And this county loves it.
Gallia County is sending two teams to the state high school football playoffs for the second straight year. Both the Gallia Academy Blue Devils and South Gallia Rebels heard their names called when the official pairings were announced Sunday afternoon.
Gallia Academy, at 8-2 overall, earned the fifth seed in the Division III, Region 12 field and will travel to Lancaster on Saturday to face the fourth-seeded Fairfield Union Falcons. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
It is the seventh playoff appearance in the last eight years for the Blue Devils. It’s also the second straight 4 vs. 5 match-up Gallia Academy will be involved in, although last year it was the higher seed and played host to Sheridan.
Fairfield Union (8-2) lost during Friday’s regular season finale against rival Circleville, which snapped an eight-game winning streak. However, the Falcons’ only victories over teams with winning records came at the expense of two Division V teams.
The Blue Devils, meanwhile, enter the game on a five-game winning streak including some impressive wins over two other playoff qualifiers.
The first season of the expanded 10-team Southeastern Ohio Athletic League was an overwhelming success, as half the league’s teams made the postseason. In addition to Gallia Academy — Jackson, Ironton, Logan and Chillicothe will also play a Week 11 game.
Jackson, in the same region as Gallia Academy, gets the second-seeded Waverly Tigers. The regional championship is the earliest the Ironmen could face the Blue Devils, though.
Speaking of Blue Devils, that’s who the Rebels will face, as in the Danville Blue Devils.
South Gallia’s “Road Rebels” will really earn their handle when they make the three and-a- half hour trip to Knox County on Friday. Kick-off for South Gallia’s second straight playoff game is at 7:30 p.m.
Danville, which went 9-1, is located between Columbus and Cleveland.
South Gallia (8-2) made it back to the postseason by winning a school-record eight games. The only losses came against a school four times larger than itself, and to a Wahama White Falcon team that will play host to a West Virginia playoff game in two weeks.
Even more impressive, the Rebels accomplished the feat while only playing three of those games at home. Friday’s clash will, by far, be the longest trip this season as it will cover 165 miles. In fact, it will almost make last year’s Week 11 trip to Hannibal River seem short.
Other Southeast District teams to make the playoffs include three Tri-Valley Conference teams in Wellston, Nelsonville-York and Federal Hocking, as well as Scioto Valley Conference champ Westfall.