PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth high school football team captured a win in their home opener on Friday night against non-league opponent Mt. Hope high school by a resounding 28-0 score.
The win keeps the Patriots undefeated on the season.
“Great energy, great environment. I think our kids are really fortunate to have an atmosphere like this. I think the people that came out appreciate the effort that our kids have,” said Portsmouth head coach Ryan Moniz. “It’s always been a special place to play.”
The Patriots got things going early when junior Brian Hamilton picked off a pass from Mt. Hope quarterback Matthew DeFelice and brought it to the house, giving the home team a 7-0 lead just 1:33 into the game.
“I think Brian’s interception capitulates it and stole momentum early. We kind of got in that wave of momentum and it breeds confidence. I think our kids played with confidence tonight,” Mr. Moniz said.
The Patriots would score again early in the second quarter when quarterback Kyle Bicho found junior tight end Nicholas Amaral on an 11-yard pass and put Portsmouth up 13-0 after the missed extra point early in the second quarter.
After what looked like a three-and-out for Mt. Hope turned into a possession for the Huskies in enemy territory, after a muffed punt by Portsmouth was recovered by the visiting team. The Patriots defense came up with a stop, however. to give their offense another crack with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
“The protection was good and gave him a chance to throw it. The receivers I thought had their best game in terms of spacing. The passing game in coming,” said Mr. Moniz on his offense’s first-half performance.
The Patriots, lead by Bicho, marched down the field and into the end zone as the quarterback ran it in himself at the goal line, giving his team a 20-0 lead heading into the half.
The second half started with the Huskies getting a pick of their own on Portsmouth’s opening third quarter drive as Benjamin Iiams intercepted Bicho’s pass, setting up Mt. Hope on their own 20-yard line.
The drive, however, wouldn’t last too long as Portsmouth’s Jake Letoumeau intercepted DeFelice’s pass, giving the ball to the Patriots’ offense deep in Mt. Hope territory. The Huskies would come up huge with a goal line stand, however, keeping the Patriots off the board.
“I think going forward for us, it’s being better on first down and better on the goal line,” said Mr/ Moniz. “I think if we get better in those two areas we’ll see the next breakthrough in our offense.”
Midway through the third quarter, Portsmouth would add two more points to the board as they tackled Mt. Hope running back Maxwell Moskala in the end zone, extending the ead to 22-0.
The game’s final quarter started with Bicho’s second rushing touchdown of the game, putting the Patriots up 28-0 and keeping them undefeated on the year at 3-0 in Division I play and 4-0 overall. With the loss, Mt. Hope drops to 2-1 in Division II and 3-1 overall.
‘Lot of mistakes’
“Our goal is to be competitive and obviously tonight we were not competitive. Tonight we wouldn’t be competitive with teams in our own division,” said Mt. Hpe head coach T.J. Del Santo. “We had a lot of mistakes. We had a lot of breakdowns mentally. We gave up big plays. We had several turnovers.”
Portsmouth will travel to St. Ray’s next Friday to take on the Saints, while Mt. Hope will host Middletown.