BIDWELL, Ohio — The Coal Grove Hornets made tremendous strides tonight as they shut down the host River Valley Raiders in an all-out ground attack, with the addition of the Raiders coughing up the ball five times in the first half, during a 47-0 setback in the home opener Friday night at the Raiders Stadium.
RVHS (0-1) defense allowed 360 yards of offense for the Hornets (1-0). The Raiders and Hornets traded the football back and forth through the first half of the opening quarter.
At the 5:42 mark, River Valley’s Layne Fitch fumbled the ball and the Hornets defense quickly swarmed the ball for recovery. With 1:32 remaining in the first quarter, Austin Stapleton of Coal Grove rushed for a three-yard touchdown and a failed PAT by Ethan Holmes gave the Hornets a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With 9:01 remaining in the first half, Kyle Sites of CGHS ran a three-yard touchdown and a successful PAT by Evan Holmes pushed the Hornets lead to 13-0.
An uneventful turnover by RVHS allowed Coal Grove to have the pigskin on the Raider 49-yard line. Within two plays, the Hornets own Nate Harmon rushed for a 17-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 19-0 at the end of the first half.
Two minutes into the third quarter, Nate Harmon completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Evan Holmes made it a 25-0 contest.
River Valley had two short plays, resulting a safety in its own end zone, and gave the Hornets the lead of 27-0 with 9:08 left into the third quarter.
Following River Valley’s punt from the safety, CGHS started its drive on the Raiders’ 28-yard line. With 7:29 remaining in the quarter, Kyle Sites rushed a six-yard touchdown run for a 34-0 cushion.
The Silver and Black were forced to punt in their own territory, which caused the Hornets to start their offensive drive at Coal Grove’s own 34-yard line. With 3:35 left in the third quarter, Nate Harmon ran for a 28-yard touchdown and a successful PAT by Evan Holmes provided Coal Grove with the lead of 41-0 at the end of the third quarter.
With the running clock in motion for most of the second half, Coal Grove used the game clock to its advantage. At the 4:21 mark of the fourth quarter, Christian Workman ran for an eight-yard touchdown to complete the scoring at 47-0.
Braden Kemper led the Raiders in passing after going 3-of-7 for 56 yards with two interceptions.
Layne Fitch led the team in rushing with seven carries for 51 yards. Kemper had 13 touches for 21 yards, while Jeff Fitzwater had one carry for nine yards.
Jared Reese led the Silver and Black in receiving with two receptions for 42 yards. Layne Fitch had one reception for 14 yards.
The Raiders had a total of 169 yards of offense, nine first downs and one penalty for five yards.
Coal Grove’s Nate Harmon led the team in passing after going 5-of-7 for 95 yards, throwing one touchdown and one interception.
Kyle Sites led the Hornets in rushing with 14 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Harmon also had six carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Aaron Music led CGHS in receiving with three receptions for 54 yards. Evan Holmes had two receptions for 41 yards and one touchdown.
The Hornets had a total of 360 yards of offense, 19 first downs and five penalties for 45 yards.
River Valley returns to the gridiron on Saturday as it travels to Memorial Field to challenge the Gallia Academy Blue Devils in Week 2.
J.P. Davis is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing