Portage Northern hands Vikings 49-6 setbackPublished 11:00am Saturday, October 26, 2013
Antwon Jones didn’t have the look of an angry or frustrated coach after his team’s 49-6 loss Friday to Portage Northern. A defeat, which gave the Vikings a 2-7 record for the season.
Instead, Jones calmly spoke to his squad after the game. He saluted his seniors and told the team what we needed to be done to make Niles a winner in the future.
Jones’ demeanor remained the same after he spoke to his team.
“I’m not even worried about how things ended up,” said Jones. “It is what it is. It ends up as a loss. It doesn’t matter if its one point or if you get beat by 90. I don’t measure our season by the last two performances. I measure our season by the heart these kids have had and the senior leadership that we got.
“We’re headed in the right direction. People may not see it. The scoreboard may not show it. But, this group of Vikings that are standing here right now are headed in the right direction. We’ve just got to get stronger.”
It was Portage Northern’s time on Friday as the playoff bound Huskies (7-2) scored 28 points off of six Viking turnovers.
Portage Northern’s longest scoring drive was 62 yards, which was the opening drive of the game. The Huskies other scoring drives were 37 yards, 19 yards, 25 yards, 28 yards, 37 yards and 40 yards.
Josh Leiter had five rushing touchdowns-all in the first half-for Portage Northern. Leiter finished the game with 88 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The Huskies also had great field position in the game because Niles never punted.
“We made a decision,” Jones said. ”We’re only going to punt it 20 yards so we might as well go for it (on 4th down). When you’re getting overwhelmed strength-wise with your defense you try to keep the ball on offense as much as you can.”
Niles crossed midfield only once in the first half and were outgained 229 yards to 18 in the first half. There was a running clock in the second half as Portage Northern led 35-0 at halftime.
“It’s up to you guys,” Jones said about his halftime message. “You’ve got 24 minutes left and what do you want to do? I thought the second half was a lot better for us.”
The Vikings outgained the Huskies, 118 yards to 104 in the second half. Niles got a two-yard touchdown run from Darek Bullock-Mills in the fourth quarter.
“It was a long season,” Jones said. “We knew coming in that it might be. But, those who look at the record and say it’s horrible, that’s fine. That’s their opinion. But, we know what we have and we know what we need to do. Our biggest thing is that we have to get stronger. We have team’s overpowering now. Once we get our strength to go with the heart, speed and the talent we’ll be better. I know what we have coming. Our time is coming.”
Portage 14 21 14 0 – 49
Niles 0 0 0 6 – 6
P – Josh Leiter 11 run (Brandon Bye kick)
P – Leiter 4 run (Bye kick)
P – Leiter 3 run (Bye kick)
P – Leiter 2 run (Bye kick)
P – Leiter 1 run (Bye kick)
P – Daryn Snow 37 pass from Blake Therrian (Bye kick)
P – Marcus Bond 4 run (Bye kick)
N – Darek Bullock-Mills 2 run (kick failed)