WEST LAFAYETTE – In their season-ending loss to Ridgewood, Saturday, 14 Portsmouth seniors took the field for the final time in a Trojan uniform.
Portsmouth earned the right to extend their season into Week 11 for the second straight year (first time since 01-02 seasons) after their 8-2 regular season with losses to conference foes Gallia Academy and Ironton (combined 18-2).
The seventh seeded Trojans in the Division V Region 19 playoff rankings were seeded against the second seed West Lafayette Ridgewood Generals (10-0), meaning a postseason road trip for the second straight year for Portsmouth.
Unfortunately for Portsmouth, Ridgewood’s defense made necessary plays and used their explosive playmaking ability on offense to hand the Trojans a 56-21 season-ending loss.
“With a team like Ridgewood, you certainly don’t want to see yourself playing from behind,” Trojans coach Bruce Kalb said following the loss. “With the weapons they have, and the quarterback they have in the backfield. Every time we tried getting something going, we stubbed our toe or had something happen. Against a high-quality team like Ridgewood, you can’t find yourself stalling too much, knowing that they can capitalize at any given time.”
On their first two drives, Portsmouth’s offense went three-and-out against a staunch Generals defense.
On their third drive after the opening kick, when the Trojans were seemingly gaining steam on offense, a fumble after a first down run by Talyn Parker ended the Portsmouth drive in its tracks.
After digging a hole to the undefeated Generals 35-0 late in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Drew Roe hooked up with senior wide receiver Bryce Wallace for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 35-7.
A 37-yard rushing touchdown by Drew Roe with 3:42 left in the third quarter and a Talyn Parker 13-yard rushing touchdown with 3:04 left in the game gave the Trojans their two final scores while the OHSAA’s running clock rule was in effect for the length of the second half.
Ridgewood sophomore quarterback Gabe Tingle finished Saturday’s win 12/19 for 233 yards and three passing touchdowns while also rushing eight times for 71 yards. Running back Kaden Smith led the Generals in rushing with nine carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Isaiah Lamneck followed with five carries for 27 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Koleten Smith was the Generals leading receiver in the win with eight catches for 117 yards and three touchdowns followed by Kaden Smith’s three-catch, 84-yard performance.
For Portsmouth, Talyn Parker finished his final game in a Trojan uniform with 15 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown followed by Drew Roe’s seven carries for 61 yards and a touchdown. Roe finished Saturday’s loss 7/14 for 84 yards with an interception and a touchdown to Bryce Wallace who finished with two catches for 31 yards.
“After what we graduated up front, I think there were some question marks about what we would be able to accomplish,” Kalb said of the Portsmouth’s 8-3 season. “Give credit to Coach Cadogan for being able to build a line for us. And then I’ve got to give credit to our skill guys: Eric Purdy, Bryce Wallace, Drew Roe, and Michael Duncan for stepping up and taking some of that pressure off Talyn (Parker) and him still able to do what he was able to do for us. After the Valley game, we knew this team had a chance to be special again, and these kids put in the effort in the weight room and on the practice field to make that happen.”
Saturday’s season-ending loss ended the careers of 14 Portsmouth seniors, a group led by reigning Division V Southeast District Offensive Player of the Year Talyn Parker, as well as a host of Trojans responsible for helping in the transition of their program from a .500 team to back-to-back postseason qualifiers for the first time since ‘01-‘02.
“My first year back at Portsmouth was when this class was in eighth grade,” Kalb said of his senior group. “I remember seeing how excited this group was to get into the weight room, ready to put in the work. We could tell then how special this group was going to be. Having the privilege to be their coach these last two years has been incredible. Their commitment to developing those underneath them is what separates them, they’re really going to be missed.”
But, all is far from lost in the Portsmouth locker room. Along with Roe, Portsmouth brings back a lot of talent who saw varsity minutes this season.
The bar has been set for future Trojans, Kalb believes, thanks to the work his last two senior classes have put in to get their team to where they finished by season’s end.
“I think this next group sees the example these seniors set, last years seniors set, and they know that the season starts in January in the weight room,” Kalb said. “I expect nothing less than for this group of juniors to step up and take that leadership mantle. Our kids wanted the challenge of being one game better this season, we were able to accomplish that, and now this group gets the chance to set the bar another notch higher.”
Ridgewood advances to a Division V Region 19 semifinal vs. Wheelersburg, Saturday, November 16th at Lancaster High School’s Fulton Field with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Portsmouth – 0 7 7 7 – 21
Ridgewood – 29 13 14 0 – 56
R – Kaden Smith, 9-yard run (Connor Kunze PAT good), 9:22 1Q (7-0 R)
R – Koleten Smith, 30-yard catch from Gabe Tingle (Connor Kunze PAT good), 6:31 1Q (14-0 R)
R – Kaden Smith, 4-yard run (Connor Kunze PAT good), 3:00 1Q (21-0 R)
R – Isaiah Lamneck, 16-yard interception return (Tingle to Koleten Smith two-point try), 45.7 1Q (29-0 R)
R – Koleten Smith, 3-yard catch from Gabe Tingle (PAT missed), 6:18 2Q (35-0 R)
P – Bryce Wallace, 34-yard catch from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling PAT good), 3:04 2Q (35-7 R)
R – Koleten Smith, 27-yard catch from Gabe Tingle (Connor Kunze PAT good), :22 2Q (42-7R)
R – Isaiah Lamneck, 1-yard run (Connor Kunze PAT good), 7:03 3Q (49-7 R)
P – Drew Roe, 37-yard run (Joel Bowling PAT good), 3:42 3Q (49-14 R)
R – Isaiah Lamneck, 83-yard kickoff return (Connor Kunze PAT good), 3:04 3Q (56-14 R)
P – Talyn Parker, 13-yard run (Joel Bowling PAT good), 3:44 4Q (56-21 P)
|Yards (Rushing-Passing)||224 (140-84)||415 (178-237)|
|Time of Possession||24:04||23:56|
|Penalties||5 for 45 yards||9 for 70 yards|
Rushing – Portsmouth: Talyn Parker 15-73 TD, Drew Roe 7-61 TD; Ridgewood: Kaden Smith 9-81 2 TDs, Gabe Tingle 8-71, Isaiah Lamneck 5-27 TD, Xavier Lamneck 2- (-1)
Passing – Portsmouth: Drew Roe 7/14 84 yards TD INT; Ridgewood: Gabe Tingle 12/19 233 yards 3 TDs, Andy Troyer 1/3 4 yards
Receiving – Portsmouth: Bryce Wallace 2-31 TD, Eric Purdy 4-42, Michael Duncan 1-10; Ridgewood: Koleten Smith 8-117 3TDs, Kaden Smith 3-84, Connor Kunze 1-27, Braden Maleski 1-4
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved