PORTSMOUTH — After tailing by a point at halftime, the Portsmouth Trojans scored 14 points in the third quarter off two Luke Purdy touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air, to beat the West Senators 33-26 at the Trojan Coliseum.
The senior signal caller led the Trojan attack with 203 totals yards and four touchdowns. The result of Purdy’s performance is a rare 2-0 start in recent memory for Portsmouth.
Purdy scored two of his four touchdowns in the first 24 minutes but it still wasn’t enough to give the Trojans the lead. The first score came on a 10-yard run after West emphatically went 3-and-out to begin the game. The second score came in the closing minute of the first half when Purdy found Ryan Williams in the back of the endzone from 12 yards away. However, because of a missed extra point, the Trojans trailed 20-19 at the break.
“That was a roller coaster ride during that game,” Trojans head coach Aaron Duncan said. “We were down a point at halftime. We got in there and made some adjustments. West turned the ball over some and we were able to capitalize on that. We scored coming out of the half, which gave our kids some momentum.”
After the break, Purdy scored his second rushing touchdown of the night on an 11-yard run. Taylan Parker, the Trojans starting running back, wasn’t featured much, which was in part due to the Senators’ defensive game plan.
“You could tell they were keying on Parker tonight, that was their game plan, so it was nice to have Luke Purdy and those senior legs,” Duncan said. “He played his heart out. He does things the right way and I couldn’t be more proud, or more happy, to have a young man like him leading this football team.”
As West fell to 1-1, it was a night filled with penalties (8-96) and turnovers (six).
“That was the story of the game for sure,” Senators head coach Ben Johnson said. “When you’re in a battle like that with a great football team, it’s going to come down to who makes the fewest mistakes. We just made to many of them tonight and couldn’t over come it. We came close but not quite.”
It wasn’t a completely forgettable night for West. Senators quarterback Dylan Bradford went 9-of-17 for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
“He made some really good plays,” Johnson said. “We’ve got some positive things we can look at and build on for the future. He’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
Six of those receptions came via John Berry and Derek Carver. Berry finished with four catches for 108 yards and one score while Carver caught two passes for 91 yards and a score of his own.
“We did a lot of good things and we’ve got a lot of positive things we could point out to build on, but at the same time, we’ve also got to clean that stuff up,” Johnson said. “We’re going to find ourselves in some battles week in and week out, and if we want to come out on top, we’ve got to start cleaning up our own mistakes.”
While Portsmouth came out on top, the Trojan’s faced their own adversity — mainly injuries.
“It was a hard fought victory for our young men,” Duncan said. “They over came some adversity and some cramps. It was a great team effort. That’s what we preach down here. We preach next man up, lay it on the line for the guy beside you. If you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for the team, which is what happened tonight — we had guys sacrifice for the team tonight — and we we’re on the winning side of the scoreboard.”
Luke Purdy and Ryan Williams both excited the game with cramps. However, both players returned to the game.
“Their muscle-type kids and they get out here running around, those muscles start cramping on them,” Duncan said.
Parker left with a leg injury but did not return.
“He was ready to go but I didn’t want to have to put him in if I didn’t have to,” Duncan said.
Portsmouth —Purdy 10 yd run (Purdy kick), 6:45
West — Lenogar 2 yd run (kick blocked), 5:03
West — Berry 5 yd run (Hoggard kick), :28.1
Portsmouth — Carter 16 yd pass from Carter (kick no good), 5:49
West — Carver 70 yd pass from Bradford (Hoggard kick), 3:41
Portsmouth — Williams 12 yd pass from Purdy (kick no good), :46.9
Portsmouth —Purdy 11 yd run (failed conversion), 6:24
West — Berry 8 yd pass from Bradford (kick failed), 5:10
Portsmouth —Williams 35 yd pass from Purdy (Conversion good), 9:08
Rushing — West: Lenogar 11-29, Robinson 3-19, Bradford 14-16, Staggs 1-7, Berry 1-5; Portsmouth: Purdy 19-83, Parker 19-46, Lansing 7-25, Wedebrook 1-3, Pearsall 1-2, Oliver 2-(-2).
Passing — West: Bradford 9-17-220; Portsmouth: Purdy 11-20-120, Wedebrook 1-2-5.
Receiving — Berry 4-108, Carver 2-91, Robinson 1-13, Staggs 1-7, Moore 1-3; Portsmouth: Williams 7-87, Carter 3-23, Jordan 1-12, Johnson 1-3.
West 1-1; Portsmouth 2-0.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.