WATERFORD, Ohio — It’s never over until it’s over.
The South Gallia football team overcame a two-possession deficit in the first half by scoring 20 unanswered points Friday night en route to a shocking 20-13 victory over host Waterford in a Week 7 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Washington County.
The visiting Rebels (3-4, 2-3 TVC Hocking) snapped a two-game losing skid while also ending the Wildcats’ two-game winning streak, although things did not appear to be headed that way early on.
After a scoreless first quarter, WHS (3-4, 2-3) broke things open at the 8:11 mark of the second canto after Tyler McCutcheon scored on a six-yard run for a 7-0 advantage.
The hosts increased their lead to 13-0 at the 1:55 mark after Montana Brooker hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass from Isaac Huffman, but it also proved to be the last points of the evening for the Green and White.
The turning point for SGHS, however, came just moments before halftime. Kane Hutchinson hauled in a 31-yard TD pass from Landon Hutchinson with 1:10 left in the second period, which allowed the Rebels to enter halftime trailing by a 13-7 margin.
Both teams again went scoreless in the third quarter, but SGHS tied things up in the opening moments of the fourth after Johnny Sheets rumbled 85 yards to paydirt with 11:37 remaining.
The difference-maker came at the 6:06 mark of the fourth, as Landon Hutchinson intercepted a Huffman pass and returned it 55 yards to the house. Blake Strait converted the PAT kick, allowing the Rebels to take their first lead of the night at 20-13.
Both teams made late charges to add to their point totals, but neither had any success — allowing SGHS to sneak away with the seven-point triumph.
Waterford claimed a 12-9 edge in first downs and outgained the guests by a 258-220 overall margin, but the Rebels won the battle on the ground. South Gallia had 34 rushes for 174 yards, compared to 27 carries for 103 yards by the hosts.
The Wildcats were penalized 12 times for 110 yards, while the guests were flagged eight times for 60 yards.
Sheets led the Rebel rushing attack with 86 yards on two carries, while Landon Hutchinson was 5-of-13 passing for 46 yards. Kane Hutchinson led the wideouts with four grabs for 46 yards.
McCutcheon paced Waterford with 55 rushing yards on a dozen attempts, while Huffman was 11-of-25 passing for 155 yards. Brooker led the wideouts with four catches for 77 yards.
Waterford — which was celebrated Homecoming — had two touchdowns called back because of penalties and also had a last-chance pass fall incomplete in the end zone as time expired.
The Rebels return home next Friday for their Homecoming contest against Wahama. The Week 8 TVC Hocking contest will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.