WEST PORTSMOUTH — A week after securing a home field advantage in the first round of the Blue Collar Football League (BCFL) Playoffs in their inaugural season, the West Portsmouth Tanks secured their first playoff win, defeating their Scioto County rival, the Portsmouth Warriors, 13-0. The shutout victory sends the Tanks to the semifinal round in the BCFL Playoffs and another home game, where they will battle the Columbus Gladiators.
“I am really pleased with the intensity and focus that the team played with in a rivalry game,” Tanks coach Jamie Rice said. “The stars of the game was definitely the entire defensive unit. Every one of those guys on that defense, whether the guys who started off the game, or the guys that came in for relief, done a tremendous job and played really well as a unit.”
The Tanks defense held the Warriors to only 48 total yards Saturday evening in the quarterfinal playoff game. Portsmouth was held to 25 rushing yards and gained only 23 yards through the air.
“We pride ourselves on doing the little things right,” Tanks defensive coordinator, Brian Wroten said. “Teaching the nuisances of what we do in our 4-3 scheme. It’s taken a little longer than what I would have liked, but this defense is finally working in concert as one unit. It really becomes fun when every piece understands the responsibility of the other pieces on the field. That’s when you go from good to great.”
Wroten was particularly proud of his defensive unit holding the Warriors to under 50 yards of total offense, but acknowledged the team will have to get back to work, almost immediately.
“Only allowing 48 yards of total offense to a playoff team like the Portsmouth Warriors is a performance of a lifetime,” Wroten said. “However, this week, in the Conference Championship game against the Columbus Gladiators, we will be tested.”
The defensive unit was not alone in contributing great play in the Tanks win over the Warriors, according to Rice.
“The offensive line played pretty well most of the game, along with the running backs,” Rice said. “Guys like Maykah Brown and Luke Brown did not have big numbers due to the defensive scheme deployed by the Warriors.”
West Portsmouth finished with 228 total yards on offense, gaining 82 on the ground and 146 by passing. Quarterback Charlie Thompson went 8-for-23 for 146 yards and a single touchdown in the win.
Darrell Cross led the Tanks with receptions and yards. He caught three passes from Thompson for a total of 53 yards.
Jontez Jones came down with only one catch on the nigh, but made it worth six points as he took it for a 33-yard score.
Santonio Wilson and Jay Young also had receptions. Wilson finished with three catches totaling 20 yards, while Young had one 40-yard catch.
While the Tanks mostly controlled the game against the Warriors, there were some mistakes that Rice said his team will need to work on, as they prepare to face the Columbus Gladiators Saturday evening.
“We had plenty of chances to extend the lead against the Warriors, but costly mistakes and misfires led to a subpar offensive performance,” Rice said. “We hope to have a really good practice this week offensively and will be aiming towards reaching the level of play of the defense.”
The Tanks will host the Columbus Gladiators Saturday evening, August 20 at The Complex in West Portsmouth, Ohio, located at 1420 13th Street in West Portsmouth. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.