After losing its first game of the season last week to Oak Harbor, Port Clinton wanted to get back on the right track.
The Redskins wasted no time in answering the call, scoring on their first five possessions before defeating Margaretta, 44-20, in Sandusky Bay Conference action Friday night at True-Lay Stadium.
Port Clinton, which improved to 4-1 and 1-1 in the SBC, scored its first touchdown as a result of the defense. Keegan Lowe intercepted a Dylan Bailey pass and returned it 42 yards to the 2-yard-line, setting up his brother, Emerson, who ran it in from two yards out to put the ‘Skins ahead for good, 6-0. Nathan Stubblefield, who connected on five extra points and a 43-yard field goal, pushed the lead to 7-0.
Port Clinton’s second touchdown was also set up by the defense when it stopped the Polar Bears (3-2, 0-2 SBC) on fourth-and-1 at the 34. Two plays later, a 66-yard run by quarterback Brandon Moore, who finished with 11 carries for 107 yards and three scores, put the ‘Skins up 13-0.
Margaretta answered, driving 79 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 4-yard run by Ryan Green to cut the deficit to six points, but the Bears would get no closer.
Port Clinton outscored Margaretta, 17-14, in the second quarter to take a 30-20 lead into the half and pushed the advantage to 17 points when Moore scored on an 18-yard run in the third quarter.
Port Clinton head coach Beau Carmon talked about how important it was for his team to rebound after losing to Oak Harbor last week.
“It was big,” he said. “You’re talking about kids that had an emotional loss the week before. These are teenagers that have worked very, very hard, and the setback against Oak Harbor was emotionally and physically draining. The week leading up (to this game) was key. We had a fantastic week of practice. We tried to put Oak Harbor in the rear-view mirror, and we played a better game against Margaretta, I think they’re a solid football team, and they’ve got some nice players.
The key to the victory was the performance of the offensive line, which opened holes for Moore and Emerson Lowe, who had a remarkable game, finishing with 12 carries for 172 yards and three touchdowns. His 91-yard run in the fourth quarter sealed the victory and accounted for the final scoring.
“They did a good job,” Carmon said of the men up front. “That was our best rushing game. Clyde had a hard time running the ball against Margaretta last week, and we were able to create some holes for our running backs. We used the read option to keep them off balance and we mixed in the pass. You’ve got to run the ball in high-school football.”
“The two previous games, we wanted Brandon to get comfortable and establish the run first, and we were able to do that. We’re averaging about 12-14 passes each game, and he’s throwing about 125-150 yards per game. There are big plays when we do throw it, but that’s not our game plan. You want to run the ball first, and go with the pass off that. That starts with the offensive line, and they controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”
At this point, Carmon is just trying to make sure his kids stay focused and continue to work hard. This group, which has gone 1-19 over the last two seasons, is not used to being in this position, one that finds them in fourth place in the Division IV, Region 12 Standings with 7.00 points.
“We just want the kids to finish everything,” Carmon said. “Finish practice strong, our lifts strong, our individual drills strong. That’s something we’ve really, really worked on — finishing things. You simulate things in practice and drills, whether it’s blocking for the offensive line or gang tackling.”
This Saturday, the ‘Skins travel to Conneaut to play the Conneaut Spartans. Conneaut is 4-1 and is currently ranked 11th in the Div. IV, Region 11 Standings.