OHIO VALLEY — Time to get on the gridiron, for Ohio at least.
This weekend marks the start of the high school football season in Ohio, and there are six contests going on from within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
All-6 programs in Gallia and Meigs counties begin their 2020 slate on Friday night, with Gallia Academy and River Valley opening the season at home.
The Blue Devils meet with South Point, while the Raiders host Wellston. Meigs also begins with a league game, traveling to Vinton County, while Eastern, Southern and South Gallia each open on the road in non-league play, with EHS at Caldwell, SHS at Frontier and the Rebels heading to Symmes Valley.
Here’s a brief look at all of the Week 1 football games from the OVP area.
South Point Pointers at Gallia Academy Blue Devils
GAHS defeated the Pointers 57-26 tally in South Point in the 2020 regular season finale. It was Gallia Academy’s fourth straight win against South Point, with the Blue Devils winning 44-0 the last time these teams met in Gallipolis. The Pointers’ last win over Gallia Academy came on Sept. 13, 1996. The Pointers won that game by a 21-14 final and the teams didn’t play again for 20 years. South Point enters with a 31-game skid in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Blue Devils have won back-to-back season openers, but haven’t started three straight years with a win since 2006.
Wellston Golden Rockets at River Valley Raiders
Wellston’s 40-0 victory over RVHS in Week 6 of last season made the Golden Rockets third straight win in head-to-head series, giving WHS a 4-2 record against the Raiders in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play. Wellston left Bidwell with a 20-0 victory in its last trip in 2018. River Valley’s last win in the series came in Bidwell by a 14-6 tally in Week 6 of the 2016 season. The Raiders have lost back-to-back season openers, and are looking to avoid dropping a third straight for the first time since 2001. The Golden Rockets are looking to start the season with a win for the first time since 2010.
Southern Tornadoes at Frontier Cougars
These teams last met in Week 2 of the 2017 season, with Southern winning 41-0 in Racine. Southern also won in its last trip to New Matamoras, Sept. 2 ,2016, by a 27-6 count. Those back-to-back wins gave SHS a 2-2 split with the Cougars in the four-year non-conference series. Southern has won seven season openers in a row, while FHS is looking to make it back-to-back seasons with a 1-0 start.
Eastern Eagles at Caldwell Redskins
This is the third meeting all-time between Eastern and Caldwell. These teams met in Week 2 in both of the last two seasons, with each winning on their home field. EHS claimed a 20-14 win at East Shade River Stadium last fall, while CHS won 38-6 in Noble County the year prior. Eastern ended a stretch of 14 consecutive season-openers without a win last year, defeating Huntington by a 47-20 clip. Caldwell hasn’t won a season-opener since 2017.
South Gallia Rebels at Symmes Valley Vikings
Symmes Valley has topped SGHS 14-12 in each of the last two season-openers. SVHS has won eight straight in the head-to-head series, and is 17-1 all-time against South Gallia, with the Rebels’ only victory coming on Oct. 13, 2006, by a 20-13 count in Willow Wood. South Gallia is just 6-18 in varsity season openers all-time, with a five-year losing skid. The Vikings have started 13 consecutive seasons 1-0, a streak that dates back to 2007.
Meigs Marauders at Vinton County Vikings
Vinton County’s 20-0 win at Meigs last season ended the Viking’s 2-game skid against the Marauders. Meigs escaped McArthur with a 27-21 overtime victory in its last trip, on Sept. 14, 2018. VCHS holds a 19-17 edge in the all-time head-to-head series. The Marauders have dropped back-to-back season openers for the first time since 2012. VCHS has lost its last six season-starters to Unioto, last winning in Week 1 33-20 over UHS in 2013. These teams had met in Week 4 each of the last six years. These teams haven’t met in August since 1990, when VCHS closed out the month with a 29-0 home win.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.