The Jackson County Times-Journal
JACKSON — For the second straight week, the Portsmouth Trojans were locked in a hotly-contested Southeastern Ohio Athletic League football game.
For the second straight week, the Jackson Ironmen were involved in a game that went down to the final few seconds.
This time, the Ironmen ended up on the right side of the scoreboard on Friday night, scoring with 11 seconds remaining to post a hard-fought 26-19 victory inside chilly Alumni Stadium in Jackson.
Jackson led 19-7 at the end of the third quarter, before the Trojans tied the contest at 19-19 following two touchdown passes by Sky Oliver in a span of four minutes.
But both Portsmouth extra-point attempts on those two touchdowns failed, and instead left the contest tied (19-19) with five minutes and 50 seconds remaining.
The Ironmen then marched 12 plays and 66 yards for the go-ahead and ultimately game-winning touchdown, scoring on a 4th-and-inches call at the goal-line with only 11 seconds to play.
Gabe Griffiths got that necessary yard, and Jimmy Voiles’ second extra-point kick of the night put the Ironmen up 26-19.
Portsmouth played for one final down from its own 25-yard-line, but an Oliver pass to Alex Dickerson ended in a failed hook-and-lateral attempt at the Trojan 40.
The win was Jackson’s sixth straight over the Trojans, as three of those have all come down to the final 30 seconds.
It was also Portsmouth’s final trip to Jackson for the foreseeable future, as the Trojans are leaving the SEOAL following the 2014-15 academic year.
Portsmouth, who gave up 54 and 55 points to Logan and Gallia Academy respectively in the past two weeks, held the Ironmen to only 26.
However, the Ironmen rushed for 324 yards on 56 carries, including a pair of backs — Jake Crabtree (23 carries for 123 yards) and Griffiths (18 carries for 111 yards) — with at least 18 carries and 111 yards.
Griffiths also scored on touchdown runs of one yard to open the scoring, and a 39-yard dash to put the Ironmen ahead 13-7 with 4:11 left in the second quarter.
An entire period later, Jackson quarterback Hunter Sexton scored from five yards away to make it 19-7.
Sexton added 74 yards on 10 carries, and completed six passes for 82 yards, including five for 45 yards to Griffiths.
Oliver completed 12-of-21 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Trojans, and added 101 rushing yards on 14 carries, including the game-tying touchdown in the first quarter on a 62-yard sprint to the end zone.
Johnnie Charles chipped in 80 yards on 10 carries.
The two touchdown receptions were an 11-yarder by Khalil Lattimore and a 19-yarder by Isiaha Lisath.
Lattimore led the Trojans in receiving with 50 yards on four catches.
The Ironmen also overcame three lost fumbles, including the one that led to the Trojans’ tying touchdown at 19-19.
Portsmouth plays at Warren in another SEOAL encounter next week.