Bulldogs bite River Valley, 69-26

By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

BIDWELL, Ohio — Two offenses were clicking … just not on the same level.

Visiting Athens led wire-to-wire and scored a season-high in points while securing at least a share of the league championship on Friday night with a 69-26 victory over the River Valley football team in a Week 9 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup in Gallia County.

The Raiders (1-8, 1-5 TVC Ohio) dropped their fourth consecutive decision, but the hosts did muster points for the first time since a 41-25 victory over Meigs back in Week 5.

The Bulldogs (5-4, 5-0), on the other hand, churned out at least two touchdowns in each of the four quarters played Friday night en route to their third consecutive triumph.

The Green and Gold stormed out to a quick 13-0 advantage 6-plus minutes into regulation as Corbin Stalder scored on runs of two yards and 12 yards, then Nate Trainer added a 6-yard scamper with 1:23 left in the first quarter for a 20-point cushion.

The Silver and Black, however, answered with a 48-yard Cole Young run with 22 seconds left in the opening frame, then Ryan Jones added a 13-yard run at the end of the first quarter to close the gap down to 20-14.

RVHS was never closer as Athens responded with Joey Moore scoring runs of 13 and 10 yards while extending the lead out to 34-14 with 5:57 left until halftime.

Nate Trainer completed the first half scoring by hauling in a 68-yard pass from Moore with 3:24 remaining for a 41-14 lead.

Peyton Gail broke away for a 55-yard run on the opening play of the third quarter, making it a 48-14 contest 15 seconds into the second half.

Braeden Halbert extended the lead to 55-14 at the 8:21 mark of the third after hauling in a 55-yard pass from Moore, but the Raiders countered with a 2-yard run from Young to close the gap down to 55-20 with 5:53 left.

Levi Neal caught a 6-yard TD pass from Landon Wheatley with 9:37 left in regulation for a 61-20 edge, but the hosts answered with their final score as Young rumbled in from five yards out — making it 61-26 with 6:49 remaining.

Trey Finnearty completed the AHS tally by grabbing a 72-yard TD pass from Wheatley with 5:29 left in the game.

The Bulldogs churned out an impressive 611 yards of total offense, with 407 of those coming through the air. RVHS, conversely, produced all but 18 of their 212 yards of total offense on the ground.

Athens claimed a 27-9 edge in first downs and both squads committed two turnovers apiece. AHS was flagged 10 times for 95 yards, while the hosts had three penalties for 29 yards.

Young led the Raiders with 104 rushing yards on 13 carries, followed by Jones with 37 yards on nine totes.

Justin Stump added 33 rushing yards on five attempts and also completed 3-of-7 passes for 18 yards. Will Hash led the wideouts with two catches for 11 yards.

Gail paced Athens with 114 rushing yards on seven carries, while Moore completed 16-of-23 passes for 292 yards — including two touchdowns and an interception. Trainer led the AHS wideouts with seven catches for 144 yards.

River Valley completes its 2019 regular season on Saturday when it hosts South Gallia in a non-conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.

By Bryan Walters


Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.