IRONTON — Portsmouth High School’s 2021 football season saw the Trojans build on the program’s already strong legacy.
Convincing early season wins over non-league rivals Valley and West, a 4-0 start to the year, the program’s first postseason win since 2002, and a perfect record inside Trojan Coliseum were among the major triumphs the ‘21 Trojans achieved during their 7-3 regular season (8-4 overall) campaign.
Portsmouth met with Ironton for the second time in three weeks on Saturday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium, a contest that’s final result was up in the air until the final few drives of the game.
In a game where scores and yardage were limited, Portsmouth’s defense kept it in the game with the No. 1 seeded (Division V Region 19) Fighting Tigers — allowing just one touchdown until Ironton’s last offensive drive of the game.
“Defense is something we worked on a lot in the offseason,” Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb said, afterwards. “We felt that if we stayed low, play quick, get hats on hats and force double teams, we would have a successful night. I thought our defense played extremely well.”
Ironton outgained Portsmouth in the game (203-162 total offense), with junior running back Jaquez Keyes’ 2-yard rushing touchdown giving the hosts a 17-6 lead with 2:59 left.
Junior quarterback Tyler Duncan, who entered in the late first half for injured Trojan quarterback Drew Roe, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Devon Lattimore with 11:47 left in the fourth quarter.
That score brought the Trojans within a possession at 10-6, and gave Portsmouth a look at what next year’s offense may bring.
“We felt that he was able to come in and do what this team needed him to do,” Kalb said, on Duncan. “Was able to lead us down the field, score the touchdown so we were very happy with his performance.”
Ironton opened the game with a 28-yard touchdown pass from freshman Braden Schreck to junior Ty Perkins on a 4th-and-15 with 6:42 left in the first quarter.
Ironton converted another fourth down in its second scoring drive, helping set up a 25-yard field goal by senior kicker Matt Sheridan.
“Against good teams like this you have to capitalize on every opportunity, get the defense off the field in late-down situations,” Kalb said. “Unfortunately, we missed a few of those tonight and it came back to bite us.”
Portsmouth will graduate 12 seniors in their Class of 2022 — a group that finishes their time as a Trojan football player with a 25-18 record during their four years.
It’s a class that Kalb had as freshmen during his first season, as he spoke to their work ethic and commitment to the program during their time.
“Having this class four years ago as freshman as my first class, to just buy in from day one and watch them tirelessly, they reminded us what it meant to be a Portsmouth Trojan this year.”
Ironton will face Wheelersburg in the Division V, Region 19 semifinals to be played at Portsmouth High School.
PORTSMOUTH 0 0 0 6 — 6
IRONTON 7 3 0 7 — 17
I—Ty Perkins 28 pass from Braden Schreck (Jacob Sloan kick), 6:42. Ironton 7-0.
I—Matt Sheridan 25 FG, 8:35. Ironton 10-0
P—Devon Lattimore 17 pass from Tyler Duncan (kick failed), 11:47. Ironton 10-6
I—Jaquez Keyes 2 run (Matt Sheridan kick), 2:59. Ironton 17-6
First downs 8 11
Rushes-yards 16-6 30-82
Comp-att-int 17-26-2 9-16-0
Passing yards 155 121
Total offense 161 203
Penalties 2-20 8-70
Fumbles-lost 3-1 4-1
RUSHING – Portsmouth: Beau Hammond 8-5, Drew Roe 1-0, Amare Johnson 1-1, Tyler Duncan 6-0; Ironton: Jaquez Keyes 16-35 TD, Landen Wilson 6-48, Aaron Masters 2-minus 3, Braden Schreck 6-2
PASSING – Portsmouth: Drew Roe 5-10-1, 42; Tyler Duncan 12-16-1, 113 TD; Ironton: Braden Schreck 9-16-0, 121 TD
RECEIVING – Portsmouth: Dariyonne Bryant 7-88, Jayden Duncan 2-11, Devon Lattimore 3-34 TD, Reade Pendleton 2-9, Beau Hammond 2-11, Hayden Griffith 1-2; Ironton: Ty Perkins 2-38 TD, Landen Wilson 2-35, Aidan Young 3-30, Aaron Masters 1-16, Jaquez Keyes 1-2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved