Turnovers costly as Hornets fall to Trojans, 14-6

Published 4:05 pm Saturday, September 23, 2023



PORTSMOUTH — Turnovers are only good if they are the kind you eat for dessert. The turnovers you commit in a football game are hazardous to your health.

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And your chances of winning.

For the second time this season the Coal Grove Hornets suffered turnover woes that led to losses as they turned the ball over 4 times in a 14-6 loss to the Portsmouth Trojans in an Ohio Valley Conference 

Coal Grove lost 2 fumbles and had an interception in a 33-20 loss to South Point in week 4. On Friday, the Hornets fumbled 4 times and lost them all in the loss to Portsmouth.

The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half before Coal Grove (4-2, 1-2) went on a short 5-play, 35-yard drive capped by Kaden Murphy’s 2-yard run with 3:29 left in the third quarter.

The conversion run failed and the lead was 6-0.

Portsmouth (3-3, 2-1) answered following the kickoff and went on their own scoring drive that covered 69 yards in 6 plays.

Quarterback Camron Williams had runs of 39 and 19 yards  to highlight the drive that he topped off with a 2-yard run.

Zach Roth kicked the go-ahead extra point and the Trojans were up 7-6 with 2:20 to play.

Coal Grove was able to move the ball into Portsmouth territory only to have more disaster strike.

Quarterback Whyatt Mannon went back to pass when the ball slipped out of his hand and Trojans’ defensive lineman Leo Poxes scooped up the ball and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown.

Roth added the conversion and it was 14-8 with just 1:13 to play.

Coal Grove began the fourth quarter with a time-consuming drive that appeared to be a scoring effort.

The 12 play drive chewed up 7:50 off the clock and reached the Portsmouth 31 when a fourth-and-one play was stopped by the Trojans’ defense.

Coal Grove had 233 total yards with 138 coming on the ground led by Murphy with 85 yards on 21 carries. Gavin Gipson ran 14 times for 43 yards.

Mannon was 8-of-14 passing for 95 yards. Gipson had 32 yards receiving on 2 catches with Murphy getting 33 yards on 3 receptions.

Williams was again the dual threat for the Trojans as he ran 11 times for 75 yards and completed 9-of-19 passes for 96 yards to give the Trojans 258 total yards.

Chase Heiland carried 14 times for 87 yards while Nick Copley caught 4 passes for 61 yards.

Next Friday, Coal Grove visits Gallipolis and Portsmouth will host Chesapeake.

Coal Grove 0 0 6 0 = 6

Portsmouth 0 0 0 14 = 14

Third Quarter

CG– Kaden Murphy 2 run (run failed) 3:29

Fourth Quarter

Prt — Camron Williams 2 run (Zach Roth kick) 2:20

Prt — Leo Poxes 52 fumble return (Zach Roth kick) 1:12



First downs 13 12

Rushes-yards 42-138 25-162

Passing yards 95 96

Total yards 233 258

Cmp-Att-Int 8-14-0 9-19-0

Fumbles-lost 4-4 1-1

Penalties-yards 4-35 5-30


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Coal Grove: Kaden Murphy 21-85 TD, Gavin Gipson 14-43, Caden Turner 3-6, Whyatt Mannon 4-4; Portsmouth: Camron Williams 11-75 TD, Chase Heiland 14-87.

PASSING–Coal Grove: Whyatt Mannon 8-14-0 95; Portsmouth: Camron Williams 9-19-0 96.

RECEIVING–Coal Grove: Gavin Gipson 2-32, Devin Bloomfield 1-10, Kaden Murphy 3-33, Wesley Runyon 1-14, Landon Roberts 1-6; Portsmouth: Nick Copley 4-61, Chase Heiland 3-18, Colin Perry 1-20, Landon Malone 1-3.