PORTLAND - Despite a 14-7 ball game at the break, Portland could not stop Macon County Friday night at Edgar Johnson Stadium, as they fell 36-7 in a non-region contest.
Running back Drake Vanatta scored the Panthers only touchdown of the night from 1-yard out, following back-to-back big plays from Josh Dutcher to set up the score.
"We competed decently tonight, until the second half," Portland coach Greg Cavanah said. "Seth Carlisle was very accurate throwing the football in the second half, but we didn't do a good job of reading our keys the last 24 minutes. It was a combination of everything and I take nothing away from Macon County. They are a good football team and I believe they have gotten better and better each week, including tonight."
Portland (2-6, 2-2) will turn its attention to region-foe Springfield, when the Panthers travel to Robertson County Friday night.
"We will look at film tomorrow (Saturday) and see what they do," Cavanah said. "Each regional win form here on out puts us higher and higher in the standings. We need to come in prepared because the next two weeks determine our playoff spot. We will see if our kids want to extend our season."
After falling behind by multiple scores, the Panthers were forced to throw the ball, which was exactly what the Tigers wanted.
"They did a great job of sending the blitz on us when we got behind," Cavanah said. "It made it easier on them and what they wanted to do. We had a good scheme coming in but they just made plays tonight."
Though the tilt with Macon County isn't a region game, Cavanah says he enjoys playing the Tigers and hopes to continue the game.
"They are a good rivalry for us," he said. "They bring us a good crowd, we bring them a good crowd and I believe we will continue this series for many years to come."