The Portal Panthers (0-7, 0-3 Region 3A) played their Homecoming game on Monday night against Calvary Day (7-0, 3-0 Region 3A) with their adjusted schedule due to Hurricane Matthew. After a quick score, it became a long night for Portal as they fell to the Cavaliers, 47-14.
“We came out and we were ready to play. They made a seam on that kickoff return and got a big play that carried us for a little while,” Coach Matt Smith said about the score on the opening kickoff.
The game started with a bang after (McNeil) bobbled the opening kickoff before gaining control of the ball and taking it in for an 80-yard touchdown to get on the board first. Calvary Day quickly answered by driving the length of the field to set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge from Nolan Smith. On the next Portal possession, a low punt would be blocked into the end zone where CDHS cornerback Jalen Leary fell on the ball in the end zone for the score.
Calvary Day opened the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run by fullback Darius Kelly for his first score of the night to put his team ahead, 21-7. Later in the quarter, Calvary Day quarterback Carver would hit his receiver Wieczorek for a 17-yard score. With time winding down in the half, Senior Panther linebacker Grant Shuman pulled down Caver for a sack, resulting in a loss of 13 yards to knock Cavaliers out of field goal range. Another sack would force a punt and ultimately end the half.
The Cavaliers got the ball first in the second half and proceeded to drive down the field. The Panthers were able to force a fumble with their heels on the goal line to halt the Calvary Day drive and give their offense a chance to score. On the next Calvary Day possession, a 51-yard touchdown run by Smith would be called back on a holding penalty. The Cavaliers would still finish the drive with a score after a four-yard plunge from Smith for his second score of the night. Calvary Day sophomore quarterback Eric Phoenix would get a taste of the end zone on a 19-yard run late in the third quarter to extend the lead, 41-7.
Panther quarterback Washington rolled to his right and took off running to start the fourth quarter off with a huge 35-yard run after already completing two passes on the drive. He would end the drive with a dart into the end zone to hook up with his running back Holloway for a 19-yard touchdown pass. With time running out, Calvary Day marched down the field and put in one final score with running back Jaydon Grant. The Cavaliers would leave Portal with the win, 47-14.
“We just got worn down. (Calvary Day) is a great football team and they will go far in the playoffs,” Smith said.