BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
A quick burst by Norwalk late in the first quarter proved to be the difference as the Truckers easily defeated Port Clinton, 42-7.
Norwalk (2-1) scored 42 unanswered points, 21 coming in the first quarter. Evan Stumpf helped pace the Trucker rushing attack, carrying the ball 13 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns.
The turning point in the game came when Norwalk (2-1) scored two touchdowns in 60 seconds in the first quarter, and three touchdowns in a 2:33 span over the first and second quarters. Ethan Phillips scored on a 70-yard punt return to give the Truckers the lead for good, and Garrison Smith’s extra point made it 14-7. Alex Maloney scored on a 4-yard touchdown run and Stumpf carried it in for another score from 44 yards out to end the first-half run.
“We were inconsistent, and our timing on things is horrible when a drive will stall or when we’ll have a turnover. For us, when it rains, it pours, and it needs to stop,” said Port Clinton coach Beau Carmon.
“The momentum has been just as much of a threat to us as any team we play against. We talk about body language with the kids, and Norwalk just jumped on us, and we weren’t able to respond.
“We played hard, but we did not play well enough to beat a team like Norwalk. We’ve played three pretty good football teams to start the year. With our lack of depth and youth that we play, you just can’t expect to beat a team like Norwalk. You’re going to have growing pains with our underclassmen. We expect more out of our upperclassmen.
“It’s frustrating because we haven’t been in this situation in a long time. The kids deserve better, they worked their butts off. We need to stop the bleeding, and we need to stop it now.”
Carmon also talked about the fits Stumpf gave the Redskins (0-3).
“He’s legit. He is a really, really good running back.” said Carmon, “He is, faster than anybody on our team. And he’s got power, but I don’t think we tackled particularly well. They’ve got some nice weapons, taking pressure off their quarterback. Giving up 200 yards rushing to one player is unacceptable. We expect more out of our defense,” said Carmon.
“The first thing we do on defense is gear up to stop the run. I thought we aligned well, but we didn’t tackle well. Norwalk was bigger, stronger and faster than us. If that doesn’t send a message about what we need to do in the offseason, I don’t know what it will take.
Colton Klima completed 22-of-33 passes for 197 yards and two interceptions, Cooper Stine ran 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown and Jonah Sidney caught eight passes for 67 yards.
“I think they’re disappointed, I think they’re still hungry. We had a good week of practice, but we expect that. We’re not going to tolerate any type of letdown. I don’t expect it to be a problem. They need to be hungry to get that first win, it just hasn’t happened,” said Carmon. “We’ve played three really good football teams, and the lack of mental focus during the game at critical points is backbreaking for us. We’re going to see some speedsters this week with Bowsher. We need to make sure we’re tackling better. I think the offensive line is getting better, I saw some improvement with our running game. Our goal is to put up 28 points per game, that’s four touchdowns, one per quarter.”
On Friday, the ‘Skins will face Toledo Bowsher, which is 2-1. The Rebels are coming off a 33-6 loss at the hands of Sylvania Northview.