PORTSMOUTH – Portsmouth’s offense spent less than 19 minutes of game action on the field Friday night against Coal Grove (18:37, to be exact).
While that doesn’t necessarily seem ideal from a game plan stand point for your average team, it’s the story behind the time spent on the field that helped elevate Portsmouth to a 28-13 win over Coal Grove Friday night at Trojan Coliseum in downtown Portsmouth.
The fact is that while Portsmouth’s offense may not have spent even half of the game on the field, when they were on the field, for the most part, they made things happen.
“We knew we had to cut out the errors,” Trojans coach Bruce Kalb said following the win. “We weren’t flawless tonight, but we got better. We have to make sure every week we’re getting better. We’ve been able to seize the opportunities given to us so far this year, this week it was nice to see us step up and make those big plays, on both sides of the ball. Making that stop on the goal line just before half was huge.”
After a badly placed Coal Grove punt which gave Portsmouth prime real estate on their second possession of the game, Portsmouth’s Drew Roe threw a swing pass to senior running back Talyn Parker for a 33 yard touchdown pitch and catch at the 7:34 mark of the first quarter to put the Trojans ahead 7-0 after the extra point made by Joel Bowling.
On their next drive, Coal Grove marched down the field and scored their first points on a five yard rushing touchdown by fullback Austin Stapleton to tie the game at 7-7 with 3:07 left in the first quarter. Stapleton’s five yard scoring tote converted a 4th and one from the five yard line to cap a nine play, 75 yard drive which used 4:27 of game clock.
On the ensuing drive after a short kick by the Hornets, Roe threw his second touchdown pass of the night, this time to senior wide receiver Bryce Wallace for a 25-yard strike to put Portsmouth ahead 14-7 with 45.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
“What’s amazing is that as teams prepare for us on film, they see Eric Purdy making plays, this week it was Bryce Wallace making plays,” Kalb said. “And that’s the nice thing: while they’re worrying about Purdy and Wallace, we still have #1 (Talyn Parker) in the back field. Having a quarterback like Drew Roe back there, and he’s young so he’s only going to keep getting better. Continuing to develop, seeing the field and seeing what the defense is giving you so you can take it.”
Needing points to tie the game before the halftime break, Coal Grove marched down the field as time quickly withered away in the first half. With limited time left, Hornets senior running back Austin Stormes gave his team first and goal from the three yard line with a 16-yard carry.
As Kalb alluded to, after four straight rushes to try and break the pylon, Portsmouth’s defense stood tall and prevented the Hornets from breaking the scoring plane to keep the score knotted at 14-7 entering halftime.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Wallace made a Randy Moss-esque catch over a Hornet defender before putting on the jets and scampering into the end zone for a 57 yard touchdown reception from Roe with 11:47 left in the third quarter. Roe’s second scoring hook-up with Wallace marked his third passing touchdown of the night.
On their ensuing drive, senior quarterback Cory Borders broke away from Trojan defenders, finding a seam to run through for a 51 yard touchdown rush. After the missed extra point, Coal Grove trailed Portsmouth 21-13 with 10:08 left in the third quarter.
In Friday’s game, Coal Grove had five rushes longer than 15 yards (53, 17, 16, 22, 51) to account for 159 of their 281 rushing yards. Limiting those kinds of opportunities is one thing Kalb wants his team to focus on in the coming week of practice.
“In a game like tonight when you’ve got a team that likes to run, run, run, it’s important to make sure you don’t get caught,” Kalb said. “A team like Coal Grove is going to try and capitalize off that and try to bust off those big plays if you’re not careful. That’s hats off to Coach [Jay] Lucas for seeing that and taking advantage of those things. When we’re putting eight in the box to try and stop the run, we’ve got to make sure we sure up the back end so when they do get loose and we’re there for coverage.”
For the remainder of the game with the exception of one play, the Trojan offense became stagnant, a credit to the Hornet defense.
However, that one play that avoided an all-around stunted half of offense is one that no one at the Trojan Coliseum Friday night is likely soon to forget.
With 5:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, Talyn Parker busted through the Hornet defense for a 75 yard rushing touchdown to become the all-time leading rushing yardage leader in Portsmouth High School history passing his father, Jo Jo Parker, for the feat.
Coming into the game, Parker needed 58 yards to break his father’s record that has stood since the early 2000s (5514 – Talyn, 5572 – Jo Jo). With his longest run of the night, a 75 yard touchdown rush to ultimately ice the game by putting the Trojans ahead 28-13, Parker broke his father’s record and placed himself at the top of the Portsmouth High School all-time rushing leaders.
“I was there when his father set the record,” Kalb said. “To have the opportunity to coach him as a coordinator and a head coach is a blessing because of how amazing of a young man he is. With everything going on coming off the field with the ball, he was ready to go right back in and make plays. He’s as humble as they come, just an all-around great kid. He’s always looking to improve, always wanting to get better, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.”
Roe led the Trojans passing game by going 12/17 in the air for 211 yards and 3 TDs, Wallace finished with three catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and Parker finished the game with 12 carries for 112 yards and one rushing touchdown as well as three catches for 61 yards and one receiving touchdown.
For Coal Grove, Austin Stormes led the way on the ground with 24 carries for 168 yards followed by Borders with 8 carries for 57 yards and a rushing touchdown. Austin Stapleton followed suit with 15 carries for 46 yards and a rushing touchdown in the loss.
With Friday’s win, Portsmouth improves to 5-1 (2-1 OVC) with a home game against Chesapeake looming in week seven while Coal Grove falls to 2-4 (1-2 OVC) and will travel to Gallia Academy in week seven.
“They’re really athletic, remind me a lot of what we saw tonight,” Kalb said of next week’s opponent, Chesapeake. “They’re going to pack you in, but they’re fast enough to bust outside and try to break loose. We’re going to have to make sure we’re as disciplined if not more so than we were tonight: wrapping up tackles, stopping them in the backfield when we have a chance to, not letting them get loose. Offensively we want to keep eliminating mistakes. With what we want to do, we want to avoid getting ourselves behind the chains with too many penalties, and just continue to develop into the direction we want to head.”
Coal Grove – 7 0 6 0 – 13
Portsmouth – 14 0 7 7 – 28
P – Talyn Parker, 33-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling PAT good), 7:34 1Q (7-0 P)
CG – Austin Stapleton, five-yard run (John Turner PAT good), 3:07 1Q (7-7
P – Bryce Wallace, 25-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling PAT good), 45.4 1Q (14-7 P)
P – Bryce Wallace, 57-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling PAT good), 11:47 3Q (21-7 P)
CG – Cory Borders, 51-yard run (PAT no good), 10:08 3Q (21-13 P)
P – Talyn Parker, 75-yard run (Joel Bowling PAT good), 5:20 4Q (28-13 P)
|Time of Possession||29:23||18:37|
|Yards (Rushing-Passing)||314 (281-33)||323 (112-211)|
|Penalties||2 for 10 yards||5 for 30 yards|
Rushing – Coal Grove: Austin Stormes 24-168, Cory Borders 8-57 TD, Austin Stapleton 15-46 TD, Malachai Wheeler 2-10; Portsmouth: Talyn Parker 12-112 TD, Tyler McCoy 3-9, Drew Roe 1- (-9)
Passing – Coal Grove: Cory Borders 3/8 33 yards; Portsmouth: Drew Roe 12/17 211 3TDs
Receiving – Coal Grove: Justin Hicks 2-27, Malachai Wheeler 1-6; Portsmouth: Bryce Wallace 3-87 2TDs, Talyn Parker 3-61 TD, Eric Purdy 3-23, Chris Duff 2-15, Michael Duncan 1-15
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by emaill at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved