PORTAL—Halloween came a little early to Portal and instead of goblins, ghosts and witches, there were only Bulldogs.
Emanuel County Institute marched into Portal and the Bulldogs never took their feet off the gas in the first half, rolling up 42-0 halftime lead before settling in for a 58-0 win.
ECI quarterback Caleb Pressey was sharp throwing the ball downfield, completing 4-of-5 passes for 162 yards. Three of the four completions went for Bulldog touchdowns.
When ECI wasn’t throwing the ball to near-perfection, they were steamrolling the Panthers with the running game. Darion Moody led the way for ECI with 131 yards and two touchdowns on just five rushing attempts.
Moody also took a screen pass 57 yards for a touchdown as the first half expired.
In what is Portal’s most intense rivalry game, the Panthers could not move the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball. Portal was held to just 17 first-half yards and finished the game with 76 total yards.
On nearly every snap, ECI dominated the line. On offense, that domination created gaping holes to run through and plenty of time to pass. On defense, Bulldog defenders swarmed to the ball before Portal could gain any headway.
ECI improves its record to 5-2 and 3-1 in region play. Portal falls to 0-6 and 0-3 in the region.
The Bulldogs began the game by taking the lead in just seven plays. After forcing a Portal three-and-out, ECI needed just three plays—all rushes of over 10 yards—to score on a 13-yard run by Devon McCullough.
From there, it was off to the races.
Pressey hit on touchdown passes of 46 and 41 yards on the next two drives, finding Greg Purcell and Chris Lovett, respectively. Moody ran in from 67 yards before the first quarter ended with ECI up 29-0.
The Bulldogs added another pair of touchdowns and blocked a Portal punt before going into the locker room for halftime up 42-0.
ECI added another long run by Moody, this time for 40 yards, and a safety of Oglesby as time expired in the game as the game clock ran through the second half.
Oglesby and the Portal offense could never get started with so much resistance at the line of scrimmage. Carl Smith did take one perfectly-executed option pitch 15 yards and Oglesby had a late run of 25 yards, but those were the two biggest plays of the night for the Panthers.
Many times, Portal simply found itself overwhelmed and fought just to keep from losing yardage.