So far in 2019, the Porter Spartans’ offense has been a mixed bag of results.
It started out by being held off the scoreboard against a formidable C.E. King squad in Week 1. It then exploded for 62 points in Week 2 against an over-matched North Forest team. The Spartans won in Week 3 over Dayton, but two of their three touchdowns came from their defense and special teams respectively.
On Friday night in front of a homecoming audience at Randall Reed Stadium, the offense — led by senior quarterback Jack Reilly — got out of an early hole against Kingwood Park and piled up the points before halftime.
Porter (3-1, 1-0) avenged last year’s loss to the Panthers and looked good doing so in a 41-14 win to open District 9-5A (Div. I).
“We just want to be 1-0,” Porter coach Jim Holley said Friday night about his team’s weekly goal. “It doesn’t matter what the score is — 2-0 or 62-61. We don’t care. We just want to be 1-0 at the end of the night. And the bottom line is we just need to score one more point than they do. If we do that, we’re in good shape.”
The win was an important one, especially as the district schedule plays out.
Porter made the playoffs for the third straight season last year, but came in fourth place. Friday night’s win gives them at very minimum a tiebreaker edge on Kingwood Park, which was third place a year ago. District 9 will play District 10 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A (Div. I) playoffs. That district features strong state contenders like Shadow Creek, Foster and Angleton.
The farther up the standings Porter finishes, the better.
And if the offense produces like they did against Kingwood Park, the Spartans probability of success will be high the rest of the season.
Reilly now has six touchdown passes on the season after four of them on Friday. His big target Friday was senior Baron Bradley, who had two of those scores for 81 and 72 yards respectively. Reilly finished with 256 yards on 9-of-16 passing.
Bradley, at 6-foot and 187 pounds, had 173 yards receiving against Kingwood Park. He has five touchdowns on the year now.
Trace Knight had a 28-yard touchdown reception from Reilly while Luke Cordle caught a 16-yard pass. Running back Avry Porter Campbell scored his fourth touchdown of the season as well.
“I thought Coach (Billy) Russell did a good job calling the game,” Holley said of the Spartans’ offensive coordinator. “Our kids just performed and executed a lot better than we have all year long.”
The Spartans came into the night seventh in total offense in the district at 203 yards per game. They totaled 375 yards against Kingwood Park.
“They were in the position to make some plays and they did,” Holley said of his team. “That was difference in the game.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Porter has played very well. It has allowed just 12.5 points per game 11 takeaways as a team. Porter had four interceptions against Kingwood Park — two by Cordle, one by Carter Crochet and one by Jacob Grifaldo.
Porter travels to Barnett Stadium to play Houston Austin on Thursday. The Mustangs are 1-3 and 0-1 in district play after a 20-7 loss at Goose Creek Memorial on Friday night.