The Chesapeake Panthers did everything they needed to do to win against the Portsmouth Trojans, but they also did everything they needed to lose.
“When you lose two fumbles, give up three one-play drives, and have a punt blocked it makes it difficult to win,” said Chesapeake head coach Todd Knipp of the 34-20 loss to the Trojans, and these mishaps proved to be costly, even with nearly 400 yards in offense.
On the opening drive of the game, the Panthers marched it down the field on a five-minute, 12-play, 74-yard drive that was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by senior running back Will Todd. This was answered by the first of the one-play drives as Talyn Parker bolted for 60 yards and a touchdown, making it 7-7 with 6:34 in the first. “Parker is a tremendous player, and proved that tonight,” said Knipp.
After forcing a Chesapeake punt, Portsmouth’s sophomore quarterback Drew Roe connected with senior wide receiver Bryce Wallace for a 19-yard touchdown, making it 14-7 in the first. The Panthers answered as senior running back Kamren Harless broke through the line on fourth and short for a 28-yard touchdown, tying the game at 14 with 9:31 in the second quarter. After two long drives for both teams ended in turnovers the score remained 14-14 at the half.
To start the third the Trojans went on a four-minute drive that saw a six-yard touchdown pass from Roe to senior wide receiver Eric Purdy, making it 21-14 Portsmouth.
The Trojans stopped Chesapeake on downs to set up another one-play 59-yard drive by Parker, making it 27-14 with 3:50 left in the third.
Mistakes continued to plague Chesapeake as Harless lost a fumble, and the scored stayed at 27-14 at the end of three.
After several stalled drives, Portsmouth was able to break through the Chesapeake line and a block punt. The block set up Portsmouth’s final one-play drive, a 22-yard run by Parker to make it 34-14.
The Panthers answered with a 17-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Donald Richendollar to make it 34-20, but that was not enough. The Trojans recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran the clock out. “We just have to continue to get better, and take it one week at a time,” said Knipp. The Panthers host South Point next week, while the Trojans travel to Fairland.