Portage has its way in win over North Star

By Hunter Muro

For the Mirror

BOSWELL — It was an all-around game to forget for the North Star Cougars on Friday as they were beat in all facets of the game by a Portage Mustangs team that dominated from start to finish and cruised to a 62-0 victory.

“Last week, we played okay, but we wanted to improve on what we have to do to win in big games,” Portage coach Gary Gouse said. “We don’t worry about what they do. We have to worry about ourselves. The main focus tonight was to get better at what we do.”

North Star received the ball to start the game, but was forced to punt after not being able to gain any positive yardage on the drive. It would only take two plays for the Mustangs to take advantage of good field position and get on the board.

A 34-yard run from Gabe Forst set up a Portage first-and-goal from the two. Quarterback Connor Price called his own number and walked into the end zone for the Mustang’s first score of the game. Koby Kargo drilled the point-after to make it 7-0 with 9:17 to play.

After another North Star drive went backwards, Portage took only one play to up its lead. Forst took the first handoff after the punt for a 28-yard touchdown run. It was14-0 after Kargo hit the extra point.

On its next possession, North Star quarterback Kyle Price was sacked on third down, forcing another punt back to the Mustangs.

After a big gain from Forst on first-and-15, Cole Sossong pounded it in from 14 yards out to extend Portage’s lead. The point-after was wide, but Portage was up 20-0 with 3:52 in the quarter.

North Star caught a break after it recovered a Portage fumble but could not cash in on the turnover and the possession went back to the Mustangs. The fourth different Mustang to get in the end zone would be Seth Georg. He sprinted into the end zone from 28 yards. Kargo tacked on the PAT to make it 27-0.

After being forced to punt again on its next possession, a bad snap by the Cougars went out of the end zone, giving Portage (2-0) a safety to make it 29-0.

Exactly 16 seconds later, Sossong ran in another touchdown — and that was followed by a pick six by Portage linebacker Lucas Douglas that made it 42-0.

After one more Portage score, the first half mercifully came to end with Portage up 49-0.

The second half was much of the same for both teams even with the second and third units for Portage being inserted into the game. The running clock was turned on to start the second half.

Portage tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to set the final score at 62-0.

“Our tough stretch is coming up here and we know we have to get ready for it,” Gouse said. “Right now, it’s a mental thing for us. We’ve got to get ourselves mentally ready to prepare and we’re on the road again, and we’ll be focused to do that. We just got to practice hard.”

Portage visits Windber next week while North Star (0-2) travels to Blacklick Valley.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

North Star 0 0 0 0 — 0

Portage 20 29 13 0 — 62

First Quarter

P–Price 2 run (Kargo kick), 9:17

P–Forst 28 run (Kargo kick), 7:15

P–Sossong 14 run (kick failed), 3:52

Second Quarter

P–Georg 28 run (Kargo kick), 9:33

P–Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 6:51

P–Sossong 31 run (Kargo kick), 6:35

P–Douglas int. return (kick failed), 5:27

P–Oravecz 11 run (Kargo kick), 1:43

Third Quarter

P–Georg 38 run (Kargo kick), 7:57

P–Berardinelli 44 run (Kargo kick), 2:11

TEAM STATISTICS NS P

First downs 3 12

Total yards 38 450

Rushes-yards 26-27 27-306

Yards passing 11 144

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 4-12-1 4-8-0

Punts-avg. 7-52.5 1-48.0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-2

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