LUCASVILLE — The Portsmouth Trojans broke a four-game losing streak against the Lucasville Valley Indians Thursday evening, defeating the Indians 32-12 to start the 2016 high school football season.
The non-conference game between the Trojans and Indians kicked-off the 2016 football season one day before most other area teams will take the field.
Portsmouth gained their first win against the Indians since the season-opening series began in 2012.
“We beat a good football program here (in Lucasville) today,” Portsmouth football coach Aaron Duncan said. “We’re trying hard to get our football program back at a top notch and this is a step in the right direction for our young men, to see that they can play with a team the caliber of Valley.”
Big plays and getting in an early hole cost the Indians, according to Valley football coach Darren Crabtree, but the coach was happy with the effort his team displayed on the field.
“We fought hard and we gave great effort, but just a little bit of lack of experience, lack of tackling and doing the fundamental things right wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be,” Crabtree said. “We just have to get back to work.”
Portsmouth quarterback Luke Purdy was effective from the air and on the ground Thursday evening. Purdy went 5-for-6 passing against the Indians, good for 46 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Purdy rushed for 123 yards off 10 attempts, scoring once.
Another Trojan, Talyn Parker, had success running the ball. Parker had 20 rushing attempts and netted 194 yards, along with a 60-yard scoring run in the first quarter.
Parker Johnson led the Trojans in reception yards with 15. All 15 yards came from one reception, which also saw Johnson find his way into the endzone.
Valley’s Dalton Howard went 4-for-10 against the Trojans for 22 yards. Howard threw two interceptions, one of which saw Portsmouth’s Ryan Williams run it back for a score.
Howard was sacked once during the game, but did rush three times for 12 yards.
Gabe Streeter led the Indians on the ground with 24 rushes for 141 yards. Streeter scored both of Valley’s touchdowns off his rushing attempts, one for 20 yards and the other for seven.
Missed opportunities plagued the Indians in their 32-12 loss to the Trojans.
“We had a couple opportunities where we couldn’t put points up and we turned the ball over,” Crabtree said. “The missed opportunities of not scoring really came back to haunt us.”
Despite suffering the loss to Portsmouth, Crabtree was proud his team continued to fight even after falling behind 26-0.
“The biggest credit to our kids is we could have easily given up when it was 26-0 and we didn’t,” Crabtree said. “We were down over 20 points and then get beat 32-12, you know, even though some things were a little different in the fourth quarter, our kids made some plays when they had to, to try to get back in the game.
“We’ll keep working hard and we’ll get better.”
Duncan expressed his pleasure with how hard his team fought to take control of the game and maintain an early lead.
“We showed a lot of toughness and a lot of poise out here,” Duncan said. “Valley battled us all the way to the end. We battled some adversity and some cramps, but we just kept putting new bodies in and (those) new bodies kept stepping up. It was a great team effort and I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”
Above all else, Duncan hoped his players learned how to play with class Thursday evening, especially after getting tagged with two big penalties in the second quarter.
“At the end, Darren Crabtree and his program is class,” Duncan said. “Had the tides been turned, I know he would have done the same thing, taking a knee there at the end. We try to teach that to our kids. This is a game, but we’re going to do the things that are right and do it with class.”
The Trojans got their first score of the night off a broken-up play that saw Portsmouth quarterback Luke Purdy scramble to a 59-yard touchdown run.
After a successful kick, the Trojans held a 7-0 lead over the Indians with 10:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Portsmouth struck gold again with another long run with 6:58 left in the first quarter, this time by running back Talyn Parker. Parker ran for a 60-yard score to put the Trojans up 14-0 after the successful kick.
The Trojan defense came up with a huge play late in the first quarter when Valley quarterback Dalton Howard was picked off by Portsmouth’s Ryan Williams. Williams took full advantage of the errant pass and ran the ball back 79 yards for the defensive score.
After a failed point after, the Trojans led 20-0 with 2:05 left in the first.
Portsmouth scored again when Parker Johnson came down with a 15-yard scoring pass from Purdy to give Portsmouth a 26-0 lead after another failed point after attempt.
Valley found the endzone late in the second quarter when Gabe Streeter scored on a 20-yard run. The point after was no good, but Valley cut the Trojan lead to 26-6.
In the third quarter, Portsmouth got its final score, another run by Parker, good for 10 yards.
Valley fired back with 5:38 left in the third to get their final score, another run by Streeter, good for seven yards and six points.
The Trojans will play at home next week, when they host the Portsmouth West Senators Friday, September 2, 2016. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Trojan Coliseum in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Valley will try to regroup in week two when they host the Coal Grove Hornets. The game will take place at Valley High School in Lucasville, OH with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Portsmouth – Purdy 59 yd run (PAT), 10:24
Portsmouth – Parker 60 yd run (PAT), 6:58
Portsmouth – Williams 79 yd interception return (Kick failed), 2:05
Portsmouth – Johnson 15 yd reception from Purdy (2 pt conversion failed), 5:01
Valley – Streeter 20 yd run (PAT failed), 3:10
Portsmouth – Parker 10 yd run (PAT failed), 2:04
Valley – Streeter 7 yd run (2 pt conversion failed), 5:38
Passing – Portsmouth: Purdy 5-6-46 ; Valley: Howard 4-10-22
Rushing – Portsmouth: Parker 22-194, Purdy 10-123, Pearsall 4-12, Oliver 1-7, Lansing 1-6 ; Valley: Streeter 24-141, Ward 8-16, Shope 1-15, Howard 3-12, Spradlin 1-0, Jones 2-(-1)
Receiving – Portsmouth: Johnson 1-15, Williams 2-12, Oliver 1-10, Carter 1-9
Porsmouth 1-0; Valley 0-1
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext. 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.