WEST PORTSMOUTH — The final home game of the 2016 regular season for the West Portsmouth Tanks saw the semi-pro football team clinch a home field advantage for their opening round playoff game, as the Tanks defeated the Cincinnati Dukes 38-14.
The Tanks controlled the entirety of the game Saturday, August 6, 2016 at The Complex in West Portsmouth, Ohio. West Portsmouth got started strong and never looked back, scoring 20 unanswered points in the first quarter, to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Luke Brown got things started for the Tanks with a 9-yard touchdown run with 6:54 remaining in the first quarter. Quarterback Charlie Thompson would then connect with Jontez Jones and Jay Young for a pair of scores with 4:52 and 0:42 remaining.
The Tanks added two more scores in the second, another scoring run by Brown and a Thompson to Brown connection for 37 yards.
The Dukes got their first points on the scoreboard in the second quarter, thanks to a 6-yard scoring pass.
By halftime, the Tanks held a 32-6 lead over the visiting Dukes, which they refused to give up.
The scoring became less frequent in the second half, with the Tanks only scoring once in the half, after crossing the endzone five times in the first half. Despite the slow down in scoring, West Portsmouth held on to defeat the Dukes 38-14.
West Portsmouth out-gained their opponents from the Queen City by nearly 200 yards. The Tanks finished with 406 total yards of offense, while the Dukes were limited to 220.
Thompson accounted for all 125 passing yards for the Tanks, finishing 6-for-14 on the evening. Brown rushed 15 times for 181 yards. Both finished with three touchdowns.
Two other Tanks received a handoff in the win over Cincinnati. Maykah Brown finished the game with 80 yards off 13 tries, while Antwan Williams gained 33 yards from a pair of rushes.
Tanks head coach Jamie Rice was pleased with his team’s performance Saturday against the Dukes noting they were peaking at the perfect time.
“We are a fairly young team with a lot of key players being first year starters and I believe that we are starting to gel well just in time for the playoffs,” Rice said. “I was happy to see better execution on both sides of the ball in our last regular season game.”
Defensive coordinator for the Tanks, Brian Wroten had high praise for his squad.
“Defensively, we put in another strong performance,” Wroten said. “As we enter the playoffs this upcoming week, I believe we enter it peaking at the right time. Our guys are finally comfortable with our scheme and not thinking out there. They are just reacting and playing fast.”
With the win, West Portsmouth will host the Portsmouth Warriors Saturday, August 13 at The Complex in West Portsmouth for a playoff matchup.
“We are really excited to be hosting our first playoff game at The Complex this coming Saturday and looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of such a great community,” Rice said.
The two Scioto County teams will face-off Saturday, with the Tanks holding home field advantage. Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at The Complex, with a kickoff time of 7:00 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the gate for $8.00. Children 12 years old and younger get in free, as do all military veterans with proper military identification.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.