BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
MILAN — Port Clinton coach Beau Carmon has been at the helm for seven years, and his Redskins had defeated Edison just once. It took a stout defensive effort and big plays from Tommy Owens, Josh Hurst and Cam Gillum on Friday night to lead visiting Port Clinton (1-1, 1-0 Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division) to a 28-7 victory over the Chargers.
The ‘Skins opened the scoring when Gillum hit Owens on a 64-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Port Clinton an 8-0 lead following Chases Jackson’s conversion run.
Hurst caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Gillum to push the lead to 14 points in the third quarter, and the ‘Skins added two more touchdowns in the fourth. Owens, who had 132 yards from scrimmage, scored on a 33-yard touchdown run with 3:10 to play and Hurst returned a fumble 53 yards for a score for Port Clinton’s final points.
“Tommy is a tremendous addition to a good group of skill-position players. We’re fairly deep there,” said coach Carmon. “Losing Tyler Webb in camp, we bumped Tommy over to corner, and he’s learned on the fly. We wanted to get our skill kids more involved, and to the perimeter more quickly.
“We had a lot of kids catch passes. Josh made some big plays for us. We know with Cam, he’s only going to get better.”
Edison (1-1, 0-1) running back Jacob Stoll scored on a 62-yard touchdown run late in the game, but the Chargers’ rushing attack was effectively held in check.
A key sequence came with 6:14 remaining when Port Clinton, leading 14-0, barely stopped Edison fullback Aiden Hayward on fourth-and-3.
“I’ve been here eight years and we’ve only beaten Edison twice. I take ownership for that,” said Carmon. “Why has that happened? Specifically with Edison, it’s about their culture, their wrestling program. Their kids may not be big, but they’re tough as nails, they’re blue-collar kids.
“We challenged our players during the week. It was all hands on deck. We had a lot of starters making big plays. We cranked up the physicality. We don’t go full contact very much, but we did last week. I told the kids that they had the chance to do something that not a lot of things Port Clinton teams have done. They took it personal and I’m very proud of them.”
Edison, which employs the triple-option offense, was coming off a 28-13 victory over Sandusky while the ‘Skins lost 31-7 to Tiffin Columbian in week one.
Port Clinton made the switch during the offseason from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which created some challenges dealing with the Charger rushing attack.
“It put a lot of pressure on our inside linebackers. The good news is, you’re much more disciplined on the perimeter in a 3-4. You have to stop the fullback, and we knew that he was their best player. We were able to slow him down and stop him at the point of attack,” said Carmon.
“Those three down linemen, they’ve got to man up. It was a tremendous effort defensively. My defensive coordinator, Phil Focht, put the game plan together. You look at us running the defense for the first time, and we had some success with our even front. It was a really, really hard-fought victory. We believe it was a game that was won during the week.”
The ‘Skins host Vermilion this Friday. The Sailors, who are 0-2, are coming off a 30-0 loss to Oak Harbor.
“They’re much improved. I think they have nine starters back on both offense and defense. They’ve got kids that can run. I think it’s one of those things where they need to feel victory because they went 0-10 last year. They are where we once were. I know they’re working hard to turn things around. They’ve gone through adversity,” said Carmon. “This year, they’ve got huge linemen, and two really good inside linebackers. No. 43 has impressed me. They’re going to get better. I like to compare them to us. They played two very tough games. They’re much better than they were last year.”