COAL GROVE — Portsmouth’s offense indeed had the green light on Friday night in an OK-Corral shootout.
But what the Trojans really needed they didn’t get, which was defensive stops.
As a result, Portsmouth’s season-high 63 points turned out to be not enough, as the host Coal Grove Hornets —and senior fullback Austin Stapleton —simply stunned the Trojans 66-63 in an Ohio Valley Conference clash inside Coal Grove’s Patterson Field.
As both squads are playing an OVC-only schedule in this reduced regular season, the Trojans suffered their third consecutive defeat to fall 1-4.
Portsmouth also lost a high-scoring game at Chesapeake a week ago, at 49-38.
The Hornets, whose home game against Gallia Academy in week four was postponed due to coronavirus concerns within the program, evened their record to 2-2 —and won against Portsmouth despite several starters not being able to play because of the COVID-19 quarantine.
As it turned out, really all Coal Grove needed was Stapleton, who became the Hornets’ all-time leader in touchdowns scored in a career.
With more than 1,000 yards of total offense between the two teams, Stapleton accounted for four touchdowns on a massive 37 carries —and 348 rushing yards.
In fact, the Hornets had only one pass attempt —and did not complete it.
Chase Hall had one yard shy of an even 100 on 17 totes, and scored a hat trick of touchdowns —including the game-winner with a minute and two seconds remaining.
Coal Grove had 491 total yards on 67 rushes, including 43 yards on six carries from Steven Simpson, who scored the game’s opening touchdown.
The Hornets had only one punt.
The Trojans’ track meet star was junior quarterback Drew Roe, who completed 29-of-36 passes for 472 yards and five touchdowns.
He also rushed for a pair of scores, including an 11-yard run with six-and-a-half minutes remaining — which gave Portsmouth a 63-60 lead and capped a 70-yard drive in seven plays.
The Trojans erupted for 643 total yards and 27 first downs with no punts, as Amare Johnson rushed 10 times for 149 yards — while Roe (four carries and 12 yards) and Alberto Poxes (two carries for 10 yards) posted carries as well.
Johnson had a 3-yard TD run and Poxes a 7-yard TD run, as Roe’s first scoring run — a 10-yarder combined with his two-point pass to Chris Duff — tied it at 14-14.
Poxes’ paydirt trip — combined with the second of Joel Bowling’s seven extra points — tied it at 28-28, as the Trojans’ leads included 21-20, 35-28, 42-36, 49-44, 56-52 and finally 63-60.
Roe’s receiving corps included Reade Pendleton (seven receptions for 119 yards 2 TD), Jesse Dixon (six for 103 TD), Hayden Griffith (three for 34), Michael Duncan (two for 33), Johnson (seven for 67) and Duff (four for 116 2TD).
Speaking of Duff, and exactly one minute after Poxes scored, his 39-yard touchdown reception from Roe was the only time in which the two clubs did not trade scores.
But, the Hornets had the ball last.
Coal Grove drove 13 plays and 51 yards in its final drive, converting a 4th-down-and-2 and 4th-down-and-3 to keep it going.
Following a face mask penalty on Portsmouth, Hall ran in from four yards away for the go-ahead score at 66-63.
The Trojans tried to rally one last time, and moved to midfield following a pair of Roe completions for 23 yards and a roughing the passer penalty.
Roe then completed a pass for 17 yards, but Portsmouth’s receiver fumbled on the play —and the Hornets had the recovery at their own 32 with only 26 seconds left.
It was one of three lost fumbles for the Trojans, as Coal Grove turned it over only once.
Portsmouth returns home, and completes its regular season, on Friday night against Gallia Academy.
* * *
*Stats courtesy of the Ironton Tribune*
Portsmouth 6 36 14 7 — 63
Coal Grove 14 22 16 14 — 66
CG — Steven Simpson, 7-yard run (Justin Newcomb kick) 6:41 (7-0 CG)
Prt — Reade Pendleton, 9-yard pass from Drew Roe (kick blocked) 5:20 (7-6 CG)
CG — Chase Hall, 27-yard run (Justin Newcomb kick) 2:15 (14-6 CG)
Prt — Drew Roe, 10-yard run (Chris Duff pass from Drew Roe) 10:18 (14-14 tie)
CG — Chase Hall, 8-yard run (kick failed) 8:59 (20-14 CG)
Prt — Amare Johnson, 3-yard run (Joel Bowling kick) 6:58 (21-20 Prt)
CG — Austin Stapleton, 16-yard run (Austin Stapleton run) 3:55 (28-21 CG)
Prt — Alberto Poxes, 7-yard run (Joel Bowling kick) 3:23 (28-28 tie)
Prt — Chris Duff, 39-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling kick) 2:23 (35-28 Prt)
CG — Austin Stapleton, 14-yard run (Austin Stapleton run) 1:14 (36-35 CG)
Prt — Reade Pendleton, 6-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling kick) :13 (42-36 Prt)
CG — Chase Hall, 3-yard run (Chase Hall run) 7:36 (44-42 CG)
Prt — Jesse Dixon, 14-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling kick) 4:48 (49-44 Prt)
CG — Austin Stapleton, 4-yard run (Chase Hall run) 2:36 (52-49 CG)
Prt — Chris Duff, 52-yard pass from Drew Roe (Joel Bowling kick) 1:27 (56-52 Prt)
CG — Austin Stapleton, 8-yard run (Chase Hall run) 9:59 (60-56 CG)
Prt — Drew Roe, 11-yard run (Joel Bowling kick) 6:27 (63-60 Prt)
CG — Chase Hall, 4-yard run (run failed) 1:02 (66-63 CG)
First downs 27 24
Rushes-yards 16-171 67-491
Passing yards 472 0
Total yards 643 491
Cmp-Att-Int 29-36-0 0-1-0
Fumbles-lost 3-3 5-1
Penalties-yards 8-49 4-40
Punts-average 0-0 1-36
RUSHING —Portsmouth: Amare Johnson 10-149, Drew Roe 4-12, Alberto Poxes 2-10; Coal Grove: Austin Stapleton 37-348, Chase Hall 17-99, Steven Simpson 6-43, Whyatt Mannon 6-2, Team 1-(-1)
PASSING — Portsmouth: Drew Roe 29-36-0 472; Coal Grove: Whyatt Mannon 0-1-0
RECEIVING — Portsmouth: Reade Pendleton 7-119, Jesse Dixon 6-103, Amare Johnson 7-67, Chris Duff 4-116, Hayden Griffith 3-34, Michael Duncan 2-33; Coal Grove: none
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