GRAYSON, Ky. — Behind a simply destructive offensive and defensive performance, the West Portsmouth Tanks continued their torrid start to the 2017 campaign by pounding the Carter County Wildcats, 85-0, in a contest that was played on the campus of Kentucky Christian University in Grayson on Saturday evening.
West Portsmouth, who moved to 2-0 on the season with the victory, accumulated 324 yards of total offense in the win and held Carter County to -20 yards of total offense in the victory. The Tanks went off on a 41-point outburst in the first quarter to remove all doubt during the affair.
Lexington, Ky. native Richard Elery proved to play a vital part in the outcome with his play throughout the evening. The defensive back opened up the scoring by taking a 52-yard punt return to the house with 11:29 to play in the opening quarter. Elery then returned an intercepted pass 47 yards for a score less than two-and-a-half minutes later to put West Portsmouth up 14-0 before an eye could be blinked.
Portsmouth West High School graduates Job Swords and Dylan Koons proved to be fantastic through the day for the Tanks, as well. Swords, who only threw the football six times all game, still accumulated 147 yards and three touchdowns through the air while completing five of those passes. Swords also ran for 20 yards and a touchdown on two carries to cap off a fantastic performance.
Koons, who obtained the start at wideout, proved to be Swords’ favorite target throughout the air as the senior caught three of Swords’ passes and accumulated 70 yards to go along with two touchdowns on the evening. Michael Morton and Snook Martin combined for 77 yards receiving on two catches, with Martin catching a 29-yard touchdown pass 14 seconds after Elery added his second score of the game to put the Tanks ahead by a 20-0 tally.
Antwan Williams, however, wanted to add his own little stamp on the affair.
The Lexington, Ky. native, who ran for 122 yards on just three carries, scored from 68 yards out at the 5:18 mark of the first quarter and then added a 48-yard run to paydirt at the 12:39 mark of the second frame. Swords’ 13-yard scamper to the house (2:31 1st) and a pair of hookups from Swords to Koons — a seven-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds to play in the opening period and a 63-yard bomb with 2:30 left in the first half — put the Tanks up, 55-0, at halftime.
In the second half, Martin joined Elery, Koons, Swords, and Williams on the multi-score list as the Huntington, W. Va. product took the opening kickoff of the latter half of action 87 yards for the score.
Miami, Fla. native Chris Hill — who tied with teammate and Louisville, Ky. native Henry Butler for the team lead in tackles, with eight — took a 40-yard interception to paydirt to increase the score to a monstrous 71-0 tally, and from there, Maykah Brown’s 30-yard run, along with Luke Brown’s seven-yard scamper, capped off the impressive efforts from the Tanks.
Defensively, Hill and Butler’s eight-tackle efforts were followed by the play of West Sider Justin Staggs, who put together a seven-tackle effort, and Fleming County, Ky. resident Dro Taylor, who accumulated a half-dozen tackles from his defensive tackle position. Portsmouth’s Dion McKinley, Ironton’s Antonio Murphy, Winfield, W. Va.’s Chad Hudnall, and Hampton, Ga.’s Charles Johnson collected five tackles apiece. Hudnall, Butler, and Staggs each collected one sack apiece.
With the 85-0 victory, West Portsmouth put together its second shutout in as many weeks. The Tanks have outscored their opponents by a 162-0 tally to start the year.
West Portsmouth will return home on Saturday, May 20 to play the West Virginia Lightning. Admission is $8 with children 12 and under admitted free, and Veterans get in free with I.D.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7