(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- With a three touchdown performance from speedy wideout Tevin Walker, the Portageville Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season, defeating the Charleston Bluejays 48-21.
"Against Chaffee we had five starters who weren't even on the sidelines," Portageville coach Ronnie Jones said, referring to last week's 47-30 loss. "We have all those kids back now and you saw one of them tonight in Tevin. He's an impact player and we sorely missed him those first two games."
Making his presence felt early and often, Walker scored on a pair of kickoff returns and on an 19 yards pass to help the Bulldogs build a 26-21 lead early in the third quarter.
From that point on, Portageville was able to distance themselves for the Bluejays starting with defensive lineman Logan Chambliss catching Charleston quarterback Mike Kellum for a safety with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
Driving back down the field 46 yards after the ensuing punt, the Bulldogs took a 36-21 lead on 1 yard run up the middle by Denzell Simmons with 11:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Sealing the game Portageville went on two more scoring drives with quarterback Bryce Wallace finding Jansen Darst for a 7-yard score before connecting with Dion Foster from 12 yards out with 2:01 to play.
"It was kind of hard to get a drive going and keep it going (early in the game)," Wallace said. "But we stayed strong and fought to the end so I'm happy with how we played."
Though allowing Charleston to gain 396 yards on the ground, the Bulldogs were able to completely shut down anything Charleston's limited passing game.
Only attempting eight passes on the game, the Bluejays were unable to come up with a single completion and saw their first pass attempt of the game picked off by Walker.
Perhaps the biggest incompletion came with under four minutes to play in the first half and the Bluejays trying to take the lead on fourth and goal from the three yard line.
Watching the pass sail incomplete with the quarterback under pressure, the Bulldogs were able to maintain a 20-15 lead going in to the half.
Leading Charleston's effort on the night, Jamaul Gray came away with all three of the Bluejays touchdowns. Answering Walker's 86 yard opening kick off return for a touchdown, Gray returned the ensuing kick 98 yards to tie the game.
He capped a 60 yard Bluejays drive with 21 yard quarterback keeper later in the quarter to give Charleston a 15-8 advantage.
With he team down 20-15 to open the second half, the Gray then scored on the first play from scrimmage from 72 yards out to give the Bluejays their last lead of the game at 21-20.
On his team's struggle to keep up with the Bulldogs in the second half, Charleston coach Brett Blackman said, "I take full responsibility for that and we'll be a better football team next week. We have to do a better job coaching them up next week and that falls on me."
P -- Tevin Walker 86 kickoff return (pass good), 11:46
C -- Jamaul Gray 98 kickoff return (pass good), 11:31
C -- Jamaul Gray 21 run (kick good), 7:25
P -- Tevin Walker 19 pass from Bryce Wallace (run failed), 6:03
P -- Daniel Allen 9 run (run failed), 5:33
C -- Jamaul Gray 72 run good (run failed), 11:39
P -- Tevin Walker 95 kickoff return (run failed), 11:26
P -- Logan Chambliss safety, 0:31
P -- Denzell Simmons 1 run (run good), 11:48
P -- Jansen Darst 7 pass from Bryce Wallace (run failed), 6:10\
P -- Dion Foster 12 pass from Bryce Wallace (kick failed)
Charleston -- Maurice Moore 13-75, Jamaul Grey 14-177, Rontavius Clark 10-81, Robert Bogan 7-86, Mike Kellum 11-(-23). Portageville -- Daniel Allen 15-106, Denzell Simmons 12-125, Bryce Wallace 8-(-18), Tevin Walker 1-20.
Charleston -- Jamaul Gray 0-1-1 0, Mike Kellum 0-7-0 0. Portageville -- 10-19-0 152.
Charleston -- none. Portageville -- Tevin Walker 2-47, Daniel Allen 3-36, Jansen Darst 3-24, Dion Foster 2-45.