JOHNSTOWN - After dropping back-to-back games, the Portage Mustangs used an all-around dominating performance on Saturday to beat Ferndale, 47-14, in WestPAC football action.
The Mustangs scored early and often against the overmatched Yellow Jackets. On their first series, the Mustangs needed only four plays, as running back Jalen Noel scored from 9 yards out.
Following a Yellow Jacket punt, Portage upped the lead to 14-0 behind its other running back of the two-headed monster, Jason Kostan, who scampered in from 27 yards out.
"It was good just to get a win," Portage coach Gary Gouse said.
Kostan found the end zone again on the Mustangs' next series from 1 yard out giving the Mustangs a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
Portage went scoreless on its next two series when the Yellow Jackets forced a fumble and a turnover on downs. But Portage's Jake Bryja then connected with Dean Bimle for a 55-yard touchdown strike before the half.
"We didn't play very good, and I have to take the blame for that," Ferndale coach Tony Penna Sr. said.
Penna went on to add that his team had a great week in practice, and he truly felt that his team was ready to give Portage a game.
Noel added his second score on the Mustangs' first drive in the third quarter, rumbling in from 6 yards.
With the game firmly in Portage's grasp, Gouse put in his second team. Running back Scott Giles took full use of his playing time on his first carry, scoring on a 75-yard dash. Shane Baker also enjoyed some playing time after coming back from an injury, scoring Portage's last touchdown of the day.
"We are working on all aspects of the game, and I'm glad how our kids responded," Gouse said.
The Mustangs were able to use their strong ground game and mix in the passing attack, keeping the Yellow Jackets' defense guessing throughout the game.
Being able to work in both run and pass will make the Mustangs a tough team to beat come playoff time, because teams will not be able to hone in on only their smash-and-dash ground game.
Ferndale was able to get on the board in the fourth as running back Greg Walters scored on a 9-yard run. The Jackets scored once more with time winding down, as Tanner Kulback scored on a 24-yard end-around.
The Mustangs will look to build off the win next week at home against Conemaugh Valley, then await their fate and opponent in the District 6 Class A playoffs.
Score By QuarterS
Portage21 6 13 7 - 47
Ferndale0 0 0 14 - 14
P-Noel 9 run (Bracken kick), 8:34.
P-Kostan 27 run (Bracken kick), 5:06.
P-Kostan 1 run (Bracken kick).
P-Bimle 55 pass from Bryja (kick failed), 2:18.
P-Noel 6 run (Bracken kick), 9:16.
P-Giles 75 run (pass failed), 6:34.
F-Walters 9 run (kick failed), 11:04.
P-Baker 10 run (Swires kick), 6:45.
F-Kulback 24 run (Dull run), 0:24.
Rushing: Portage-Kostan 9-146, Noel 9-74, Nesbella 1-2, Bryja 1-(-3), Price 3-18, Kreutzberger 1-(-1), Giles 6-98, Onder 2-18, Pourban 2-16, Baker 1-10 TEAM 1-(-9). Ferndale-Horvath 13-38, Walters 12-28, Dull 6-(-20), Kulback 3-27, Dorchak 1-7.
Passing: Portage-Bryja 5-9-0-158, Warner 0-0-0-0. Ferndale-Dull 4-9-0-23.
Receiving: Portage-Blair 2-60, S. Price 1-36, E. Price 1-7, Bimle 1-55. Ferndale-Dorchak 1-(-4), Mason 2-24, Gartrell 1-3.
Interceptions: Portage-None, Ferndale-None.