MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Isaiah Geiger and Landon Hutchinson sparked a 33-point second half scoring assault as the South Gallia Rebels secured their first-ever gridiron victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division foe Wahama on Friday evening by a 54-19 count.
Geiger ran for 224 yards and a touchdown, while Hutchinson enjoyed a career night with three touchdowns, 176 yards on the ground, 90 yards and two scores through the air, and an interception return for six points as the Rebels laid to rest a 14-game winning streak by the White Falcons.
The win was the second in a row for South Gallia as the Rebels evened their overall slate to 4-4 while pushing its TVC Hocking record to 3-3 on the season.
The White Falcons fell to 3-5 overall following the setback with the Bend Area gridders suffering through a 2-5 conference campaign.
South Gallia piled up more than 550 yards in total offense during the league outing with 466 yards coming on the ground. The Rebel defense also contributed greatly to the triumph in limiting Wahama to just three scores on the night. The White Falcons sustained a throng of offensive drives and tallied 22 first downs but the South Gallia defense came through with the huge defensive stops when needed.
The Rebel defense turned the White Falcons away empty-handed on four occasions after the Bend Area eleven had penetrated the red zone which ultimately proved to be a huge factor in the 35 point victory.
South Gallia opened an early 6-0 advantage after scoring on its opening drive. Hutchinson went the final yard to cap the series with 9:35 remaining in the first stanza. Wahama answered on its first possession by traveling 63 yards in eight plays with Jared Nutter going the final 15 yards. Christopher Hesson booted the point after to give the visitors its only lead of the night at 7-6 with 6:58 to play in the first.
A Johnny Sheets 16 yard run late in the first regained the lead for good for South Gallia with A.J. Woodall booting the point after to make it 13-7. Midway through the second quarter Geiger broke free on a 72 yard scoring burst with Hutchinson tossing the conversion pass to Dom Seward to push the Rebel lead to 21-7. Wahama would close the gap to 21-13 following another Nutter score on a one yard run in the half’s final minute.
The game’s final 24 minutes was all South Gallia as the Rebels scored three unanswered touchdowns on a seven yard run by Hutchinson and successive scoring passes of 44 and 38 yards to Kane Hutchinson and Owen Bevan to turn the contest into a rout.
Hutchinson added a 53 yard scoring run and a 37 yard interception return for scores in the final period with Woodall connecting on two more PAT kicks. WHS rode the running of Colton Arrington to set up its final score with Wyatt Edwards capping off the White Falcons final scoring drive with an eight yard run to make the final tally 54-19.
In addition to Geiger with 224 yards rushing and Hutchinson’s 176 for South Gallia was Johnny Sheets with 62 yards on the ground. Hutchinson connected on four of four passes for 90 yards and two scores with Kane Hutchinson grabbing three aerials for 52 yards and a score and Owen Bevan had one catch for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Wahama closed out the night with 377 yards in total offense with 171 coming on the ground and another 206 through the air. Colton Arrington finished with a team high 106 yards rushing for Wahama in 12 carries with Wyatt Edwards collecting 49 yards in eight tries and Jared Nutter 40 yards in 16 attempts.
Philip Hoffman completed 11 of 22 passes on the evening for 140 yards and an interception with Nutter completing both of his passing attempts for 66 yards. Ricky Kearns hauled in three passes for 78 yards, Jared Nutter six for 62 yards, Nolan Pierce three for 58 and Bryton Grate one for eight yards for the Falcon receiving department.
Wahama returns to action next Friday evening when the Bend Area team hosts Miller in the TVC Hocking Division finale while South Gallia hosts league foe Southern. Senior Night will be observed during both contests.
Gary Clark is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.