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Panthers wary of dangerous Trojans

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

CHESAPEAKE — If he could, Chesapeake Panthers’ coach Andy Clark would put “Danger Zone” signs all over the locker room.

Clark is getting grey hair this week thinking about the Panthers’ opponent as they go on the road to play the Portsmouth Trojans in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

The Panthers’ coach knows the Trojans are 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the league, but Portsmouth quarterback Cole Lowery and running back Austin Hollins and others very capable of making big plays.

“They’re dangerous. They can be dangerous, that’s for sure,” said Clark. “The quarterback can be elusive and he plays well. He can throw the ball well. (Hollins) is a good athlete and (Luke Purdy) catches the ball well.”

Lowery, Hollins and Purdy aren’t the only players who worry Clark. Also in the “danger zone” are receiver Ryan Williams, running back Darray Richardson and return man Omaru Carter.

Clark said linemen Chris Boehm (6-3, 230), Mike Adkins (6-1, 299) and Zach Delotell (5-11, 242) all pose a problem.

“They run the jet-read option with Richardson. They try to spread it around and stretch the field,” said Clark.

“They do a little bit of everything. There’s a lot of stuff to prepare for. You have to tackle well in open space and be disciplined.”

Chesapeake is 6-1 on the season and locked in a three-way tie for second place with Coal Grove and Rock Hill at 2-1.

“This is a big game, but then every game is a big game. Any time you win in high school football, it’s a big win. They’re tough to come by,” said Clark.

Portsmouth likes to play a 4-4 on defense, an alignment that works well against a running team like the Panthers.

“Defensively, they’re aggressive and their defensive backs will crowd you,” said Clark.

Chesapeake beat Fairland 36-6 last week while Portsmouth downed South Point 55-28. Portsmouth returned a punt and a fumble for touchdowns in its win.

The Panthers did not have a turnover last week — a first for them this season. Clark said taking care of the ball will be a priority again.

“Turnovers will be a key again. The team that executes and wants it the most will win,” said Clark.

In other Ohio Valley Conference games, Ironton (3-4. 3-) hosts Rock Hill (4-2, 2-1) and Fairland (0-7, 0-4) visits Coal Grove (3-4, 2-1). South Point (2-5, 1-3) plays a non-league game at home against Southern Ohio Conference member Symmes Valley (4-3, 3-1).