Friday night’s matchup at Trojan Coliseum was between two teams sitting at 4-3, the Fairland Dragons and the Portsmouth Trojans.
Portsmouth took possession of the ball second in the game after stopping Fairland on their first drive. The Trojans took advantage of the early opportunity, getting three first downs on the first drive before Talyn Parker punched it in from 29 yards out to put Portsmouth up 7-0 with 4:41 left in the first.
After another solid stop by the Portsmouth defense early, the Trojans scored from 5 yards out as Parker ran it in for his second touchdown of the first quarter, making the score 14-0 with just :50 seconds in the period.
The third drive for the Dragons would be a success, however, as they were able to run it in from 18 yards out with 6:25 left in the second, making the score 14-6 after a missed extra point.
Talyn Parker continued to provide points for the Trojans, scoring again this time from 69 yards out with 3:01 in the 2nd quarter, giving Portsmouth a 21-6 lead.
When Portsmouth got in scoring position at the two-yard line following Fairland’s next drive, it was no surprise who they would be looking to. Parker took it in from two yards out, putting the Trojans up 28-6 after the score. The score remained 28-6 going into half in a game dominated mostly by the Portsmouth rushing attack.
Midway through the third quarter, the Fairland offense began to show life. After a 32-yard run, Fairland would score from 7 yards out and convert on the 2-point conversion attempt to cut their deficit to 28-14 with 6:18 in the third quarter.
A missed field goal attempt by the Trojans at the beginning of the 4th gave Fairland more momentum as the Dragons offense took advantage once again. After a 50-yard pass put them in good field position, they were able to find a hole in the defense on a quarterback scramble from 31 yards out, making the score 28-20 after another missed extra point with 9:07 in the 4th.
The next big play would come at the 6:55 mark when Portsmouth was unable to convert on a 4th and one rush, giving the Dragons the ball at midfield.
After Fairland put together a good drive going all the way down to the 28, Portsmouth defensive end Brain Knipp was able to get a huge sack, setting Fairland back at 4th and 22. Coming off a huge sack just a play before, Knipp was able to get to the quarterback a second time for his 4th sack of the game, giving the ball back to the Trojan offense.
Once again, for the fifth and final time, Talyn Parker ran it in for the Trojans, this time from 60 yards out to extend Portsmouth’s lead to 35-20 with 3:52 in remaining in the contest.
After a Portsmouth interception the next drive, they were able to run the clock out and claimed their fifth win of the season putting them at 5-3. Parker finished, unofficially, with 360 yards on 41 carries, five of them being touchdowns.
After the game, Trojans head coach Bruce Kalb of Portsmouth had a few words on his team’s performance, “Our defense really stepped up, we knew they were going to have their hands full tonight. Hats off to our offensive line opening up those holes for Talyn.”
“We know that we are going to have to finish this season strong if we want to play week eleven,” said Kalb. Portsmouth has two games remaining in their regular season conquest: next week they will travel to South Point and will finish the season off at home versus Ironton.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT