Portland football

Portland Panthers. 

Montgomery Central picked up their first win of the 2020 season on Friday, Sept. 4, earning a 20-19 regional victory over the visiting Portland Panthers. 

Although the game was a back-and-forth contest, the Indians emerged victorious following a failed two-point conversion that would have sealed a victory for the Panthers. Montgomery Central head coach Jeff Tomlinson was impressed with his teams ability to overcome adversity and injuries that come along with an opening contest.

The kids were just relentless,” Tomlinson said. They were just determined to get back out onto the field. Every time they come off the field with an injury, which mainly were cramps, they were fighting hard to get that thing taken care of and get back on the field.”

The Indians earned their first touchdown on both the evening and the season in the first quarter, thanks to a goal line dive from junior Casen Cunningham. The two teams would not score again until after halftime, despite Montgomery Central being in Portlands red zone just before the halftime buzzer. 

We were undersized and we came in and played hard, we just made too many mistakes down the way,” said Panthers head coach Greg Cavanah. We turned the ball over to them too many times on our end of the field

We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, but the kids continued to play and thats what I ask them to do.”

Portlands defense came alive in the third quarter, forcing a fumble, an interception and a sack after the halftime break. The Indians defense gifted the Panther offense with great field position, which eventually led to 13 unanswered points.

However, Montgomery Central would respond in the fourth: quarterback Logan Sykes found the pylon twice in the final frame to give the Indians a 20-13 lead with three minutes remaining. 

The Panthers put six more points on the board in the closing moments of the game with a 24-yard pass from Braden Thornton to Caden Box, but elected to go for two following the score in an attempt to walk away with a victory in Cunningham. Thorntons pass ultimately fell incomplete in the end zone. 

Cavanah, despite falling to 1-2 with the loss, now sets his sights to next weeks regional match against Greenbrier. 

Weve got to get back up; were beat and banged up. It was a physical ballgame tonight… Its been a year of chaos, but the guys have done a good job of doing what theyre supposed to do to be a football team.”

With the win, the Indians are undefeated through one game on the young season. Tomlinson and company will host Northwest High School (1-0) on Sept. 11. 

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