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Portal edges Jenkins
101411 PORTAL FOOTBALL 01 web
Portal defender Branden Lively signals "no good" as the Panthers stop a Jenkins County two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter Friday.


        JCHS        PHS
First Downs        10            16
Rushes-Yards    25-82        44-236
Passing Yards    127            0
Total Yards        209            236
Comp-Att-Int        6-12-0        0-0-0
Turnovers        1            1
Penalties-Yards    6-35            7-47

Individual Leaders
Rushing: JCHS: Knight, 10-40, TD. PHS: Gadson, 19-140, TD.
Passing: JCHS: Knight, 6-12, 127 yards, TD.
Receiving: JCHS: Evans, 4-107, TD.

JCHS    0    7    0    6 — 13
PHS     7    7    0    0 — 14

Score by Quarter
1st Quarter
1:59 — Walker (PHS) 5 run (Lockley kick)
2nd Quarter
8:43 — Knight (JCHS) 1 run (Deloach kick)
1:35 — Gadson (PHS) 3 run (Lockley kick)
4th Quarter
4:54 — Evans (JCHS) 16 pass from Knight (Conversion failed)


    PORTAL — For the second game in a row, the Portal Panthers didn't attempt a pass.
    For the second time, it didn't matter.
    The Panthers rushed for 236 yards and held off visiting Jenkins County 14-13 Friday during homecoming.
    "It wasn't pretty, and sometimes they're not," said Portal coach David NeSmith. "You learn a long time ago that an ugly win is a lot better than a pretty loss any day — if there is such a thing as a pretty loss."
    The Panthers (4-3, 3-1 Region 3W-A) gave up 127 passing yards to Jenkins County quarterback Jake Knight, but after Knight hit receiver Lavontay Evans (four catches, 107 yards) in the back of the end zone tor a touchdown to cut the PHS lead to 14-13 early in the fourth quarter, Portal knew from watching film that the Eagles were about to go for two with a running play.
    Georgia Bulldogs commit James Deloach, a JCHS defensive end and tight end, lined up next to Knight as a running back in the shotgun.
    "We knew on the sideline what they were about to do," said NeSmith, It wasn't so much what they were about to do, it was, 'Can you stop him?' He's 275 or 280 pounds coming at you. He's a load."
    A direct snap went to Deloach, who charged through the line of scrimmage, but the Portal defense brought him down at the 1-yard line to preserve the lead, allowing the Panthers to run out the clock.
    "That was big for us, but I had confidence in our offense," NeSmith said about the goal-line stand. "If we needed to, we were going to come back into position to at least kick a field goal to win the thing or score a touchdown."
    Senior Portal running back Trai Gadson pounded the football into the Jenkins County defense all night, finishing with 140 rushing yards on only 19 carries. He scored from three yards out in the second quarter to put the Panthers ahead 14-7.
    Portal took an early, 7-0, lead in the first quarter when Corey Walker (11-49), rushed for a touchdown from five yards out. The Panthers were in the I-formation on the scoring play, which happened shortly after running back Tre Williams (4-23) left the game with an injury to his leg.
    Knight tied the game early in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown run.
    The drive needed only three plays.
    After the War Eagles (1-7, 1-4) recovered a Portal fumble on the 48-yard line, Knight hit Evans with a 46-yard pass that set up his touchdown run.
    Jenkins County travels to Twin City Friday to face Emanuel County Institute. Portal returns to action Friday when it hosts region play against Wheeler County.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.