"This is probably one of the bigger victories we've had in a long time," said Portageville coach Jim McKay. "Our kids are pretty young and we're kind of beat up. Kennett beat us pretty good last week and this was a big turnaround for us. The kids played hard and I'm really proud of them."
Antonio Scott carried the load for Portageville, rushing for 264 yards on 37 carries, scoring both Portageville touchdowns.
He scored the first on a 94-yard run with 6:20 left in the opening quarter.
Jacob Summerton kicked the PAT to make it 7-0. Hayti was able to tie the score just before halftime, recovering a Detric Kershaw fumble on the Portageville 22.
Hayti's Torey Nelson ran 11 yards on a sweep, then fumbled the ball right into William Moore's hands. Moore took the ball five yards for a TD, then Miguel Luiz kicked the PAT to make it 7-7 at the break.
Scott scored his second touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter, returning a punt 55-yards. Summerton kicked the PAT to make it 14-7.
"We played pretty good defense all night, considering how much talent they've got," said McKay. "What has really been hurting us is the fact that we've not been playing very good defense. Tonight, we got it together and played a whole lot better on defense. That was the difference in the game."
Behind the big night from Scott, Kershaw finished with eight carries for 23 yards. QB Jordan Penn had three attempts for nine yards and Leonard Boyd had two attempts for five yards. Penn attempted three passes with no completions or interceptions.
For Hayti, Nelson rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries, Dominique Robinson had nine attempts for 55 yards, Jordan Payne had 27 yards on four carries and Josh White had two attempts for no yards.
In the passing department, White threw for 83 yards on 4-of-16 passing with three interceptions.
Moore had two catches for 55 yards. Joel McCrary had one reception for 18 yards and Ricky Jackson had one for 10. Since returning to Portageville, McKay is 2-1 against Hayti. His team has been the heavy underdog in all three meetings.
"Portageville and Hayti used to be a strong rivalry -- one of the biggest around," said McKay. "When Hayti got down those years, it kind of tailed off. Now since Hayti has gotten strong again, the rivalry is back. People from Hayti and Portageville always look forward to this game."
Portageville (4-1 overall, 3-0 in SEMO South) will be back in action on Friday, hosting Fulton City, Ky. Hayti (4-1 overall, 2-1 in SEMO South) will host Scott City on Friday.
"I'm hoping this win really helps us," said McKay. "We were so disappointed after the Kennett loss. Getting beat so bad was kind of embarrassing. These kids have always had pride, and I think they came back on their pride and played a lot better tonight."