Another full slate of games.
For the second time in as many weeks this season, all nine football teams in the Ohio Valley Publishing area are set to suit up Friday night.
The infamous Eastern-Southern rivalry renews itself on a rare Friday night at East Shade River Stadium, while Hannan and South Gallia host a pair of games this weekend.
Gallia Academy, River Valley, Point Pleasant, Wahama and Meigs also join Southern in appearing in road contests this Friday night.
Here’s a brief look at this week’s high school gridiron matchups in the OVP area.
Southern Tornadoes (1-4, 1-3 TVC Hocking) at Eastern Eagles (3-2, 3-1 TVC Hocking)
The Eagles have won back-to-back decisions against Southern, giving Eastern 16 wins in their last 27 chances against the Tornadoes. Last fall, EHS won 63-6 in Racine, the Eagles’ largest win over their rivals since a 60-0 triumph in 2002. This game will be played on Friday night, instead of Saturday, for the first time in more than four decades. This is the first time since 1999 that these teams don’t meet in Week 10. Last week, the Eagles claimed a 34-7 victory at Belpre, which topped Southern by a 27-6 earlier this season. The Tornadoes got into the win column with a 32-6 triumph over South Gallia last Friday. EHS also defeated SGHS this season. Both teams fell to Trimble this fall. Waterford is the other common opponent, with SHS falling 59-6, and EHS winning 10-8.
Trimble Tomcats (5-0, 4-0 TVC Hocking) at South Gallia Rebels (0-5, 0-4 TVC Hocking)
In the previous 10 meetings between these teams, THS has outscored the Rebels by a 451-69 total. SGHS has never scored more than 14 against the Tomcats. Last season’s 45-0 Tomcat triumph marked their fourth shut out all-time against SGHS. Trimble enters play with a 24-game TVC Hocking winning streak, as well as a 20-game regular season winning streak. The last Gallia County team to defeat Trimble was North Gallia, which won 14-7 in 1991. Last Week, the Tomcats claimed their third straight shut out to in a row, 14-0 over Waterford. With last week’s 32-6 setback at Southern, SGHS has now dropped a dozen straight decisions.
Federal Hocking Lancers (1-2) at Hannan Wildcats (0-1)
The Lancers started a 2-year hiatus from varsity competition in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division this fall, mainly to work on increasing numbers. Federal Hocking enters the 2020 campaign with 18 players, the same number that the Wildcats started this season with. FHHS hasn’t played since Week 3 of the Ohio campaign, which was the week of Sept. 11. The Lancers dropped a 39-0 decision to Miller in their road contest of the year thus far. Fed Hock did put up a 50-22 win over Paden City in Week 2, but dropped 15-6 decision to visiting Bridgeport in its opener. Hannan, conversely, made its season debut last week in a 50-14 home setback to Wahama.
Gallia Academy Blue Devils (4-1, 3-1 OVC) at Portsmouth Trojans (1-4, 1-4 OVC)
With last season’s 45-28 victory, the Blue and White are now 20-11-1 in all-time meetings with the Trojans. Gallia Academy has won seven of the last eight head-to-head bouts, including three straight. The Trojans’ 45-14 win on Sept. 23, 2016, in Scioto County, is Portsmouth’s lone win over GAHS as members of the Ohio Valley Conference. A week ago, Gallia Academy won its third straight game and handed Fairland its first loss of the year, 47-43 on Memorial Field. Earlier this season, Fairland topped Portsmouth 34-6. The Trojans fell 66-63 at Coal Grove a week ago, their third straight setback. Both GAHS and PHS have lost to Ironton, and topped South Point this season.
Meigs Marauders (2-3, 2-2 TVC Ohio) at Alexander Spartans (1-4, 1-3 TVC Ohio)
The Marauders own a 30-5-1 record over AHS in all-time meetings, with four wins in a row against the Spartans. AHS ended a two-year scoreless streak against Meigs last year, but still fell 30-7 in Rocksprings. With a 32-14 setback at to Athens last Friday, Meigs has lost three straight decisions. Alexander fell 31-0 at Vinton County last Friday, the Spartans’ second shut out loss of the year. The Marauders topped VCHS 28-20 in the season opener. Both teams own a win against River Valley, but have lost to both Athens.
Point Pleasant Big Blacks (1-1) at Bluefield Beavers (3-0)
The unbeaten Beavers bring a 3-game winning streak into this fifth all-time meeting with the Big Blacks, which included a 49-14 victory at OVB Field last fall. Bluefield is averaging 39 points per game and owns a pair of victories over Princeton by counts of 15-13 and 54-40. BHS also defeated Woodrow Wilson by a 48-2 margin back in Week 3. Point Pleasant hasn’t played since Week 2, a 51-13 decision over Brooke. The Big Blacks are averaging 32 points per game offensively and will be playing in their first road game of the fall. The winner in all four previous meetings has scored at least 42 points and won by at least three scores.
Wahama White Falcons (1-3) at Hundred Hornets (0-4)
A battle of two teams that have actually managed to get four regular season games in over as many weeks, it will be the first-ever meeting between the two small classification programs. The Hornets are 0-2 in home games this year and have allowed 49.3 points while producing only 5.5 points in their four setbacks. In fact, a 42-8 loss at Beallsville in Week 2 was both the closest margin and fewest points allowed by HHS this fall. The White Falcons snapped a 3-game losing skid last week with a 50-14 win at Hannan. WHS is averaging 25 points per game offensively and has surrendered an average of 32.3 points through four weeks of play.
River Valley Raiders (0-5) at Bridgeport Bulldogs (2-3)
This is the first-ever gridiron meeting between Bridgeport and River Valley. The Raiders won their most recent non-conference game, topping South Gallia in the 2019 season finale. So far this season, the Silver and Black have been outscored by an average of 32.5 points per game. Bridgeport’s two victories this season are a 15-6 win at Federal Hocking in Week 1, and a 46-14 triumph at Beallsville in Week 4. Last Friday, the Bulldogs fell 50-0 at Conotton Valley, while RVHS dropped a 51-7 decision at home to Nelsonville-York.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.