The Portsmouth Trojans just had maybe their biggest win in their program over the last ten seasons as they were able to defeat the Ironton Tigers Friday night 35-28 and potentially seal their spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
“Tonight, we thought we came in with a good game plan in the first half” said Trojans head coach Bruce Kalb following his team’s victory over Ironton Friday night, “Even though we were down 21-0, we weren’t worried because I thought that we had given them a couple and we were going to come back and get those from them. Our kids came out ready to play, enthused, and ready to take care of business, and Talyn Parker came to do some work.”
As Kalb mentioned, the Trojans fell down early to the Fighting Tigers of Ironton after two touchdown passes from Ironton quarterback Gage Salyers to Ethan Duncan, one in each of the first half quarters. Running back for Ironton, Reid Carrico, was able to break off a 45 yard touchdown rush to put Ironton ahead 21-0 with 5:13 left in the second quarter.
Like he has all season, Talyn Parker showed up as the halftime whistle approached. With just 40.9 seconds before the half, the junior running back found the endzone from 15 yards out to bring the Trojans to within two scores at the break.
Parker’s touchdown rush would be the first of five for the junior running back as the Trojans proceeded to score 35 unanswered points against a very solid Ironton defense. To begin the second half, Parker broke free for a 48 yard touchdown rush. To cap off a nine minute third quarter drive, Parker once again found the endzone from three yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
Parker’s first touchdown rush of the fourth quarter came on one of his most patented plays from the season: outrunning every single defender. He crossed the goal line on his 73 yard touchdown rush with 8:24 remaining in the contest to give Portsmouth the 28-21 lead. Six minutes later, Parker and the Portsmouth offense would seal the deal on an incredible night and an incredible home victory when he was able to carry the ball in for a four yard touchdown rush. Parker finished the game unofficially with 39 carries 298 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
“He had another wonderful night” said Kalb, “He’s an amazing young man, but you know, those guys up front opening up those holes. I told him to take the four or five yards that the big guys will give you, but he’s good enough to take it for forty or fifty, and he did that tonight.”
Ironton would score with just a minute left in the game as Salyers completed his third touchdown pass of the night to Jordan Grizzle, but the Fighting Tigers late game rally would prove to be too late as Portsmouth capped off an incredible come from behind victory on senior night, 35-28.
“I can’t say enough about this senior class” said Kalb, “From Parker Johnson, to Colin Boehm, Ben Lester, Stef Johnson, Brian Knipp, Danny Lattimore. This senior class has been amazing. I can’t imagine not being here without them on Monday, and it looks like we have a good chance that we’ll all be here Monday to see where we’re headed.”
A lot of uncertainty still surrounds exactly where, if at all, the Portsmouth Trojans will be heading for their week eleven post season contest. But one thing is certain, this Portsmouth team deserves a lot of credit for their come from behind victory and first potential playoff berth since 2007.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDt