HARTSVILLE — The Trousdale County High School football squad dominated last Friday night’s game against visiting Portland from start to finish in a 58-21 win.
The Yellow Jackets, a top ten squad in Class 2A, scored on their first eight possessions and complied 476 yards of offense on 57 plays from scrimmage. The hosts raced to a 21-0, first-quarter lead and never looked back.
“We didn’t do a good job of adjusting to their formations, and they outbalanced us tonight,” Portland head coach Greg Cavanah said. “Offensively, Trousdale just pounds and pounds the football.”
Twelve different Jacket running backs had at least one carry in the contest, with five of those running backs finding the end zone. Senior Quarterback Jayden Hicks rushed for four touchdowns on seven carries for 88 yards, while Sebastian Linarez added 87 yards on eight attempts.
The Panthers accumulated 114 yards, had 17 plays that went for three yards or less and had five plays that covered 10 or more plays from scrimmage.
“Trousdale County just smothers you on defense,” Cavanah said.
Portland’s longest play was an 84-yard kickoff return by senior Cade Box on the first play of the second period. Box added 162 yards in kickoff returns for the Purple.
“The kickoff return was good,” Cavanah said. “It seemed like we played on our end of the football field. We told the kids this week to get ready for their physicality. Trousdale is a good football team.”
Sophomore Braylon Dowlen had a pair of carries for 52 yards, while Box finished with 47 rushing yards.
Trousdale County (6-2) struck first as Bryson Claiborne capped a 45-yard drive with a 31-yard scoring run. Heath Chasse’s first of eight point-after touchdown kicks gave the hosts a 7-0 lead.
The Jackets found the end zone again as Hicks rambled 6 yards to paydirt for a 14-0 edge with 2:04 left in the opening quarter. Trousdale added another touchdown with under a minute remaining as Hicks notched his second six-pointer of the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Box took the football at the 16 yard line and sprinted 84 yards down the Panther sideline to put Portland on the scoreboard. Zach Meador split the uprights on the PAT, and Portland trailed 21-7.
Trousdale County regained the momentum with an eight-play series that was finished off by Hicks, who raced 20 yards for the score.
Box gave the Panthers good field position with a 25-yard kickoff return to the 37. Dylan Gulley followed his left side of the line for 6 yards before Braylon Dowlen busted through the Jacket defense for 50 yards to the 7 yard line. Gulley avoided two would-be tacklers on the next play and went the final distance for the score. Meador was good on the PAT, and Portland trailed 28-14 with 5:30 left before halftime.
The Jackets extended their lead to 35-14 when Hicks crossed the double stripe just before the break to lead 35-14.
Trousdale County took the second-half kickoff and tacked on a touchdown when Cameron Rankins took the football in from 5 yards out.
The Jackets added a safety to their total when Portland attempted to punt, and the football sailed over the punter’s head and ended up in the end zone.
The Jackets took advantage of a short field after the free kick and scored when Hicks dashed 24 yards to increase the lead to 51-14.
The Jackets recovered a Portland fumble on their next possession and scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on an 8-yard jaunt by Cole Gregory.
The Panthers fought to the end and put together an eight-play march that saw Box gaining 14 and 23 yards on back-to-back plays and Jalen Pero punishing the defense for 14. Gulley added an 8-yard pickup, and Box capped the scoring drive by going 7 yards to the end zone. Meador nailed his third PAT of the evening to cap the scoring.
Trousdale County ran out the clock on its next possession.
Portland (2-6) faces Springfield on Friday in its final home game of the season. The Yellow Jackets come to town with a 6-1 record and have scored 198 points while giving up 83.
Friday night’s opponent is led by quarterback Kevontez Hudson, who has 731 yards passing on 45 completions and seven touchdowns. Hudson has scored 11 total touchdowns. Hudson threw for 238 yards in a win over White House.
Defensively, Gabe Kelly has four interceptions for the Yellow Jackets, while Tyrikus Garrett recorded nine tackles in the win over the Blue Devils.
Springfield started the season with a 20-10 win over Wilson Central and won by forfeit over Clarksville in week two. The Yellow Jackets defeated White House Heritage (57-14), handed Station Camp a 38-0 loss and outscored White House 48-24. A 28-7 loss to Marshall County was followed by a region win last week over Montgomery Central, 28-7.
The Yellow Jackets handed the Panthers a 27-12 setback in 2019 as Hudson rushed for 277 yards and scored three touchdowns.