BIDWELL, Ohio — A rainy second half brought with it the end of a scoring drought for the Raiders.
The River Valley football team put together a rousing start to Friday night’s non-conference matchup against visiting Portsmouth — following a 65-yard kick-off return by Layne Fitch to place the Raiders just five yards from the end zone — but the Trojans defense held and swung the momentum en route to a 35-7 victory at Raiders Stadium in Gallia County.
The Raiders (0-3) missed a golden opportunity on their opening drive, setting the stage for the Trojans (2-1) to answer with a 11-play, 91-yard scoring drive capped off by 12-yard run by Talyn Parker with 4:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Portsmouth tacked on its next touchdown of the contest just 5:38 later as Tyler McCoy scored on a seven-yard scamper and Joel Bowling added a successful point-after kick to widen the lead to 14-0.
Danny Lattimore added the Trojans’ second touchdown of the second period when he connected with Parker Johnson with a five-yard pass with 8:46 remaining until the intermission. PHS found the end zone for its fourth time in the first half just 5:39 later, as Parker’s two-yard run concluded a four-play, 79-yard scoring drive.
Following the half, Portsmouth widen the margin to 35-0, as McCoy’s five-yard run capped off a six-play, 65-yard drive with 9:53 remaining in the third period.
River Valley cut the deficit to 35-7 with 1:56 left in the third period, as Jared Reese sprinted for a 41-yard touchdown and Colton Gilmore added the extra-point. The touchdown for RVHS snapped a 130-minute scoring drought through its first-three contest of the 2018 campaign.
The Raiders and Trojans both were held scoreless in the finale, as Portsmouth closed out the 28-point victory.
PHS finished with a sizable 478-139 advantage in total yards, with 394 of those coming on the ground.
The Trojans finished with 18 first downs in the contest, while the Raiders had four. The hosts were flagged six times for 50 yards, while the visitors were penalized five times for 35 yards.
PHS lost two fumbles in the contest, while RVHS gave away one.
Fitch led the Raiders in both rushing and receiving yards, as he ran for 58 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards.
Reese was next with 52 yards on the ground, followed by Jordan Burns with 10 yards.
River Valley will open Tri Valley Conference Ohio Division play next Friday when Nelsonville-York comes to town.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.