By Curtis Marlin Portland Leader
Warren East used three big plays to post a 21-0 win over Portland last Friday night on the blue turf at Jim Ross Field in the season opener for both squads. The trio of scoring strikes accounted for 234 of the Raiders’ 437 total yards.
“They out big-played us tonight,” said PHS coach Greg Cavanah remarked after the horn sounded. “We can’t give up big plays.”
Raider Quarterback Dwayne Cook completed 10 of 20 passes for 291 yards including scoring tosses of 81 and 80 to college prospect Caleb Huskey. Trevor Naftel added the final score on a 73-yard run from scrimmage.
Portland’s defense was impressive at times. The Raider offense had 14 possessions and were forced to punt four times They had four drives end on failed fourth down conversions.
“We got some stops on fourth down,” Cavanah pointed out.
The Panthers compiled 204 yards of offense with 117 coming on the ground. PHS reached the red zone on two drives but came up short of the goal line. They crossed the midfield stripe on four different series of downs.
“We have to move the football, and when we do, we have to score,” Cavanah said.
Senior Joshua Fadeley finished with 124 all-purpose yards while Kobe Dutcher led the running attack with 49 yards. Quarterback Brandon Meador completed five of 11 passes for 56 yards.
The Purple had 12 plays that went for negative yardage and held for the football for over 30 minutes in running 57 plays from scrimmage.
Portland threatened to score first on their second possession of the contest after starting the drive at the midfield stripe. A pair of passes from quarterback Brandon Meador to Ryan Brewster each produced 15 yards per play.
Runs by Dutcher, Fadeley, and Brycen Dowlen advanced the football to the 5. Three straight running plays went for negative gain and brought up a fourth down.
Camrin Lyle came on to attempt her first field goal of her high school career, but the 32-yard try was short and left the game scoreless.
The shutout didn’t last but one play as Warren East put the first points on the scoreboard when Cook hit a speeding Huskey on a short pass and the senior caught the football and went in untouched for the score. Eddie Cano’s PAT put the hosts up 7-0.
Portland’s defense withstood a challenge after fumbling the football at their own 15. Warren East returned the favor as Portland’s Cody Whitfield fell on a mishandled handoff between Cook and Isaiah Boards.
But a 10-yard penalty stopped the momentum and the Purple were forced to punt.
On the fake punt, Blake Curtis took the snap and headed for the first down marker but came up short.
Warren East struck on the fourth play of the final quarter when Cook found his favorite receiver on another passing route and Huskey made the catch and went 81 yards for the touchdown. Cano nailed the PAT as the Raiders led by two touchdowns.
The Panthers were still in the ballgame and had another shot at the end zone by driving the football to the 13. Fadeley gained 32 yards on a carry and Tobias McNutt had an eleven-yard pick-up. The drive ended on four straight running plays as three went for negative yards.
The Raiders iced the game as Naftel took the handoff and took it 73-yards to pay dirt with Cano wrapping up the scoring with his point after conversion.
Portland will host Hillwood in the home opener this Friday.