GAMECENTER: Portland 28, White House 17
By Kris Freeman, White House Football
WHITE HOUSE – A new line was drawn in the sand Friday night as Portland and White House returned to the field as region rivals for the first time since 2000, and the Panthers struck the first blow with a 28-17 win.
Portland came within one game of evening the series with White House at 24-23 in 47 meetings. The Panthers had won just three times in the previous 14 meetings and the last was in 2012.
Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, Portland rallied to outscore the Blue Devils 28-7 over the remaining 30 minutes of the game. White House built a 10-0 lead on a 26-yard field goal by Logan Trimmer, then a bruising 34-yard touchdown run by Trey Hyde. He finished with his third straight 100-yard game with 24 carries for 118 yards.
Portland built a 22-10 lead in the fourth quarter but after senior Luke Hopkins broke a 25-yard touchdown to cut it to 22-17, White House lost the chance at a comeback at the two-yard-line.
Hopkins broke a quarterback keeper to the two, but never got the exchange from center James Whitby on the next play and Portland recovered at the four. Quarterback Ethan Brummett broke a 59-yard run and led the Panthers to the final touchdown and a 28-17 score.
Brummett completed just 4-of-11 passes in the game, but the momentum changer was huge right before halftime. Emmanuel Johnson scored on a 50-yard hook and ladder play with no time on the clock after Brummett hit Michael Hussey at the 40 and while being tackled, he lateraled to Johnson who sprinted down the visitor sideline. The two-point conversion made it 16-10 at the break.
“You have to give them credit – they came back and they were ready to play tonight,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter. “We felt like we had pretty good control of the game early and then they broke one run and had a long drive and got back into the game.
“The play before halftime was huge. We still had a chance to win but that was a huge break in momentum. It’s hard to win when you turn over the football four times.”
White House had four turnovers, and Portland took advantage with 367 yards of total offense. The Devils had just 269. Hopkins was 6-of-15 for 74 yards, but was intercepted early and had two fumbles. During a sack in the third quarter, he attempted to release the ball and it was ruled a fumble, kicked incidentally and recovered by the Panthers in the red zone.
The play was huge, resulting in a fourth down pass of 12 yards from Brummett to Kemper Dixon and a 22-10 lead.
Johnson carried 14 times for 114 yards for the Panthers and Brummett 20 times for 89 yards. Brummett was 4-of-11 for 110 yards passing.
Trimmer and Brian Mullins had two catches each for the Blue Devils.
White House (1-2) travels to Greenbrier in non-region play, and Portland (2-1) comes home to face White House Heritage.
The Blue Devils will need to beat at least two of four remaining region opponents to have a chance at the postseason; those games are against Springfield, Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Macon County.
“We have a tough road ahead and the first thing is getting ready for a good team and a big rival next Friday night,” Porter said. “We have to get back to the practice field and work on mistakes and improving as a football team. Tonight was a tough night.”
Greenbrier is 1-2, with losses to Portland and Springfield and a win over Goodpasture.