PORTSMOUTH — This week brings a matchup of two physical Ohio Valley Conference contenders. The Portsmouth Trojans and the Coral Grove Hornets suit up at Patterson Field at 7 p.m., Friday.
Portsmouth looks to move to 3-0 in conference play and remain among the league leaders. The Hornets could make an early step forward by getting back over .500 after a tough second half last week.
Portsmouth Head Coach Aaron Duncan believes that “This game will be a battle in the trenches.”
Duncan put an emphasis on his team’s running attack to come away with the win.
“It will come down to blocks and tackles and controlling the line of scrimmage, and by that I mean who can run the ball,” Duncan said.
Duncan recognizes the power that Coral Grove has up the middle has the Hornets will attempt to derail his hot offense, which is averaging 28 points per game and coming off a 42-point outing against Gallia Academy last Friday night.
The massive defensive line for the Hornets is led by the 350-pound junior nose tackle Josh Waulk. Anything missed by him, Duncan says will be “cleaned up” by the 6-foot, 220-pound Kimo Baldwin, Coral Grove’s junior middle linebacker.
When the Trojans line up on the defensive side of the ball, they will be accounting for Coral Grove’s running backs Jacob Clark and Daniel Rutherford.
The two seniors stand at 5-foot-5-inch, 160-pound and 6-foot, 190-pounds respectively. The Hornets ability to move Clark around has impressed the Trojans coaching staff, and the versatility could cause problems.
Duncan says Rutherford’s ability to line up at the slot-receiver position is an offensive wrinkle that will be featured Friday and has impressed him and shown the seniors athletic ability. Kimo Baldwin has also been featured as a fullback this season for the Hornets. Baldwin’s size could lead to the physical rushing game that Duncan foretold of in Fridays night’s game. Both teams look to grab some much needed Ohio Valley Conference momentum at Patterson Stadium.