First Downs 8 7
Rushes-Yards 38-98 34-95
Passing Yards 0 7
Total Yards 98 102
Comp-Att-Int 0-0-0 2-5-2
Turnovers 3 4
Penalties-Yards 8-55 9-103
Rushing: PHS: Williams, 7-37, 0 TD. SEB: McMillan, 19-54, 0 TD.
Passing: PHS: None. SEB: Carter, 2-5, 7 yards, 2 INT.
Receiving: PHS: None. SEB: McBride, 1-5.
PHS 6 0 0 3 — 9
SEB 0 0 0 0 — 0
1:36 — Walker (PHS) 1 yard run (PAT failed)
2:14 — Lockley (PHS) 29 field goal
BROOKLET — Cory Walker did a little bit of everything when Portal’s season kicked off at Fred Shaver Field.
He scored a rushing touchdown, played quarterback for a majority of the second half, returned a punt for 45 yards and intercepted a pair of Southeast Bulloch passes as the Panthers blanked SEB 9-0 Friday.
After a promising opening drive, SEB (0-1) punted to Walker who took the kick back 45-yards and placing the Panthers just outside the red zone. Eight plays later Walker punched it into the end zone with a 1-yard run to put the Panthers up 6-0.
Penalties haunted the Jackets as they racked up 45-yards on flags in the first half alone and committed four turnovers in the contest.
“We have to eliminate the things that hurt us,” said SEB coach Pat Collins. “First of all I’d like to give Portal credit on a good football game and they had fewer mistakes than we did. When a game is very close like this one it comes down to who makes fewer mistakes, and I think we had more penalties and turnovers than they had. It’s a sign of youth that we have to grow out of.”
After a mishandled kickoff the Jackets found themselves battling from the shadow of their own end zone for the majority of the second half. Walker received his first of two interceptions on the night early in the third quarter and gave the Panthers the 17-yard line.
Three plays into the drive, Portal lost starting quarterback Hunter Oglesby to a knee injury. Walker took over the reins at the position for the remainder of the game and led the Panthers to a 9-0 win over the Jackets.
Portal’s first-year coach David NeSmith started his career with a win.
“It feels great,” he said. “ A win’s a win, even when it’s ugly. We didn’t execute very well on offense tonight, but our defense played very well. Coach [Josh] Thompson, coach [Todd] Gilchrist, and coach [Gavin] McCullough did a great job getting our guys ready. … The defense kept bailing us out, bailing us out, bailing us out and I couldn’t be any more proud of our kids. Hats off to them and we just have to keep working hard.
“We told our kids when we got out there that we were going to be stronger in the fourth quarter and that we weren’t going to be stopped and we were not going to be physically exhausted. I believe when we got to the fourth quarter we got stronger especially on the defensive side. They played hard and fought until the finish. Now we just have to get the mental mistakes out of the way.”
Portal hosts Metter and SEB travels to Long County on Friday.