-33 with 54.6 seconds left.
Duncan finished the game 20-of-29 passing with three touchdowns through the air — and a team-high 86 rushing yards on 11 carries with a first-half touchdown on the ground.
Senior Nolan Heiland was the recipient of a 33-yard touchdown pass by Duncan, which gave the Trojans a 21-14 lead with 10:05 left in the third quarter.
Nearly a quarter later, after the Blue Devils tied the game at 21-all on Hudson Shamblin’s second of three touchdown runs, Heiland again showed his explosiveness.
The senior took a handoff from Duncan 64 yards from Trojan territory into the end zone, giving Portsmouth a 28-21 lead with 9:34 to go in the game.
“That’s something as we continue to settle in as an offense — finding out what guys fit and who’s going to play where — we felt like tonight was a good display of who we are,” Kalb said. “I thought Tyler did a good job of mixing it up with his legs, using the screens, going deep with Heiland, and as you saw, he’s an explosive athlete.”
Despite trailing for large portions of the second half and the game overall, Gallia Academy hung around.
Over the course of the game, there were five lead changes and two ties.
In the fourth quarter alone, there were three different lead changes — with the go-ahead kick by Stout being the final blow.
Brody Fellure’s 53-yard touchdown run brought the Blue Devils within one point at 28-27 with 6:22 remaining, following a missed extra point attempt by Stout.
On the Trojans’ next drive, Duncan was stripped and Gallia Academy recovered a called fumble that set the Blue Devils’ offense up at midfield trailing by one.
A conference among the officials awarded the ball to GA with 5:20 to play.
From there, Gallia Academy needed just four plays to travel 47 yards and into the end zone — as Shamblin’s 30-yard rushing touchdown with 3:32 to play gave his Blue Devils a 33-28 lead.
The play in which Duncan was ruled not down before fumbling was one of two bang-bang fumble calls in the fourth quarter.
On the Blue Devils’ final offensive drive that saw Stout’s go-ahead field goal, Fellure was ruled down by the officials on a quarterback run, despite a Portsmouth recovery of the ball.
Another sequence that required further interpretation was on a Portsmouth punt in the first quarter.
With Portsmouth leading 7-6, Duncan punted the ball to GA’s Kenyon Franklin, who struggled to corral the loose ball outside of the end zone — before lateraling it forward out of their own end zone, while being tackled by a Portsmouth punt team member.
The official ruling was that if a muffed punt travels into the end zone, the ball is awarded to the receiving team as a touchback.
Gallia Academy ultimately punted after being given the ball at its own 20-yard-line, but the ruling was still a confusing one.
So much so that a questioning Kalb was met on the field with the official’s rulebook — and the decision somewhat clarified.
“There was a few moments tonight that were huge momentum shifts. I was really proud of the way our kids refocused when they needed to. To get the ball back if we were on the defensive side of the ball. That’s something we talk a lot about, adversity comes in all forms,” Kalb said. “How you respond to that adversity defines who you are as a team, and I thought these guys responded in the best way possible.”
The victory gives Gallia Academy (5-0, 2-0 OVC) its fifth straight over the Trojans, as the last Portsmouth (2-3, 1-1 OVC) triumph over the Blue Devils came during the 2016 season.
Portsmouth travels to Coal Grove (5-0) in week six, looking to hand the unbeaten Hornets their first loss, while the Blue Devils will host Fairland (4-1) for their OVC home opener.
“Every week’s a battle. We’ve have some great battles with Gallia, even back in our SEOAL days. I knew tonight probably wouldn’t disappoint in that sense,” Kalb said. “They sting when you lay it all on the line and come up a little bit short, but I’ve got a wonderful group of seniors and staff who are going to get this team focused to take on the Hornets next week.”
Gallia Academy 6 8 7 15 — 36
Portsmouth 7 7 7 13 — 34
GA — Hudson Shamblin, 2-yard run (XP no good); 6-0 GA 8:22 1Q
P — Tyler Duncan, 1-yard run (Zach Roth XP good); 7-6 P 4:56 1Q
P — Beau Hammond, 14-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth XP good); 14-6 P 8:12 2Q
GA — Brody Fellure, 8-yard run (2-point try good); 14-14 13.3 2Q
P — Nolan Heiland, 33-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth XP good); 21-14 P 10:05 3Q
GA — Hudson Shamblin, 3-yard run (Caleb Stout XP good); 21-21 8:07 3Q
P — Nolan Heiland, 64-yard run (Zach Roth XP good); 28-21 P 9:34 4Q
GA — Brody Fellure, 53-yard run (XP no good); 28-27 P 6:22 4Q
GA — Hudson Shamblin, 30-yard run (2-point converson failed); 33-28 GA 3:32 4Q
P — Reade Pendleton, 1-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (2-point conversion failed); 34-33 P 54.6 4Q
GA — Caleb Stout, 31-yard FG; 36-34 GA 9.6 4Q
|Team stats||Gallia Academy||Portsmouth|
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||392 (170-222)||363 (197-166)|
|Time of Possession||27:23||20:37|
|Penalties||6 for 56 yards||5 for 46 yards|
Passing: Brody Fellure (GA) 10/18 170 INT; Tyler Duncan (P) 20/29 197 3TD, INT
Rushing: Brody Fellure (GA) 17-122 2TD, Cole Hines (GA) 5-23, Hudson Shamblin (GA) 26-63 3TD, Mason Skidmore (GA) 2-14; Tyler Duncan (P) 11-86 TD, Reade Pendleton (P) 2-2, Beau Hammond (P) 8-2, Nolan Heiland (P) 3-76 TD
Receiving: Kenyon Franklin (GA) 2-58, Mason Skidmore (GA) 1-15, Cole Hines (GA) 3-43 TD, Hudson Shamblin (GA) 2-22, Steven Davis (GA) 1-12, Joey Darnbrough 1-20; Jayden Duncan (P) 4-67, Beau Hammond (P) 4-18 TD, Reade Pendleton (P) 7-58 TD, Chase Heiland (P), 1-3, Nolan Heiland (P) 1-33 TD, Nathaniel Berry 1-6
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved