West Portsmouth, OH —West Portsmouth players celebrate the victory over Wheelersburg @ West Portsmouth on Friday Oct. 21, 2022. (Kevin P. Casey I WOUB)

Portsmouth West takes the SOC-II for first time in 14 years after defeating Wheelersburg

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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WOUB) – With the SOC-II title on the line, defending champion Wheelersburg Pirates looked to go back to back. But the Portsmouth West Senators acted as a spoiler in the clash of SOC titans. The Senators walked away with a 14-7 victory for their first SOC crown since 2008.

Portsmouth West chose to receive the opening kickoff and did not do much with it. Forced to punt and give the ball to the Pirates, they wasted no time getting down the field. Ethan Glover would take it in himself for the first score of the game, 7-0 Pirates. 

The rest of the first quarter was a back-and-forth battle, but neither team could get the ball in the endzone. The Senators would even get an interception but would be unable to capitalize on the turnover. 

Both defenses continued their power play as both made the opposing offenses uncomfortable. Wheelersburg would even get another interception, but still, be unable to capitalize on it. As the quarter ran down to 15 seconds, the Senators would try to get down the field to put points on the board. With six seconds left, Senators quarterback Mitchell Irwin sends one deep for his man, Jeffery Bishop, who makes a juggled catch, but a missed extra point would keep it 7-6 in the Pirates’ favor.

Starting the second half, it seemed as though it was going to be similar to the first. Both teams were unable to get the ball running on their first drives, but on Wheelersburg’s second drive, quarterback Eli Jones would throw an interception to Jeffery Bishop. The Senators would drive down the field and cap off their drive with a touchdown drive and a two-point conversion, giving them the lead, 14-7.

Entering the fourth quarter, the ball would continuously swap hands. No team could get much traction on the other, and the tightness came down to the final seconds of the game. Wheelersburg had the ball with under a minute left and could not get down the field in time to score. Portsmouth West would win the game.