PEDRO — Portsmouth played possibly their best brand of complimentary football on Friday in their 41-7 road win over Rock Hill.
In just 2:24 of game time during the first quarter of the Trojans’ Ohio Valley Conference opener, they forced three turnovers and turned their short field after gaining possession into three touchdowns.
Two forced fumbles — one by senior linebacker James Thurman — and an interception by Thurman gave Portsmouth’s offense the ball, so it could do what it does best: make explosive plays.
“With the nature of what they do, we were a little nervous coming into tonight,” Bruce Kalb, Portsmouth coach said, “Our coaches, Coach (Bo) Mayo and Coach (Chad) Hammond, do a great job on that side of the ball and came up with a great gameplan. Our D-line and linebackers stepped up huge and executed for us.”
Running only 14 plays from scrimmage in four drives during the game’s first 12 minutes, Portsmouth raced out to a 21-0 lead by the end of the period and never looked back.
Drew Roe scored his first of three rushing touchdowns to put the Trojans ahead 7-0 following Zach Roth’s point-after with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
On back-to-back possessions after the score on the ground, Roe connected with Reade Pendleton and Dariyonne Bryant for 30-plus yard touchdown passes — with plays that did not seem like they would result in scores the first few seconds after the ball was snapped.
Pendleton caught Roe’s pass and raced up the far sideline for his score from 33 yards away — one of four catches on the night.
Roe scrambled around the RH sideline before coming back to the middle of the field, finding Bryant who avoided multiple Redmen defenders on his way to the end zone.
Jayden Duncan was Portsmouth’s leading receiver in the 34-point win, bringing in six passes for 104 yards and a 56-yard touchdown reception up the far sideline to give the Trojans a 34-7 edge.
Junior running back Beau Hammond led the Trojans on the ground with 93 yards on seven carries — and a near-score in the first period on a run to the one-yard line.
In total, Portsmouth gained 376 total yards of offense on 48 plays, while limiting Rock Hill to 120 yards on 55 plays.
Although they led by at least 21 points during the entire second half, and took their 41-7 lead just before time expired in the third period, the Trojan defense held Rock Hill to just 15 yards of offense in the second half.
“You have an X-factor with Drew Roe — when he has the ball in his hands, he’s able to extend plays. When you have the playmakers like we do, Dariyonne Bryant, Donavan Carr, Reade Pendleton, Jayden Duncan, we become a pretty hard team to defend at times,” Kalb said. “Beau Hammond, what a huge game on the ground for the second week in a row.”
Portsmouth improves to 4-0 (1-0 OVC) for the second time in three seasons (2019) — and will face longtime rival Gallia Academy in Gallipolis this Friday night.
The Trojans and Blue Devils have competed in the top of the OVC during Kalb’s entire tenure as the head coach, and a season ago, Gallia took an 18-12 overtime win inside Trojan Coliseum.
“We’re going to expect another dogfight up at their place, it’s a hard place to go and win a football game. A lot of history at that stadium and a lot of history between the two teams. Always some hard-fought battles and we expect nothing less next week. I know Coach (Alex) Penrod will have those guys ready, and I hope we can stay fortunate and stay as healthy as we’ve been so far.”
First Downs: Portsmouth – 15, Rock Hill – 10
Time of Possession: Portsmouth – 19:33, Rock Hill – 28:27
Yards (Pass-Rush): Portsmouth – 376 (237-140), Rock Hill – 120 (44-76)
Turnovers: Portsmouth – 1, Rock Hill – 4
Plays: Portsmouth – 48, Rock Hill – 55
Penalties: Portsmouth – 2 for 17 yards, Rock Hill – 1 for 5
P — 1-yard run, Drew Roe (Zach Roth XP good); 7-0 Portsmouth 4:27 1Q
P — 33-yard reception, Reade Pendleton from Drew Roe (Zach Roth XP good); 14-0 Portsmouth 3:18 1Q
P — 39-yard reception, Dariyonne Bryant from Drew Roe (Zach Roth XP good); 21-0 Portsmouth 2:03 1Q
P — 10-yard run, Drew Roe (Zach Roth XP good); 28-0 Portsmouth 8:46 2Q
RH — 6-yard reception, Owen Hankins from Trenton Williams (XP good); 28-7 Portsmouth :38 2Q
P — 56-yard reception, Jayden Duncan from Drew Roe (XP no good); 34-7 Portsmouth 8:50 3Q
P — 9-yard run, Drew Roe (Zach Roth XP good); 41-7 Portsmouth :39 3Q
Passing: Drew Roe (P) 17/25 218 yards 3TD 1INT, Tyler Duncan (P) 1/1 19 yards; Trenton Williams (RH) 3/7 44 yards 1TD 1INT
Rushing: Beau Hammond (P) 7-93 yards, Drew Roe (P) 8-31 yards 3TD, Noah Copley (P) 4-9 yards, Dylan Sanderlin (P) 3-4 yards; Logan Hankins (RH) 21-69, Skyler Kidd (RH) 9-16 yards, Delong (RH) 4-14 yards, Kordell French (RH) 6-12 yards, Hunter Bragg (RH) 4-(-2) yards, Zach O’Bryant (RH) 2-(-4), Trenton Williams (RH) 1-(-10), Blake Wilson (RH) 1-(-19)
Receiving: Jayden Duncan (P) 6-104 yards TD, Dariyonne Bryant (P) 5-62 yards TD, Reade Pendleton (P) 4-54 TD, Devon Lattimore (P) 1-19 yards, Donavan Carr (P) 1-4 yards, Beau Hammond (P) 1-(-6); Kordell French (RH) 2-38 yards, Owen Hankins (RH) 1-6 TD
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved