WELLSTON, Ohio — Unfortunately for the River Valley Raiders, the Golden Rockets’ green light to run the football on Friday night never turned red.
That’s because host Wellston, spearheaded by a massive 350 rushing yards on 45 attempts, rolled past the Raiders 28-7 in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt at C.H. Jones Field.
Of those 350 Golden Rocket rushing yards, Travis Jayjohn amassed 222 and four touchdowns on 26 carries, while Rylan Molihan — in addition to a game-clinching 28-yard touchdown reception — mustered 108 yards on only eight attempts.
Despite 15 pass completions on 26 attempts by River Valley quarterback Patrick Brown, the Golden Rockets scored the game’s final 22 points — and snapped their three-game losing streak against the Raiders.
It was Wellston’s initial win over the Raiders since RVHS joined the TVC, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
River Valley, which remains winless in the TVC Ohio at 0-3, fell to 2-4 with their third consecutive defeat.
Wellston raised its record to 4-2, and to 2-0 in the league.
The Raiders, trailing 6-0 after Molihan ran for a 14-yard touchdown at the six-and-a-half minute mark of the opening quarter, rallied to take a 7-6 advantage at the 7:48 point of the second.
Brown, following a 13-play, 89-yard scoring drive, connected with Layne Fitch for a 13-yard touchdown strike —as Colton Gilmore added the extra-point kick.
But the Rockets responded with a minute left in the half to go ahead for good, as Jayjohn plowed in from four yards out — and ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-7.
Wellston then scored twice in the second half while pitching a defensive shutout, as Jayjohn tacked on a 3-yard TD plunge at the 3:23 mark of the third.
The Golden Rockets roared their way to that 21-7 advantage with a 12-play, 96-yard drive — after the Raiders had a turnover on downs.
Molihan — on his 28-yard catch from quarterback Michael Graham — made it a three-score cushion with only 6:42 to play, capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive.
Chase Ingalls successfully kicked both extra points for the Blue and Gold in the second half.
River Valley was also victimized by two turnovers, including a first-quarter fumble that resulted in Wellston’s initial score.
Graham completed half of his six passes for 83 yards, as Wellston outgained it guests 433-271.
The Raiders rushed for 134 yards and threw for 137, as Brown also paced the Silver & Black in rushing with 77 yards on 23 attempts.
Cole Young added 48 yards on 11 tries for River Valley.
Fitch finished with six receptions for 75 yards, while Jarret McCarley caught four for 33 yards and Dustin Barber three for 23 yards.
The Raiders return home, and return to TVC Ohio Division action, next Friday night against Alexander.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106