BIDWELL, Ohio — The River Valley Raiders made phenomenal strides Friday night as they shut down the Rock Hill Redmen in an all-out ground attack, posting a 26-0 victory at Raider Field.
This is the first time since Week 4 of 2008 that the Silver and Black posted a shutout victory. RVHS last blanked the Eastern Eagles 14-0 at Eastern back in 2008, a span of 96 games between shutout wins.
The RVHS (1-0) defense allowed 21 yards of offense to the Redmen (0-1) during Rock Hill’s first offensive possession. The Raiders used 4:26 of the clock in the opening quarter and marched the ball down the field with the help of Mark Wray, Sam Payne, Justin Arrowood and Dayton Hardway.
With 3:33 remaining in the first quarter, Sam Payne rushed for a one-yard touchdown and with the PAT conversion made by Devan McDonald, River Valley took the lead of 7-0 and never looked back.
With the clock running to zero, Dayton Hardway connected on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kirk Morrow and a failed PAT by Devan McDonald, the Raiders finished the end of the first quarter with the lead of 13-0.
In the second quarter, River Valley and Rock Hill had two possessions each. Redmen led the time of possession in the second quarter of 10:24 to the Raiders 1:36. The Raiders went into the locker room with the 13-0 lead at the half.
With the opening kickoff in the second half, Mark Wray ran a 95-yard kickoff return with a failed PAT by Devan McDonald. It was the only score during the third quarter and gave the Silver and Black control at 19-0.
At the 8:22 mark in the fourth quarter, Wray rushed for a 37-yard touchdown run and a successful PAT by Devan McDonald, the Raiders cruised to the final result of the score of 26-0.
Dayton Hardway led the Raiders with 3-of-8 passing for 85 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Kirk Morrow led the Silver and Black in receiving with two receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown. Mark Wray had one reception for three yards.
Mark Wray led the team in rushing with 11 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown. Justin Arrowood had four touches for 18 yards. Sam Payne had three carries for four yards and one touchdown.
Mike Williams had five sacks. George Williams caught one interception. The Raiders had a total of 222 yards of offense. The Raiders had a total of 12 first downs and one penalty for 15 yards.
Mason Darby led Rock Hill with 3-for-5 passing for 17 yards and one interception. Chance Blankenship led the RHHS in receiving with one reception for 14 yards. Trystan Matney had one reception for 12 yards. Brady Knipp had two receptions for five yards
Danny Long led the Redmen in rushing with 20 carries for 111 yards. Chance Blankenship had 18 touches for 73 yards. The Redmen had a total of 258 yards of offense, 12 first downs and also had six penalties for 65 yards.
The Raiders now turn their attention to their pivotal Week 2 matchup with Gallia Academy, which is the first time the Blue Devils will meet the Raiders since 2001.
“I think that everyone has an idea of what this is going to be, but I don’t think any of us really knows what exactly its going to be. You know what’s the turn out to be, but listen, you know that Gallia Academy has a great school, a great backing,” RVHS coach Jerrod Sparling said. “They have a great tradition and we understand the history of this place. We understand that hey, we are 1-0 and Gallia is 0-1. We are still the underdog and in a rivalry sense, we are non-existent and we have to show up.
“Everyone knows that is exciting to be home again and to have that community event on a Saturday night. This is going to be something that these kids will remember for a very long time.”
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
J.P. Davis is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.