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Portal hosts Treutlen

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Portal hosts Treutlen

    PORTAL — Fresh off their first season-opening win since 2011, the Portal Panthers look to continue their winning ways tonight as they host Treutlen County.
    The Vikings come to Portal off a loss to Jenkins County last Friday night, but that doesn’t mean first-year Panther Head Coach Jon Willoughby is taking the Vikings lightly.
    “They’re going to be a typical Treutlen team,” Willoughby said. “They’re going to be well coached and they’re going to have something that we haven’t seen before. We’re going to have to play a full 48 minutes and we’re going to have to outhustle them.”
    While pleased with last week’s win, Willoughby said the Panthers still have to make strides if they want to continue their success. Among those improvements are better blocking and tackling. He said Portal missed 15 tackles against Josey and that number will need to come down.
    Offensively, the Panther ground game will once again be a key. Malik Williams rushed for more than 100 yards last week and Portal will need more of the same from him and the rest of the Panther backfield if they are to sustain drives and control the clock.
    In addition to better execution, Willoughby has stressed hustle to his team from the moment he took the helm.
    “Our whole thing is hustle,” he said “We want to outhustle you and see if we can be left at the end. We built our whole offseason on that. We’re going to lay it on the line for each other, get after it. Obviously we want to play well, but you’ll see us give maximum effort.”

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