Chase Heiland
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.), the Vinton-Jackson Courier and the Jackson Telegram. He's a six-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Heiland’s monster night carries Trojans past Valley

Behind a gargantuan effort from Chase Heiland, Portsmouth is 1-0.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

PORTSMOUTH — Thursday night belonged to one young man, and his name is Chase Heiland.

Portsmouth’s junior back carried the football 24 times to the tune of 245 yards and four total touchdowns, leading his Trojans (1-0) to a resounding 59-29 victory over Valley to open the season.

Portsmouth quarterback Camron Williams helped the Trojans put up 59 points, Thursday evening in a 30-point win over Valley.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

“Chase came to me early in the offseason and told me that he wanted to switch positions to be a running back, and I told him that he was going to have to put on some weight,” Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb said. “He truly committed himself to the process and worked extensively in the weight room to get himself in the best shape possible, and the results show. What an effort he gave us.” 

He wasn’t alone in racking up the points, though. 

Levaughn Webb, Nick Copley and Camron Williams, who made his first start as a freshman under center, all found the end zone as well. 

“It was a total team effort. We ran the ball for over 300 yards and that all starts with the guys up front,” Kalb said. “They did a great job blocking, creating space and getting out in space to throw a block. It took some adjustments since Valley was blitzing a lot early. But credit to those guys for stepping up and keeping their blocks.” 

Heiland wasted no time getting the night started, taking a toss play early and sprinting 46 yards for a touchdown and a quick 8-0 lead. 

Valley, however, answered back.

On the next play from scrimmage, Carson Powell connected with Gabe McNeil on a screen pass and McNeil did the rest, taking it 74 yards to the house and trimming the lead to 8-7. 

PHOTOS: Images from Portsmouth’s win over Valley

The Trojans then connected on a 28-yard field goal try from Zach Roth on their next drive before giving the Indians a heavy dose of Heiland throughout the remainder of the night. 

After stuffing the Indians (0-1) on fourth down, Portsmouth pieced together a long drive and Heiland punched it in from two yards out, extending the lead to 18-7. Williams followed suit on the next drive, taking an option play 49 yards to pay dirt and pushing the lead to 24-7. 

Just when it seemed Portsmouth had the game in hand before halftime, Valley’s Aiden Waughtel turned in the play of the game.

Powell found his receiver streaking and threw his way. Waughtel jumped over his defender, caught the ball on the defender’s back, and shed a tackle before galloping 71 yards for the score, cutting the halftime deficit to 24-15. 

“Two big plays was all we gave up in the first half, and that’s football sometimes. I reiterated to our guys that the most important play is the next one,” Kalb said. “Mistakes happen, but the focus had to be on those plays. Move on from it, continue playing hard and good things will happen.” 

Both teams traded touchdowns on their opening possessions in the second half as Williams scored on a one-yard plunge before Valley’s McNeil found the pylon from seven yards out, producing a 31-21 score. 

But Portsmouth’s offense was about to hit its second gear, one that Valley simply couldn’t keep up with.

Williams tossed a 14-yard touchdown to Heiland, Webb bulldozed his way into the end zone from a yard out and Copley ended the night with a 25-yard scamper up the left side of Valley’s defense for a score. 

McNeil later scored his second rushing touchdown, but the damage was already done as Portsmouth rode off into the night with a win in its back pocket. 

“The offseason started for us last November after we lost in the playoffs to Ironton. We took a week off, and then got right back at it,” Kalb said. “These guys were committed to hitting the weight room and we’d been preparing for this game since then. The physicality of our team was on full display and that’s a testament to the work they all put in.” 

Following Heiland’s gaudy numbers, Williams finished 5-of-7 passing for 46 yards and a touchdown while adding 12 rushes for 77 yards and two scores. 

For Valley, McNeil finished with 12 carries for 58 yards and two scores, alongside a 74-yard touchdown catch. Powell went 13-of-25 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns. 

Portsmouth returns to action next Friday for an in-city rivalry at West, while Valley plays its home opener against Coal Grove that same evening.


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