TCHS 7 0 6 6 — 19
PHS 6 15 7 6 — 34
TCHS Woods recovered blocked punt in end zone (Cammack kick) 8:23.
PHS Street 1 run (Kick failed) 6:11.
PHS Huff 29 yard punt return (2 pt. pass from Street to Williams) 5:33.
PHS Williams 7 run (Aubry kick) 1:54.
PHS Williams 55 run (Aubry kick) 8:13.
TCHS Gutierrez fumble return for TD (Kick failed) 4:13.
PHS Williams 20 run (kick failed) 9:59.
TCHS Lovett 60 yard fumble return for TD (2 pt. conversion failed) 7:43.
First downs 4 10
Total Yards 128 253
Rushes-yards 16-21 46-195
Passing 107 58
Comp-Att-Int 17-30-2 3-13-0
Turnovers 3 2
Penalties-Yards 11-75 8-45
RUSHING_TCHS, Harden 6-29. PHS, Williams 11-133, 3 TDs.
PASSING_TCHS, Cammack 15-28-1-100. PHS, Budgett 1-5-0-43
RECEIVING_TCHS, Johnson 6-39. PHS, Williams 1-43.
PORTAL — Before Friday night’s game against Treutlen County, Portal Head Coach Jon Willoughby told running back Malik Williams the Vikings’ coaches were not going to let Williams beat them. Williams told his coach, “We’ll see about that.”
Williams scored three times, recorded an interception and nearly had a fourth touchdown on the night to lead the Panthers (2-0) to a 34-19 win at the Portal Athletic Complex. He ended the night with 176 yards from scrimmage, including 133 on the ground on 10 carries.
“He kept telling me to give him the ball, so we did,” Willoughby said. “He’s a special player.”
While Williams provided the spark on offense, the Portal defense played remarkably well, holding the Vikings to only four first downs and forcing three turnovers on the night. In fact, the Panthers’ defense didn’t allow a score all night, as all of Treutlen County’s points came off turnovers or special teams miscues.
After the Vikings took an early 7-0 lead on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone, the Panther offense responded. Williams had an excellent kickoff return to give the Panthers the ball on the Vikings 34 yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Evan Street ran it in from a yard out to cut the lead to 7-6.
Midway through the second quarter, the Portal special teams stepped up with a partially blocked a punt. After what seemed like momentary confusion during which neither team wanted to touch the ball, Darius Huff picked it up at the 29-yard line and ran down the sideline to put Portal up 14-7.
Late in the second quarter, Williams picked up his first touchdown of the night on a 7-yard run as Portal took a 21-7 lead into halftime.
The Panther defense was able to shut down the Vikings passing attack in the first half. Despite allowing Brad Cammack to complete 9-of-13 passes, the Panthers held Treutlen County to only one first down in the first half.
“We had a really good game plan coming in, and I thought we executed it well,” Willoughby said of his defense’s effort. “It was all effort out there, and they hustled for 48 minutes.”
The second half started like the first half ended, with Williams finding the end zone again on Portal’s opening drive. This time it was a 55-yard scamper in which he cut up the middle, made a few Vikings defenders miss and then outran the pursuers for the score.
The Vikings were able to mount a charge on the ensuing possession, but back-to-back incompletions on third and fourth down from the 6-yard line stalled the Viking attack. On the next play, however, an errant pitch on the option was recovered by Treutlen County’s Andres Gutierrez to trim the lead to 28-13.
The Panther offense responded by driving to the Vikings 1-yard line, but penalties and an untimely sack knocked Portal back to the 20. Facing fourth down, Willoughby called on Williams again, and he responded by taking a toss to the left and outrunning the defense to the corner of the end zone for this third score of the night.
Treutlen County added its final score on a 60-yard fumble recovery by Martavious Lovett, but the Panthers were able to hold on for the win.
On the night, Portal held Treutlen County to 21 rushing yards on 16 carries and only 128 yards.
The Panthers are 2-0 for the first time since 2005, when they opened the season with an eight-game winning streak. It’s only the third time since 2001 that Portal has started the season with consecutive wins.
“We’ve still got some things to work on. We need to execute better and there’s some coaching things I need to clean up, but we’ll get back to practice and work on those next week,” Willoughby said.