Chaffee sends Portageville to its 21st straight loss
Andrew Powell ~ Standard Democrat
PORTAGEVILLE -- The Portageville Bulldogs hoped to end their season on a high note Thursday night as they tried to avoid a second consecutive winless season.
However, the Bulldogs' prayers went unanswered as the Chaffee Red Devils handed Portageville their 21st loss in a row 42-7.
Although both team's district title hopes were already dashed, Chaffee came in determined as a victory would give them their first winning season since 1989.
"We knew that Chaffee wasn't finished with their season when they came in tonight," said Portageville head coach Lee Wallace. "They had a chance to end their season at 5-5 or 6-4."
On the opening drive the Bulldog's defense forced a fumble in Red Devils territory but were unable to capitalize on the good field position. After the earlier turnover however, Chaffee knew they couldn't take Portageville lightly as they hunkered down on both sides of the ball.
The Red Devils defense held the Bulldogs scoreless during the first half as Chaffee managed to punch the ball into the end zone three times.
This included a 30-yard pass from Andrew Hendrix to Jerrod Steger with only two seconds to go in the half. The other two scores came on another Hendrix-Steger hook up from 6 yards out and a Dylan McAlister 4-yard scramble.
"We knew coming in we had to really stay focused if we were gonna get the win," said Chaffee head coach Charlie Vickery. "Portageville is a very talented team and we knew we couldn't come in and underestimate them."
In the second half, Portageville (0-9) looked for a way to climb back into the game and they found it after Mikey Johnson hit D. J. Birdwell on a 23-yard strike. This score finally put the Bulldogs on the board with 4:45 left to play in the third quarter.
However, the Portageville sideline noise was quickly muted after Collin Dannenmueller took the Bulldog kickoff 77 yards for another Red Devils touchdown. Chaffee tacked on two more touchdowns in the final quarter to seal the season ending victory.
"It was extremely important for us to go out with a winning season," said Vickery. "Six wins is something we haven't done for a while here. I'm definitely proud of our kids, they have worked hard all season and it's really paid off for them."
"I am proud of our effort week in and week out of our players, especially the way the season has gone," said Wallace. "But hats off to coach Vickery and his team. Chaffee has had their down times so I know they're enjoying the moment. Congratulations to them.
"As for us, we played well at times, we're just a little inexperienced but hopefully we'll regroup, hit the weight room and come back ready next year."