Trojans take down Hornets in shootout


COAL GROVE — For the second consecutive meeting at Coal Grove’s Patterson Field, the Portsmouth Trojans tangled with the Coal Grove Hornets in an Ohio Valley Conference football shootout.

Only this time on Friday night, the Trojans triumphed —as Portsmouth senior quarterback Tyler Duncan stung the previously-undefeated Hornets to the tune of 300 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Individually, Duncan outdueled Coal Grove star running back Chase Hall, as the Trojans twice rallied from deficits to capture a thrilling 43-42 victory —and remain right behind undefeateds Ironton (6-0, 3-0 OVC) and Gallia Academy (6-0, 3-0 OVC) in the OVC championship chase.

Two years ago, in an original epic shootout, the host Hornets prevailed 66-63 over Portsmouth —although Friday’s sequel ending was almost as good.

As part of a 33-point fourth quarter combined by the two clubs, the Trojans trailed 30-28 only six seconds into the frame, but went back ahead 36-30 only three minutes later — on a Brenden Truett touchdown run of six yards, AND a Duncan two-point conversion run.

A minute and 15 seconds later, at the 7:42 mark of the fourth, the Hornets forged the 36-36 tie — but less than three minutes after that, Duncan completed his third and final TD toss to his cousin Jayden Duncan.

This one was from five yards out with 4:50 remaining, and with Zach Roth’s fifth and final extra-point kick, the Trojans took a 43-36 lead.

Two minutes later, Hall had his fifth and final rushing touchdown on a three-yard plunge, but like following his previous two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a Hornets’ two-point conversion run failed.

Indeed, every single solitary point mattered.

Hall was stuffed and stopped short on the last two, as he had two other two-point runs which succeeded —plus the initial Hornet two-point run by Steven Simpson.

However, the Hornets got the ball back one last time, trailing 43-42 —as the Trojans couldn’t run the clock out and were forced to punt, which was in fact the only punt attempt of the entire game.

Coal Grove got the ball back at its own 14-yard-line with 46 seconds remaining, and benefited from a pass-interference penalty — which placed the ball at the Hornet 40.

But on the game’s final play, the Trojans’ T.J. Debord sacked Coal Grove quarterback Whyatt Mannon —thus sealing Portsmouth’s win, and raising the Trojans’ records to 3-3 and 2-1 in the OVC.

The Hornets, meanwhile, fell to 5-1 —as they are also now 2-1 in the conference.

As the Hornets hit up for 42 points, Hall had 40 of them —on the two two-point runs, touchdown runs of nine, six, 22, 33 and finally three yards, and an 85-yard kickoff return to the house which answered the Trojans’ third TD and made it 21-16 with his first two-point trip.

His other followed his six-yard run, which got the Hornets to within 28-24 —and was the only points of the entire third period for either squad.

The Hornets then went ahead by two points (30-28) only six seconds into the fourth frame, following Hall’s 22-yard TD sprint —giving Coal Grove its first lead since the first quarter, when Hall had his nine-yard score and Simpson ran in the extra points.

Hall’s 33-yard TD jaunt later tied the game for the only time, as he had a massive 279 yards on his 33 carries for the run-heavy Hornets — while Simpson chipped in 86 yards on nine attempts.

Hall also caught a pass from Mannon, who had as many completions (three) as he did interceptions (three) —on a dozen total throws.

Speaking of throwing, Tyler Duncan, Jayden Duncan and the rest of the Trojans did just that.

Duncan completed 19-of-26 passes for an even 300 yards and four scores, three of which went to Jayden Duncan — who made seven receptions for 150 yards.

Nolan Heiland had 84 yards on five catches — as Jayden Duncan’s 15-yard TD reception, Reade Pendleton’s 23-yard TD reception, and Beau Hammond’s one-yard dive capped 21 consecutive Portsmouth points over a span of one full quarter.

Roth, of course, kicked all three extra points —plus he did after Jayden Duncan’s other two touchdown catches, the first of which covered 38 yards and gave the Trojans a 28-16 halftime lead.

Tyler Duncan added 61 rushing yards on 11 carries, as Hammond had eight for 20 and Truett five for 24.

The Trojans return to the road, and return to OVC action, on Friday night at Chesapeake.

* * *

Portsmouth 14 14 0 15 —43

Coal Grove 8 8 8 18 — 42

CG — Chase Hall, 9-yard run (Steven Simpson run), 7:52, 1st (8-0 CG)

P — Jayden Duncan, 15-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth kick), 4:20, 1st (8-7 CG)

P —Reade Pendleton, 23-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth kick), 1:47, 1st (14-8 P)

P —Beau Hammond, 1-yard run (Zach Roth kick), 8:34, 2nd (21-8 P)

CG —Chase Hall, 85-yard kickoff return (Chase Hall run), 8:21, 2nd (21-16 P)

P —Jayden Duncan, 38-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth kick), 5:18, 2nd (28-16 P)

CG — Chase Hall, 6-yard run (Chase Hall run), 4:43, 3rd (28-24 P)

CG — Chase Hall, 22-yard run (run failed), 11:54, 4th (30-28 CG)

P — Brenden Truett, 6-yard run (Tyler Duncan run), 8:57, 4th (36-30 P)

CG — Chase Hall, 33-yard run (run failed), 7:42, 4th (36-36 tie)

P — Jayden Duncan, 5-yard pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth kick), 4:50, 4th (43-36 P)

CG — Chase Hall, 3-yard run (run failed), 2:48, 4th (43-42 P)

Team Statistics


First downs 19 21

Scrimmage plays 53 58

Rushes-yards 27-124 46-361

Passing yards 300 31

Total yards 424 392

Cmp-Att-Int. 19-26-0 3-12-3

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0

Penalties (No.-Yards) 7-81 3-13

Punts-Ave. 1-27 0-0


Individual Leaders

RUSHING Portsmouth: Tyler Duncan 11-61, Brenden Truett 5-24 TD, Beau Hammond 8-20 TD, Nolan Heiland 2-17, Reade Pendleton 1-2; Coal Grove: Chase Hall 33-279 5TD, Steven Simpson 9-86, Gavin Gipson 1-2, Whyatt Mannon 1-(-3), Kaden Murphy 2-(-3)

PASSINGPortsmouth: Tyler Duncan 19-26-0-300 4TD; Coal Grove: Whyatt Mannon 3-12-3-31

RECEIVINGPortsmouth: Jayden Duncan 7-150 3TD, Nolan Heiland 5-84; Coal Grove: Gavin Gipson 1-14, Kaden Murphy 1-11, Chase Hall 1-6

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