Week 5 of the high school football season kicks off in both Ohio and West Virginia this weekend, and there are six contests going on from within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
All six local contests are at home venues, given that two matchups — Meigs at River Valley and Eastern at South Gallia — are head-to-head bouts.
Gallia Academy welcomes Portsmouth in a battle of unbeatens, while Southern hosts Belpre. Wahama takes on Federal Hocking at Bachtel Stadium and Hannan hosts Manchester in a battle of winless teams.
Point Pleasant is off this weekend after canceling its game against YouthBuild.
Here’s a brief look at all of the Week 5 football games from the OVP area. All of the contests are slated for Friday night.
Meigs Marauders (1-3, 0-1 TVC Ohio) at River Valley Raiders (0-4, 0-1)
Meigs has won 15 straight head-to-head meetings with the Raiders, including a 45-28 the last time they met in Bidwell, on Sept. 22, 2017. The last time River Valley defeated Meigs was Sept. 5, 2003 in Cheshire. In the 15 meetings since then, MHS has outscored the Raiders by a 598-to-236 margin. The Marauders are 22-3 all-time against the Raiders. The Maroon and Gold won last year’s meeting by a 42-21 tally in Rocksprings after leading 42-7 in the contest. With their Week 4 20-0 loss to Vinton County, the Marauders have been shut out twice this year for the first time since 2010. With a 51-18 setback to Nelsonville-York last week, the Raiders have dropped four straight to start the season since 2013. The 18 points scored by the Silver and Black a week ago are their most since last season’s meeting with the Marauders. Both teams have already face Gallia Academy this fall, with Meigs falling 24-0 and the Raiders on the wrong end of a 38-0 tally.
Eastern Eagles (2-2, 0-2 TVC Hocking) at South Gallia Rebels (1-3, 1-2)
In all-time meetings between EHS and SGHS, the Eagles hold an 14-6 edge with a 596-to-315 scoring advantage. Eastern is 6-4 all-time at South Gallia, including a 40-20 the last time the teams clashed in Mercerville, on Sept. 22, 2017. With last year’s 14-13 win, the Eagles have won four straight against the Red and Gold. Last season’s bout was the fifth time these teams have been within one possession of each other, but the first time they’ve been within a single point. Eastern took the lead with 1:12 left in last week’s contest, but fell to Waterford by a 24-19 count for a second straight setback. SGHS dropped a 45-0 decision at Trimble last week, with the Tomcats leading 35-0 a quarter into play. Trimble is the lone common opponent for these teams so far this season, with THS blanking EHS by a 48-0 count in Week 3.
Belpre Golden Eagles (2-2, 2-1 TVC Hocking) at Southern Tornadoes (4-0, 3-0)
Southern holds a 5-4 edge over Belpre since the Golden Eagles joined the TVC Hocking prior to the 2010 season. The last time the Golden Eagles were in Racine, Southern won by a 41-14 count on Sept. 22, 2017. Belpre’s 55-41 win in last season’s meeting ended the Tornadoes two-game win streak in the series. To this point in the season, Belpre and Southern share two common opponents in Miller and Wahama. BHS defeated MHS 42-7 in Week 3 and then topped WHS 49-22 last Friday, while SHS claimed a 58-22 victory over the White Falcons in Week 3, and a 39-18 win at Miller last week. The Tornadoes are 4-0 for the second straight year and looking for their first 5-0 start since 2016. Southern’s 531 yards of total offense last Friday marks a season-high, with quarterback Gage Shuler accounting for 251 rushing yards as well as all-192 passing yards.
Portsmouth Trojans (4-0, 1-0 OVC) at Gallia Academy Blue Devils (4-0, 1-0)
A battle of unbeatens hits Memorial Field, with the Blue Devils looking for their first 5-0 start since 1994. With last season’s 34-7 victory, the Blue and White are now 19-11-1 in all-time meetings with the Trojans. Gallia Academy has won six of the last seven head-to-head bouts, including two straight, with a 36-35 win on Sept. 22, 2017, the last time they clashed in Gallipolis. The Trojans’ 45-14 win on Sept. 23, 2016, in Scioto County, is the only PHS win over GAHS as members of the Ohio Valley Conference. With their 55-27 win over Chesapeake a week ago, the Blue and White have won 11 straight regular season games, 10 consecutive OVC contests, and eight in a row on their home field. With their 40-28 win over Rock Hill last week, Portsmouth is 4-0 to start the year for the first time since 2002, when the Trojans won their first seven before falling to Gallia Academy. Both teams have already faced River Valley this season, with the Blue Devils winning 38-0 in Week 2 and the Trojans winning 40-6 in Week 3.
Federal Hocking Lancers (1-3, 0-3 TVC Hocking) at Wahama White Falcons (1-3, 1-2)
Two teams searching for their second win this week as Wahama aims to win its 10th straight decision over Federal Hocking in TVC Hocking play. The White Falcons claimed their only victory last season at Stewart with a 50-22 decision in this matchup, which was played on a Monday due to inclement weather the previous weekend. Wahama is also 31-2-2 all-time against Maroon and Gold, who have dropped 36 consecutive TVC Hocking contests. Fed Hock’s last league win came in Week 9 of 2014 with a 16-14 decision over visiting Waterford. Wahama is averaging 20.5 points per game, while FHHS has been held scoreless since earning a 28-20 win over Hundred in Week 1 of this season.
Manchester Greyhounds (0-4) at Hannan Wildcats (0-4)
Somebody is getting that elusive first win. The Wildcats scored their first points in six regular season contests last week as part of a 33-6 setback at Hundred. Hannan also dropped its 18 consecutive decision. The Greyhounds have won three straight decisions and are 3-1 all-time against HHS, including a 16-8 double overtime victory last fall — Manchester’s last official victory. Hannan’s last victory came against Jenkins (KY) by a 41-8 count on Sept. 29, 2017. The Greyhounds have dropped 10 straight games and have lost by at least 29 points in all four of their outings this year, although they have been shut out only once.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.