WEST PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth West football has showcased its balance in its last two games.
During their week 10 victory over Wheelersburg to clinch the Southern Ohio Conference Division II championship, the Senators relied heavily on their running game — with a small dose of the pass chipped in.
Opening the 2022 Division V, Region 19 playoffs versus Northwest, West (10-1) flipped the script and went on an aerial assault — earning a 49-6 win over the Mohawks at ‘The Rock’.
The Senators’ 49 points scored matches a season-high for their explosive offense — doing so two other times in wins over Wellston and Waverly.
“We played hard. Early on Northwest did give us a few problems, we knew (Wyatt) Brackman was a hard runner and tough to tackle. After that first, drive I think we buckled in, made some adjustments that made the difference,” West coach Todd Gilliland said, after the game. “Our defense played really well from there on out.”
After entering halftime with a 28-6 lead over the Mohawks, West’s offense needed just one play on three different drives to find the end zone.
Junior Jeffery Bishop, senior Alex Blevins, and junior Cole Tipton each caught a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Mitchell Irwin in the second half.
Irwin threw five touchdowns in the win — three to Bishop and one apiece to Blevins and Tipton.
Tipton was the team’s leading receiver, tallying 141 yards on three receptions.
Bishop backed him up with 132 yards and three TDs on five catches.
Bishop found the end zone four times and intercepted a pass from Northwest freshman quarterback Jake Brown to complete a banner night.
“We have the ability to run the ball with Ryan Sissel, or if they stack the box like they did tonight, then you’ve got guys like Jeffery or Cole Tipton or Alex Blevins or Brandon Anderson who can take it to the house anytime they touch it,” Gilliland said. “All those guys are pretty explosive. Having that balance is the goal because it makes us a lot tougher to defend.”
It wouldn’t be Senator football without some running, though.
Senior running back Ryan Sissel housed a 45-yard run in the second quarter — giving West a 21-6 lead following Carson Malnar’s extra point.
Sissel was the game’s leading rusher, totaling 81 yards on nine carries in the victory.
Northwest (7-4) scored with 1:08 left in the first quarter on an 11-yard pass from junior Tanner Bolin to senior Kory Butler, which the Mohawks converted a 4th-and-goal from the 11-yard line.
Mohawk senior Wyatt Brackman — a 1,000-yard rusher this season — was their leading ballcarrier with 71 yards on 20 carries.
West, as the No. 5 seed in the Region 19 playoffs, will host No. 13 seed Columbus Academy (5-5) in the second round (regional quarterfinals) of the OHSAA playoffs on Friday, Nov. 4.
The Vikings defeated No. 4 seed Centerburg 36-14 in their opening-round game.
West and Columbus Academy share a common opponent in KIPP Columbus.
CA defeated KIPP 42-8 in week two, as did West by the same score in week five.
“It’s really exciting where you don’t have to travel, if it ends up being Columbus Academy. They’re a really good team — we saw them on film against KIPP Columbus earlier in the year,” Gilliland said. “Their record wasn’t indicative of how good they are, I know they play a really tough schedule. We know it’s going to be a battle, they’re a tough team.”
Northwest 6 0 0 0 — 6
West 14 14 21 0 — 49
W — Jeffery Bishop, 10-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (2-point try failed); 6-0 W 9:08 1Q
W — Jeffery Bishop, 13-yard run (2-point try successful); 14-0 W 4:40 1Q
N — Kory Butler, 11-yard pass from Tanner Bolin (Aiden Shepherd PAT missed); 14-6 W 1:08 1Q
W — Ryan Sissel, 45-yard run (Carson Malnar PAT good); 21-6 W 6:50 2Q
W — Jeffery Bishop, 5-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar PAT good); 28-6 W 1:28 2Q
W — Jeffery Bishop, 52-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar PAT good); 35-6 W 9:12 3Q
W — Alex Blevins, 25-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar PAT good); 42-6 W 6:02 3Q
W — Cole Tipton, 58-yard pass from Mitchell Irwin (Carson Malnar PAT good); 49-6 W 1:21 3Q
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||224 (125-99)||456 (298-158)|
|Penalties||11 for 85 yards||7 for 87 yards|
|Time of Possession||26:16||21:44|
Passing — Jake Brown (N) 6/11 75 yards INT, Tanner Bolin (N) 4/4 50 yards TD; Mitchell Irwin (W) 9/11 298 5TD
Rushing — Wyatt Brackman (N) 20-71, Connor Lintz (N) 5-26, Kory Butler (N) 6-5, Tanner Bolin (N) 2-(-1), Jake Brown (N) 2-(-7); Ryan Sissel (W) 9-81 TD, Bo Wroten (W) 5-23, Masion Smith (W) 4-18, Jeffery Bishop (W) 1-13 TD, Mason Parker (W) 1-7, Mitchell Irwin (w) 3-6, Hayden Lore (W) 2-6, Matthew Johnson (W) 1-4
Receiving — Connor Lintz (N) 5-66, Kory Butler (N) 2-39 TD, Carter Runyon (N) 1-26, Tanner Bolin (N) 1-(-3), Wyatt Brackman (N) 1-(-3); Jeffery Bishop (W) 5-132 3TD, Cole Tipton (W) 3-141 TD, Alex Blevins (W) 1-25 TD
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved