Improving Trojans rely on offense

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

The record says &#8221No,“ but the offense says &#8221Go.“

While the Portsmouth Trojans come into Friday's game against Ironton with just a 1-6 record, Fighting Tigers head coach Bob Lutz said the Trojans are not only improving, but their offense is clicking.

In the past two weeks, Portsmouth has lost 48-6 to Wheelersburg and then to New Lexington 38-20.

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&#8221Their offense has been able to move the ball all season,“ Lutz said. &#8221They moved the ball against Wheelersburg but they killed themselves with turnovers.

&#8221Against New Lexington, they scored 20 points and moved the ball again but turned it over a couple of times and hurt themselves with penalties. They'd have a stop on defense and a penalty would give New Lexington a first down. They've got a nice offense.“

The Trojans offense features sophomore quarterback Shane Porter (6-1, 175) as the triggerman and running back Cliff Alexander (5-9, 165), the lone returning starter. The Trojans lost 22 seniors last season.

Portsmouth, which has switched to the spread offense using a heavy dosage of shotgun, has A.J. Johnson (5-10, 150) as the flanker, Che Pickles (6-1, 180) the split end, John Walker ((5-7, 150) in the slot and J.D. Jones (6-4, 185) and Wes Jordan (6-2, 200) sharing the tight end duties.

&#8221They're a lot like other teams we've played. They spread the field, force you to spread your defense,“ Lutz said. &#8221Their quarterback is a good athlete. He runs well and he throws the ball real well. He's pretty poised for a sophomore.“

Portsmouth has plenty of size on the offensive line. Josh Nelson (5-9, 215) is the center, Tyler Staker (6-1, 285) and Mark Webb (6-2, 270) are the guards, and Chase Barry (6-0, 230) and Cody Farney (6-2, 275) the tackles.

&#8221It's hard to find the ball carrier behind their size,“ Lutz said.

Defensively, Portsmouth uses a 4-4 alignment and has always been difficult for the Fighting Tigers in recent years.

The ends of Jones and Jordan while Ray Caldwell (6-3, 225) and Adam Tatum (5-10, 190) are the tackles.

The inside linebackers are Chase Scott (5-11,185) and Wes Workman (5-9, 160) while Troy Parker (6-0, 185) and Mike Phipps (5-10, 160) are on the outside. The secondary has Alexander and Matt Spradlin (5-9,170) at the cornerback spots and Walker is the safety.

&#8221They do the same thing that they always do. They get in that 4-4 and they just come after you,“ Lutz said.

Kickoff for the homecoming game is 7:30 p.m.