PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Host Portsmouth broke away from a tightly-contested first half by scoring 28 unanswered points Friday night during a 42-7 victory over the Gallia Academy football team in a Week 5 Ohio Valley Conference gridiron contest at Trojan Coliseum in Scioto County.
The Blue Devils (0-5, 0-2 OVC) found themselves in a 14-0 hole early in the second quarter, but the guests cut their deficit in half following a Quinton Yarger three-yard touchdown run midway through the period.
The Blue and White, however, were never closer the rest of the way as the Trojans (4-1, 2-0) tacked on another score just before the half to secure a 21-7 advantage at the break.
PHS drove the proverbial nail in the coffin during the third quarter as the hosts scored three times, which increased their lead out to 42-7 entering the fourth. Neither team came away with points down the stretch, allowing Portsmouth to wrap up the 35-point triumph.
The Red and Blue snapped a five-game losing skid against the Blue Devils, whom they last defeated in 2009 by a 34-21 margin at the old Spartan Stadium. This was Portsmouth’s first victory over GAHS at the new Trojan Coliseum in three attempts.
The Blue Devils — who have now dropped seven consecutive decisions — were outgained by a 363-181 edge in total yards of offense, which included a sizable 190-yard disadvantage on the ground.
PHS churned out 321 rushing yards on 41 attempts for a 7.8 yards per carry average, while the guests mustered 131 rushing yards on 36 attempts for a 3.6 average. The Trojans also committed zero turnovers and finished plus-3 on the night in turnover differential.
Luke Purdy started the scoring with a five-yard run in the first quarter, giving the hosts an early 7-0 advantage. Ryan Williams followed by hauling in a 17-yard TD pass from Purdy at the start of the second frame for a 14-0 lead.
After the Blue Devils countered with Yarger’s scoring run to pull to within 14-7, PHS countered as Ty Oliver hauled in a one-yard pass from Purdy for a 21-7 intermission advantage.
Austin Lansing started the Trojans’ second half scoring with a three-yard run for a 28-7 edge, then Talyn Parker tacked on a 14-yard scoring run that gave the hosts a comfortable 35-7 cushion.
Purdy rounded out the scoring late in the third period with a one-yard TD run that made it a 42-7 contest.
Portsmouth claimed a 19-13 edge in first downs and was penalized eight times for 90 yards, compared to six flags for 65 yards for the Blue Devils. Neither team had a fumble in the game.
John Stout led the GAHS rushing attack with 48 yards on seven carries, followed by Yarger with 35 yards on 11 attempts and Justin McClelland with 23 yards on 10 totes.
McClelland was 4-of-14 passing for 50 yards while throwing three picks. Colton Campbell led the Blue Devil wideouts with one catch for 21 yards, while Cory Call added one grab for 13 yards and Yarger had one reception for 11 yards.
Yarger, Ty Howell and Garrett Burns paced the Gallia Academy defense with 4.5 tackles apiece, followed by McClelland and Matt Moreaux with four tackles each.
Purdy led the Portsmouth ground game with 148 yards on 16 attempts, followed by Parker with 105 yards on a dozen tries. Purdy was also 3-of-6 passing for 42 yards and threw two touchdowns.
Williams led the PHS wideouts with two grabs for 41 yards and Oliver also had one catch for a single yard.
Gallia Academy returns to action Friday when it hosts Fairland in an OVC contest at Memorial Field at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.