VINCENT - Nobody likes to get beat.
But maybe worse, nobody likes to get trounced on the playing field.
That's what happened a year ago when the Andy Schob-coached Warren football team visited Portsmouth and dropped a 47-7 decision to the Trojans.
Do you really think the Warriors (2-1), who are scheduled to host winless Portsmouth (0-3) in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday, have erased that 2010 shellacking from their memories?
Warren now has an opportunity to return the favor. But, really, a win is all the royal blue and white wants, be it close or not-so-close.
"This is our first league game," Schob said, "and it is important to get off to a good start."
One thing for certain, Portsmouth figures to be a dangerous opponent, and a triumph over Warren in Vincent would not only be its first of the campaign but would also keep it in the hunt for a SEOAL crown.
"Portsmouth is extremely athletic," Schob said. "They may be 0-3 right now, but lost a 24-3 fourth-quarter lead to Wilmington in Game 1, were tied with Portsmouth West in the fourth quarter in Game 2, and played a tight game with Wheelersburg last week. They will be very dangerous and looking to get things going in the right direction."
The Curt Clifford-coached Trojans are expected to be quarterbacked by senior Mason Jordan. A year ago, the PHS signal caller torched the Warren defensive secondary with 214 yards and four touchdown passes.
Portsmouth also gained 234 yards on the ground in that game.
Jordan was injured while playing defensive back versus Wheelersburg but did return to the contest. His backup is Cody Stapleton.
"Jordan is one of the better QBs and (Wayne) Evans is one of the better WRs and players in the league," Schob said. "They also have many other weapons, so we have to be aggressive but disciplined."
This fall, though, the PHS offense has been inconsistent and sputtered in setbacks to West (26-13) and Wheelersburg (28-19).
Against West in Week 2, Zaide Whitley did run 99 yards for a score after a fumble recovery, and then last Friday night he returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown. Against Wheelersburg, Jordan also completed 11 of 23 for 178 yards and two touchdowns and Evans had a big game with 106 yards on seven catches.
Meanwhile, Warren - which suffered its first setback of the season, a 19-14 decision to visiting Athens last Friday night - is hoping to dish out some of the same medicine it received in last year's game with Air Leffingwell. Junior QB Dylan Leffingwell is very capable of putting up big numbers in passing, and he's got good receivers like Jeremy Fivecoait, Jeremy Hastie, Josh Windland and Andrew Vincent (5 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD vs. Athens) to help him.
Leffingwell threw for 214 yards and two TDs against Athens but also had four of his passes intercepted. "We made too many uncharacteristic mistakes against a very good Athens team and still had opportunities to win the game," Schob said.
"We even thought we had taken the lead with three minutes to go, but it was taken away with a questionable offensive pass interference penalty.
"While it was very disappointing, we feel everything can be corrected, and all of our goals are still attainable. We have to focus on our next game."
To keep the Portsmouth defense honest, Leffingwell just might hand off to either Josh Mays or Dustin Harlow. Mays has already chalked up one 100-plus yards rushing game this season (vs. Marietta).
Defensively, the Warriors are solid with Austin Henthorn and company clogging up the middle.
Kicking-wise, Fivecoait punts and is a threat to fake it like he did against Marietta, and Chas Miller has excellent range as a place-kicker.
Portsmouth could have its work cut out for itself. At least Warren is hoping it does.