MICHIGAN CITY | When Portage’s offense took the field against Michigan City on Friday night, it stayed out there for a while.
The Times No. 10 Indians totaled 25 first downs against the Wolves and only two of nine drives had fewer than six plays as Portage controlled the clock and earned a 24-7 win in Duneland Athletic Conference action at Ames Field.
Portage (4-3, 3-2 DAC) ran 37 plays in the second half compared to 21 for the Wolves.
Hashim Simpson led Portage’s rushing attack with 83 yards on the ground and two scores. His 2-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter put the Indians ahead 24-7.
The Indians finished with 186 yards rushing. Gage Pearman completed 16 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. Eight Portage players recorded at least one catch. Cody Maldonado led the way with four grabs and a touchdown.
“Our guys know that on certain nights it may be the tight ends, it may the fullbacks or it may be the wideouts who get the receptions,” Portage coach Wally McCormack said. “They don’t care.”
Michigan City (2-5, 0-5) trimmed a 14-0 halftime deficit in half on its first play of the third quarter. Marcus Horton took a handoff and went untouched 38 yards for the score.
Horton finished with 118 yards on 14 carries.
The Wolves threw two interceptions and were stopped on downs inside the Portage 20-yard line on two occasions. Michigan City also had a missed field goal in the first half.
“To only give up seven points, especially with them getting down close a couple of times, having our backs to the wall and making stops, we’re happy,” McCormack said.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Michigan City coach Michael Karpinski said.
Maldonado started and ended the first Portage scoring drive. He gave the Indians the ball with an interception to thwart a Michigan City drive, and he ended it with a 17-yard touchdown grab.
Pearman threw a well-placed ball to the corner of the end zone where only Maldonado could catch it. He was able to make the catch and keep his feet in bounds.
Portage followed up a missed Michigan City field goal with a nine-play, 80-yard drive to go ahead 14-0 late in the second quarter. Simpson capped the drive with a two-yard scoring run.