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Undefeated Country Day comes to Portal
Portal helmet new

The Portal Panthers were unable to come up with a win yet again last week as sub-region rival Claxton outlasted them.


That kept Portal winless on the 2019 season, but was also the best that the Panthers had looked to date. Portal scored for the first time in three games and hit double-digits on the scoreboard for just the second time all year.


Meanwhile, a Panther defense that had been gashed every which way for nearly a month finally got a chance to show its teeth. The Portal D slowed down a Claxton attack that arrived in town with plenty of momentum and the Panthers had their best points-allowed total of the season.


Unfortunately, all of those positives still added up to a 23-14 loss.


Even less fortunate, Portal's reward for playing a solid game is a visit from the region-leading Hornets of Savannah Country Day.


The Hornets spent most of the last decade as low man on the totem pole of the three Savannah private schools in Region 3-A. But SCD made slow strides in each of the last two seasons and has exploded onto the scene this season.


The Hornets' strength lies in its spread offense that is spearheaded by quarterback Barry Kleinpeter. The sophomore gunslinger hasn't been shy in letting things fly, throwing 957 yards and eight touchdowns so far this season.


Kleinpeter also gets the job done with his legs as he is second on the team with 347 rushing yards to go along with five rushing touchdowns.


The Hornet attack turns into a two-man game as Kleinpeter most often turns to running back and fellow sophomore Davion Smith to take the ball anytime he gives it up. Smith leads the Hornets on the ground with 448 yards and has found the end zone eight times.


The Hornets' biggest threat lies in how well the ball is spread around through the air.


Kleinpeter's 59 percent completion rate isn't elite, but he throws all over the field and to all levels and has four receivers that have racked up more than 100 yards through the air already.


Portal remains almost exclusively a running team and has struggled plenty on the defensive side against teams that showcase speed and an ability to spread the field.


It's a David-and-Goliath matchup if ever there was one and certainly a tall task for Portal.

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