PORTLAND- Portland and Trousdale County played to a one-score game in the first half, but it was all Yellow Jackets in the second half as they won 37-7 on a rainy night at Memorial Field.
After Troudale County (6-1) jumped out to a 14-0, the Panthers answered with a 21-yard touchdown run by Cade Box to bring the score to 14-7, which is where things would stand at the half.
“Halftime at 14-7, I thought we had a shot,” Portland coach Greg Cavanah said. “We showed guts to fight back from down 14-0 so I wasn’t displeased with that.”
A turning point in the game came as Portland (4-4) came out in the second half without star quarterback Caleb Mandrell, who left with an apparent hand injury.
On their first drive of the second half, Portland was forced to punt, but a snap over punter Jovie Lugo’s head was picked up by Xavier Harper, who carried it in for a 21-7 lead.
The Panther offense was unable to get anything going in the second half as the Yellow Jackets pushed their lead to 30 points for the 37-7 win.
The usually explosive Panther offense was held in check in the game, as Trousdale County outgained them 356-62.
“We’ve got to be able to move the football. If you don’t move the football, you’re not going to score points. We’ve done a good job of scoring points until now.”
The Panthers will look to bounce back as they go back into region play on the road to Springfield. Portland currently sits tied atop the region 5-4A standings at 3-1.
“We’ve just got to prepare for Springfield. We’ve still got a chance to win the next two. If we can win the next two, we’ve still got a chance to win the region and that’s our goal right now.”