WEST PORTSMOUTH — Zero was the magic number for the Portsmouth West Senators on Friday.
For the third time this season, the West defense pitched a shutout — defeating visiting Columbus Academy 21-0 in a Division V, Region 19 quarterfinal on their home field.
Speaking of their home turf, the Senators (11-1) improved their unbeaten mark at ‘The Rock’ to 8-0 this season while earning their 11th straight victory.
West’s defense allowed just 78 total yards and five first downs by the Vikings’ offense over the course of the contest.
Their other two shutouts came in week three versus Adena (41-0) and in week nine at Oak Hill (33-0).
“Coach (Ted) Newsome put together a great gameplan to deal with the different formations and plays they run,” West head coach Todd Gilliland said, after the game. “We didn’t see a lot of them that we saw on film, but the goal on defense is everyone doing their job. If we make our fence, play our coverages right, we’ve played really well defensively. And get a lot of hats to the ball and tackle. Minus about one drive, we did a really good job of that.”
Whether it was the pass or the run, West’s defense made shutdown plays all game.
The Senators intercepted CA quarterback Cole Spalding three times — two by junior Cole Tipton and another by senior Brandon Anderson.
“Cole’s been a great DB for us all year. Brandon’s kind of the unsung leader of our defense — he gets us in a lot of sets and formations on the back end,” Gilliland said. “They played great tonight.”
Senior linebacker Ryan Sissel was the team’s leading tackler (11 tackles), as well as their leading rusher (29 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown).
Sophomore defensive lineman Kade Woods had a team-high two tackles for loss, as the entire West defensive front surrendered just 18 total yards rushing.
“Those guys work their tails off every week. Kade’s played great for us up front along with Cole Windsor, stuck him down there in week ten to play nose guard. Jack Jordan on defensive line as well,” Gilliland said, “Second half we were able to throw some fresh guys in Ashton Reynolds and Logan Hurst in the game and they made some plays.”
West’s offense found the end zone for the first time with 7:26 left in the second quarter, when senior quarterback Mitchell Irwin carried a quarterback sneak across the goal line.
They would score once more before halftime — thanks to a big play by junior Trevor Fike on a Vikings punt attempt.
Fike tackled CA’s punter well behind the line of scrimmage after a low snap that he was unable to corral, setting West up at the Vikings’ 38-yard line with 47 seconds left before half.
“Trevor’s a work horse, he’s all over the field at all times. That was huge at that moment to get us the ball and we were able to get the ball right before half,” Gilliland said.
On the sixth play of the drive before halftime, junior wide receiver Jeffery Bishop caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Irwin to put the Senators ahead 14-0 — following Carson Malnar’s made extra point.
Sissel saw the majority of West’s touches in the second half, finding the end zone from one-yard out with 7:56 left to put them ahead 21-0.
The West offense dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 31:41 as opposed to Columbus Academy’s 16:19.
“That score right before the half maybe took Columbus Academy out of their gameplan a little bit, forced them to try and throw the ball a little more than maybe they wanted to,” Gilliland said. “All week we had kind of talked that first half we wanted to keep it balanced, and in the second half those short gains turned into seven and eight-yard runs. That was what we knew we’d have to do, especially when we got up 14.”
As the No. 5 seed in the Region 19 rankings, West’s next test lies in the semifinals with the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 team in the Division V AP poll, and the undefeated Ohio Valley Conference champion Ironton Fighting Tigers (12-0).
The matchup between the SOC II and OVC champs will be played on Friday, Nov. 11 at Portsmouth High School’s Trojan Coliseum.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The programs last met in 2005 — a 27-13 Ironton win at West in week seven.
“We’re excited about it, getting to continue in the playoffs,” Gilliland said. “We know Ironton’s a really good team. We’re going to have to prepare really hard, get the guys mentally and physically ready and be ready to battle. It’ll be a challenge, but I think our guys are up for it.”
Columbus Academy 0 0 0 0 — 0
Portsmouth West 0 14 0 7 — 21
W — Mitchell Irwin, 1-yard run (Carson Malnar XP good); 7-0 W 7:26 2Q
W — Jeffery Bishop, 19-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar XP good); 14-0 W :03 2Q
W — Ryan Sissel, 1—yard run (Carson Malnar XP good); 21-0 W 7:56 4Q
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||78 (60-18)||286 (120-166)|
|Penalties||2 for 10 yards||3 for 30 yards|
|Time of Possession||16:19||31:41|
Passing: Cole Spalding (CA) 9/22 60 yards, 3INT; Mitchell Irwin (W) 8/17 120 yards, TD, 2INT
Rushing: Jake Calodney (CA) 7-30, Cole Spalding (CA) 6-9, Greyson Thomas (CA) 3-2, Mikey Jauchius (CA) 1-(-2); Ryan Sissel (W) 29-131 TD, Hayden Lore (W) 5-13, Mitchell Irwin (W) 6-11 TD, Jeffery Bishop (W) 5-14
Receiving: Emmanuel Jenkins (CA) 3-21, Justin Alpert (CA) 2-16, Rex Whitney (CA) 3-8, Dylan Ritzenthaler (CA) 1-15; Jeffery Bishop (W) 3-40 TD, Ryan Sissel (W) 2-46, Brandon Barfield (W) 1-18, Cole Tipton (W) 2-16
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