PDT Sports Writer
The last name of Miller may have been announced too many times for Portsmouth fans to stomach and possibly not enough for Wheelersburg supporters to enjoy Friday night.
Seniors Dylan and Eddie Miller combined for five of the Pirates six scores as Wheelersburg won its sixth-straight game over the Trojans in a 42-14 road win. The victory gives the Pirates a 22-11 advantage in the series after they took control in the second half with a second half shutout.
“They’ve got a tremendous group of athletes out there and we were just trying to figure out where we could put our guys in the best position to contain them,” Wheelersburg coach Rob Woodward said.
The scoring festivities began when Khalil Lattimore corraled in a Brandon Wedebrook toss and knifed through the Wheelersburg secondary for a 57-yard touchdown score. However, the drive did not start on a good note for Portsmouth as Darion Robinson went down on the Trojans’ first offensive play from scrimmage with a lower-body injury and did not return.
Portsmouth coach Jason Sparks was unable to speak on the extent of Robinson’s condition but was not optimistic about his tailback’s future.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be good,” Sparks said. “We’ll pray and hope and wait for the MRI to come back.”
The Pirates responded on the ensuing drive by marching 69 yards and capped it off by a 2-yard flying leap by Dylan Miller for his second rushing touchdown in as many games. Freshman Daylor Lewis gave Wheelersburg the ball back on a pooch kick but an interception by Johnnie Charles thwarted the shift in momentum.
However, Eddie Mller earned the next laugh once the Trojans punted the ball away. The quarterback needed just one play to go 74 yards for the final lead change of the game. The lead was extended on the Pirates next series when Eddie Miller sidestepped the final defenders on his way to a 19-yard run.
“He does a good job of looking at what needs to be run by making some calls and he communicates well with our coaching staff,” Woodward said. “Anytime you’ve got that going, things are going to work for you offensively.”
Portsmouth closed out the first half scoring when Wedebrook found Alex Dickerson in the front corner of the endzone pylon to bring the contest to a 21-14 affair. Lewis tried a 46-yard field goal at the gun but it fell short.
Wheelersburg put the game away in the third quarter. Eddie Miller scored on a 6-yard running play midway through the third quarter. The reigning Division V Southeast District player of the year finished with 12 rushes for 131 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
“He’s an athlete, he’s a stud,” Sparks said. “…Hat’s off to him, he’s a great player. He’s going to take them far.”
Dylan Miller picked off Wedebrook on the next Trojan march and returned it 91 yards to make it 35-14 with 3:01 left in the third, sucking the air out of the Portsmouth sidelines.
“Dylan has just been a beast, I mean he has been a beast for us offensively and he returns a touchdown on an interception defensively,” Woodward said. “He just continues to show up week after week.”
Austin May capped the scoring in the fourth with a 58-yard run. Dylan Miller led all receivers with 13 catches for 153 yards. Although he did not throw a touchdown pass, Eddie Miller was an efficient 20-of-24 passing for 194 yards and an interception.
Sparks was excited about the play of Sky Oliver for an offensive series in the third quarter as he came in for an injured Wedebrook to complete a drive. After completing all five of his passes in the first half, Wedebrook finished 11-of-20 passing for 179 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“When you get into a position where you’re down two or three scores, you’ve got to get to a spot where you’re scoring quickly,” Sparks said. “If something like that happens in the first quarter, you can stick with your run game and try to grind it out for the half and see what happens. In the third and fourth, when you get to that point, you’ve got to change it up a little bit.”
The Pirates return home to the friendly confines of Ed Miller Stadium Friday to host Fairland, which lost 63-38 to Gallia Academy for the Dragons’ first defeat of the season. Wheelersburg could enter the game ranked in the first Associated Press poll that will come out Monday.
The Trojans will get an extra day to rest next week as they welcome Minford for a Saturday night special that will conclude the four-game homestand to start Portsmouth’s season. The Falcons exacted revenge on Piketon after last year’s regional quarterfinal contest by sending the Redstreaks home with a 58-0 defeat.
“It’s going to be stopping the run,” Sparks said in reference to the theme of next week’s practice. “They’re very well-executed in what they do.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Wheelersburg 7 14 14 7 — 42
Portsmouth 7 7 0 0 — 14
P — Lattimore 57 pass from Wedebrook (Delotell kick) 8:33
W — D. Miller 2 run (Lewis kick) 1:29
W — E. Miller 74 run (Lewis kick) 7:59
W — E. Miller 19 run (Lewis kick) 3:31
P — Dickerson 28 pass from Wedebrook (Delotell kick) :55.6
W — E. Miller 6 run (Lewis kick) 5:38
W — D. Miller 91 interception return (Lewis kick) 3:01
W — May 58 run (Lewis kick) 11:13
First Downs 22 18
Rush Att-Yds. 32-287 33-128
Pass Comp-Att.-Int 25-21-1 24-13-1
Pass Yds. 202 218
Total Yds. 489 346
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties-Yds. 6-50 8-40
Punts-Avg. 1-37 3-42
RUSHING: W — E. Miller 12-131, May 4-64, Ellis 7-40, McAlister 5-27, Cunningham 2-22, D. Miller 1-2, Parsley 1-1; P — Charles 20-94, Wedebrook 8-24, Robinson 1-21, Hollins 1-7, Dickerson 2-(-7), Oliver 1-(-11).
PASSING: W — E. Miller 20-24-1 194, May 1-1-0 8; P — Wedebrook 11-20-1 179, Oliver 2-4-0 39.
PASSING: W — D. Miller 13-153, Claxon 5-27, May 1-9, Jenkins 1-8, Conn 1-5; P — Lattimore 2-97, Dickerson 4-51, Charles 1-29, Lisath 3-28, Oliver 2-7.
Records — Wheelersburg 3-0; Portsmouth 1-2.