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Portal faces must-win game
PHS 4 col col

PORTAL 10.13

he Portal Panthers know the situation.
    Having lost eight straight overall and the first five of the 2006 season, PHS travels to Pembroke tonight to face Bryan County in a must-win game.
    "We had a long discussion Monday," said first-year Portal head coach Justin Chester. "We were very disappointed with our performance last week, but we know our goals are still attainable and we have to work to come together."
    The Panthers (0-5, 0-1) opened region play with a 31-0 drubbing at the hands of Savannah Country Day last Friday at the Portal Athletic Complex. It was a game Chester called "frustrating".
    "We were frsutrated with the offense," said Chester. "We tried changing the play at the line of scrimmage and some different things but nothing seemed to work. (SCD's) front four just controlled the game."
    Portal's offense has put just 39 points on the scoreboard this year, and are averaging a little over a touchdown per contest. It's no secret that if the Panthers are to make the playoffs, the PHS offense must get going.
    "It's time for our offense to put some points on the board and show the Portal community what they're made of," said Chester.
    Enjoying fall break, the Panthers have focused on offensive execution this week. They've added some guys to the line of scrimmage in run formations, worked on the cadence of the snap count and continued to stress protecting the football and avoiding penalties. Turnovers and false starts, among other setbacks, have been detrimental to Portal's success so far this season.
    The Redskins (2-3, 1-0) come into tonight's contest fresh off a 32-0 win over Wheeler County. It's the second shutout win of the year for BCHS, a team that didn't win a game in 2005. Bryan County's region loss also came at the expense of Country Day.
    "I've been very impressed with their offense," said Chester. "They run a lot of different formations. They can come out and pound the ball or they can spread the field and throw it. We have to contain their quarterback and their running game."
    With all the focus on the Portal offense and their problems, Chester added he was still proud of the way the PHS defense has performed to this point.
    "They'll take care of business (tonight)," he said.
    Defensive tackle Blake Usry (seperated shoulder) will be out of tonight's line-up and two other Panthers will be out due to suspension.