PDT Sports Report
MINFORD — For some teams, rushing for 400 yards may be a big deal.
For Minford and its wing-T, it’s a sign of reaching midseason form. The host Falcons reached the mark in Friday’s 41-14 nonleague win over the Portsmouth Trojans, amassing 404 yards on the ground.
“I’m pleased with our offensive line and their doing a good job right now,” Minford coach Brent Daniels said. “…Our offensive unit is clicking pretty good right now, we’ve got a ton of backs, we’ve got several different kids that came in the back field and they’re running hard. It’s taking more than one hit to get them down and I’m really pleased with them.”
Austin Carter led the Falcons in rushing totaling 183 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Zach Justice and Sean Berry combined for 156 yards.
Portsmouth coach Curt Clifford knows the run defense still needs improvement.
“We’re not a good defensive football team,” Clifford said. “It’s fairly evident. There’s a lot of times we were misaligned, we thought the game plan going in was solid and we didn’t execute at all.”
The Trojans struck first on their opening drive of the game thanks to a 37-yard punt return by Alex Dickerson to the Minford 20. The drive was ended with a 2-yard scoring run by Johnie Charles.
The Falcons retaliated on their next drive, marching 59 yards on six plays to even the contest at 7-7. The scoring play was a 23-yard run by Berry.
Minford took its first lead of the game early in the second when Carter found pay dirt from 19 yards, making it 14-14. Portsmouth returned on its following drive, going 61 yards in six plays to tie the game at 14-14.
But the drive came at a price for the Trojans. On the second play, Darion Robinson left with a lower body injury.
When Brandon Wedebrook connected with Charles on a 12-yard pitch and catch for the touchdown, he left with an upper body injury. Neither Robinson nor Charles returned to the game after their respective injuries.
“We’re held together right now with spit and toothpicks,” Clifford said. “…You don’t go in to a ball game thinking that you’re going to lose two of your stallions on your offense and your starting left side of your offensive line but we did.”
Daniels knew once the pair left the game, his team smelled blood in the water.
“Our kids, they stepped up and did what they had to do,” Daniels said. “We kept pounding and they did a good job of it.”
The Falcons took the lead for good with 6:24 left until halftime when Zach Justice recorded a 38-yard scamper to make it 20-14, a score that would remain through the intermission.
Portsmouth’s best attempt to tie or retake the lead came in its opening series of the second half. A muffed punt by Berry recovered by the Trojans gave them the ball on their own 41.
“Sean was just trying to make a play,” Daniels said. “I don’t fault him for trying to make a play but there’s a time when to do it and a time when not to do it and he realized it.”
The series stalled four plays later when Berry picked off Wedebrook at the Minford 25. The Falcons made Portsmouth pay for the turnover on the ensuing series, going 75 yards on 14 plays and was capped off by a 2-yard by Justice.
“I’m tickled to death with his effort right now,” Daniels said.
Clifford said once the offensive production dipped, the pressure was put on the defense. He conceded that in order to stay in the game, limiting possessions was key.
Minford tacked on a pair of fourth quarter scores, a 1-yard run by Berry and a 39-yard dash by Grant Piguet, to complete the scoring. The win makes the Falcons 4-0 and sets up a home showdown next Friday with fellow unbeaten and traditional nonconference foe Oak Hill.
The Oaks defeated Wellston 20-7. Cody Stapleton was three-of-nine passing for 18 yards and ran twice for 10 yards in the win against his former team.
“He’s progressing each week with our offense,” Daniels said.
After a four-game road trip to start the season that netted a 1-3 record against SOC II schools, the Trojans finally play their first home game of the season. On the other side of the field will be archrival Ironton, which defeated Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer 27-17 to improve to 4-0.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portsmouth 7 7 0 0 — 14
Minford 7 13 7 14 — 41
P — Charles 2 run (DeLotell kick) 6:47
M — Berry 23 run (Moore kick) 4:17
M — Carter 23 run (Moore kick) 9:56
P — Charles 12 pass from Wedebrook (DeLotell kick) 8:02
M — Justice 38 run (kick blocked) 6:24
M — Justice 2 run (Moore kick) 3:32
M — Berry 1 run (Moore kick) 9:25
M — Piguet 39 run (Moore kick) 1:28
First Downs 12 15
Rush Att.-Yds. 36-118 44-404
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int. 20-10-1 9-3-0
Passing Yds. 109 18
Total Yds. 227 422
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties-Yds. 5-25 6-63
Punts-Avg. 5-29.4 3-31.0
RUSHING: Portsmouth — Dickerson 8-37, Robinson 4-26, Charles 5-25, Hollins 3-15, Wedebrook 12-7, Clark 2-5, Rideout 2-3; Minford — Carter 20-183, Justice 8-81, Berry 11-75, Piguet 1-39, Farrar 1-12, Stapleton 2-10, Compton 1-4.
PASSING: Portsmouth — Wedebrook 20-10-1 109; Minford — Stapleton 9-3-0 18.
RECEIVING: Portsmouth — Dickerson 5-75, Charles 1-12; Robinson 1-7, Lattimore 1-4; Minford — Justice 2-5, Farrar 1-13.
RECORDS: Portsmouth 1-3; Minford 4-0.