The West Portsmouth Tanks opened the semi-pro football regular season on Saturday in grand fashion by defeating the Wheelersburg Buccaneers by a 76-0 tally at The Complex.
Even though the victory was sweet for the Tanks in and of itself, the organization, along with the Buccaneers and the fans in attendance, were able to come up big with an even greater cause by raising approximately $1,000 in non-perishable donations to Pastor Gary Newman and the Sand Hill IPCC Food Pantry.
Portsmouth West High School graduate and Tanks’ Job Swords proved to be the star of the show on Saturday evening as the former Senator threw five touchdown passes — including four in the first half — en route to going 11-of-17 through the air for 249 yards and five touchdowns on the evening. A major beneficiary of Swords’ passes proved to be Michael Clay, who caught two of Swords’ passes for 114 yards while taking both to the house.
Swords, who also threw touchdown passes to DeArion Jones, Jontez Jones, and Snook Martin, threw end zone balls of 13, 23, 32, 39, and 75 yards on the evening. Antwan Williams, who rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, scored from seven, 21, and 44 yards out. Each of his three scores came in the second half.
From a defensive standpoint, Chris Hill led the Tanks with eight tackles and an interception from his strong safety position. Hill returned his lone interception 30 yards to the house. Toryan Whiting returned a 19-yard fumble to paydirt, Richard Elery and Anthony McDaniel each picked off a pass on the evening, and Luke Brown, Johnny Rawlins, and Dale Swords each added five tackles apiece to round out the strong defensive effort for West Portsmouth.
After a bye week, the West Portsmouth Tanks will play the Carter County Wildcats on Saturday, May 13th before returning home to play the West Virginia Lighting at 7:00 p.m. on May 20th at the West Portsmouth Youth Complex.