CENTENARY, Ohio — Mission accomplished.
The Gallia Academy boys soccer team wrapped up the outright Ohio Valley Conference championship on Thursday at Lester Field, with the Blue Devils topping Chesapeake by a 6-1 tally.
The Blue Devils (9-3-1, 9-0 OVC) — which clinched a share of the title with a 15-0 victory over Portsmouth on Tuesday — began the scoring in Thursday’s match 5:25 into play, with GAHS freshman Maddux Camden scoring on an assist from classmate Keagen Daniels.
The hosts were up 2-0 with 27:54 left in the first half, as Daniels cashed in on an assist from Emmanuel Valadez. GAHS sophomore Seth Nelson gave the hosts a 3-0 lead with 11:46 left in the half, scoring an unassisted goal.
Next, the Panthers came up with their first answer, scoring with 9:42 to go in the half and keeping their deficit at two until after the break.
Just over 10 minutes into the second half, Valadez gave the hosts a 4-1 lead on an unassisted goal. With 24:23 remaining in regulation, Valadez assisted Brody Wilt, who gave Gallia Academy a 5-1 advantage.
The Blue and White put the cherry on top of the 6-1 win with 3:07 to go, as Nelson scored his second goal on the third assist from Valadez.
Following the title-clinching win, third-year GAHS head coach Cory Camden talked about the progression of the Blue Devil program.
“Two years ago we only won one game, last year we kind of turned it around a little bit and won eight,” Camden said. “This year, we’re at nine and we still have Jackson, Fairland and Southeastern left. We can possibly set the school record for wins, this is the second-winningest season they’ve ever had. A lot of things came into place this year. We have a good group of kids from top-to-bottom, it’s just been a really good season.”
Bryson Miller and Andrew Toler combined for the goal keeping duties for GAHS, splitting a trio of saves. Collectively, the Blue Devils launched 22 shots on goal.
Gallia Academy also knocked off Chesapeake on Sept. 10 in Lawrence County, by a 5-1 tally.
Thursday also served as senior night for the Blue and White, who celebrated the careers of Andrew Toler, Timothy Hill, Luke Saunders and Emmanuel Valadez.
GAHS wraps up its conference slate on Tuesday at Fairland.
This marks the second OVC boys soccer championship for Gallia Academy, which won its other crown in 2016.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.