Defence stands tall for Trojans
Trojans' Connor Green and Eric McCutchin tackle Elmwood's star receiver after a punt. Portage's defence put up four points in the victory. (Aaron Wilgosh/Graphic)
It wasn’t pretty but a win’s a win.
Portage Collegiate managed to hold on for a 13-9 victory over the Elmwood Giants in Winnipeg High School Football League action Thursday in Portage la Prairie. The Trojans’ defence stood tall four times on their one-yard line and managed to put up four points toward the win. They’re now 2-3 in the Kas Vidruk Division.
“A little too close for my liking,” says Trojans’ Head Coach, Donald Burrell. “Since the Dryden game we’ve been able to put some good defensive stands together in our end. I didn’t want to let them get any (points) at all, but I’ll take the win.”
The Trojans opened the game strong and just over five minutes in the defence got them on the board with a safety. The teams exchanged punts until Portage pushed the ball downfield where quarterback Tyler Morris was able to run in the sneak for a major. They missed the extra point on the play and took an 8-0 lead into the second quarter.
Neither team seemed to gain any offensive momentum in the second quarter. Portage’s defence was able to force Elmwood back into their end zone a second time to pick up another two, while kicker Connor Green nailed a 30-yard kick to make it 13-0 heading into the second half. The Giants had a couple of opportunities in the red zone but the Trojans’ defenders shut them down every time.
The second half had a slower pace, as neither team wanted to give an inch on the field. Portage wasn’t able to find the end zone for any points, but they kept their opponents to just 9. It could’ve been a lot worse had it not been for the Trojans’ defence, they only allowed one touchdown on 6 red zone attempts for the Giants. A late interception by Trojans’ defender Eric McCutchin halted the Giants’ final drive after they recovered an onside kick with a minute to go.
“This game shouldn’t have been that tight,” says Burrell. “We made some mistakes like a bad punt, some sloppy blocking, and a few other minor things but we still got the win. I just want to make sure the team left everything on the field and I feel we did that.”
Burrell adds they’ll be working on their snaps heading into their Week 6 match-up is at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg Friday, October 13th, when they face Miles Mac (0-4).