PORT STAYS IN THE HUNT FOR A CLASS A TITLE BERTH
WALLKILL - Port Jervis accomplished its two major goals on Saturday night. First, the Raiders picked up a league win over Wallkill. Second, they did it via a shutout. Port beat the Panthers, 35-0, to keep their title game hopes alive.
Right now the Raiders trail both Cornwall and Goshen with just one league game remaining, the season's finale against league-leading Cornwall. Second place Goshen beat PJ earlier in the season.
The Raider victory over Wallkill was led by two seniors. RB Justin Polanis scored two rushing TDs and chalked up 146 yards on 19 carries while Dana Presto scored both an offensive and defensive TD, rushed for 104 yards on just six carries and spearheaded a tough Port defense from his linebacker slot.
Port Jervis got it going very early when Sean Floor recovered a Damiek Wells fumble at the Wallkill 22 on the opening kickoff. Polanis then blew through the right side for his first TD and added two more points on a PAT run off the same play. 8-0 at 11:49.
Next it was Presto's turn. On a Wallkill subsequent second down, he picked off a Zach Henke pass and returned it 47 yards for a TD. A pass for two failed, but it was 14-0 with only 1:04 of game time having elapsed.
In the second quarter Port drove 58 yards in seven plays as Presto, running out of the tailback spot in the I, rushed five times for 48 of those stripes. He scored on a 23-yard gallop. QB Phil Parlier then passed to Vin Malzahn for the two points after. 22-0 at 8:22.
The next time the Port offense got ahold of the ball, it marched 56 yards in five plays. Polanis' 24-yard run to the Panther 32 and a 24-yard Parlier-to-Lucas Behnke pass to the one were the big plays. Ryan Bubigkeit bulled in from the one for the TD. The pass for two failed. 28-0 at 5:10.
The Raiders scored on the first possession of the second half, driving 56 yards. Polanis covered all of those yards on just five carries, a 34-yard romp to the Wallkill 15 being the longest gainer. He scored from the six at the 9:46 mark. Jason Wallace kicked the PAT. 35-0.
From there Port let its second and third units play on offense. Meanwhile the defense made sure that no points would be scored against it since points allowed in conference is the third tie-breaking criteria.
A roughing the passer call against Port late in the third quarter helped the Panthers get as far as the PJ 33, their deepest penetration of the night. Wallkill got into Port territory only twice. In the first half the Panthers reached the Port 40 on a mini-drive featuring a 15-yard personal foul call against the Raiders.
Overall Port rushed for 271 yards while Wallkill was held to 60. Port QBs Parlier and Justin Ropke combined to complete four-of-five passes for 43 yards. They were sacked twice, once by Keith Pagan and the second by the duo of Jordan Blake and Mike Nuggent. Meanwhile Henke threw 12 passes, completing three, for 25 yards. Backup Todd Caswell was 0-for-one. In addition to Presto's interception, Henke was sacked four times (Presto, Alex Kaufmann, Scott Reed all had solos while Mike Ladonne and Luke Reed combined for the fourth). Presto also finished with 13 tackles and a couple of pass knock-downs.
Port Jervis (3-1 in Class A and 5-2 overall) travels to Middletown next Friday for a non-league battle for the Erie Bell. Wallkill (0-4, 1-6) falls into the Class A basement after its second place finish in the state championship last year. The Panthers must host powerful AA Monroe-Woodbury next Friday.