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Portal visits region rival Hornets

Portal (2-3, 0-1) at Sav. Co. Day (1-4, 0-1)
7:30 p.m., Today

Facts & Figures
    The Panthers haven’t had much luck against the Hornets. Since 2001 Portal is 1-10 against Savannah County Day with the Panthers’ lone win coming in the 2004 season.
    Portal’s defense will need to slow down the SCD offense. The Panthers have given up more than 30 points in each of their three losses.
    Penalties and turnovers will once again be key. The Hornets play disciplined football and won’t beat themselves.

    The Portal Panthers will look to right the ship tonight and put an end to their three game losing streak as they travel to Savannah to take on Savannah Country Day in a Region 3A-A matchup.
    Portal (2-3, 0-2) hopes to get their struggling offense going against a Hornets’ (1-4, 1-2) defense that is surrendering 40 points per game through its five games so far this season.  The SCD defense may be what the Panthers need as they’ve just 13 points in their last three games.
    Despite the loss last week, Panther head coach Jon Willoughby said it was the best game his team has played all year in all aspects of the game.
    “We played well on offense, defense and special teams,” he said. “We played great but the score didn’t come out our way.”
    Portal offensively will be led by running backs Malik Williams and Darius Huff who have combined to run for more than 600 yards on the season. 
    Evan Street and Tyler Budgett have shared the quarterbacking duties so far this season and are expected to continue to do so.
    Defensively, the Panthers will look to stop the spread offense of the Hornets that is averaging 21 points per contest.
    However, in three of the Hornets’ four losses they’ve scored 13 points or less, only exploding against Montgomery County and Stratford Academy.
    “This is the part of the season that’s a grind,” Willoughby said. “We’ve played seven games, counting our scrimmages and we’ve been practicing for 15 weeks or so now. A win would definitely help.”
    Despite the midseason setbacks, Willoughby said his team continues to show improvement.
    “We’re a long way from where we need to be, but we’re getting better,” he said.
    Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., in Savannah.