BIDWELL, Ohio — One big quarter proved to be the difference-maker.
The River Valley football team scored 21 points in the second canto and eventually celebrated Senior Night in style on Friday evening with a 29-12 victory over visiting South Gallia in a Week 10 non-conference battle between Gallia County programs.
Both teams had a single offensive possession in a scoreless first frame, but the host Raiders (2-8) finished their initial drive two plays into the second quarter while taking a permanent lead with 11:24 remaining in the half.
Ryan Jones capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown scamper, then Jared Reese added a successful 2-point run for an 8-0 advantage.
The Rebels (1-9) followed with a quick 3-and-out, then the Silver and Black needed only two plays — and a 5-yard penalty — to cover 60 yards as Cole Young hurdled two defenders on his way to a 37-yard touchdown run.
Colton Gilmore tacked on a successful PAT kick with 8:34 left until halftime, making it a 15-0 contest.
The Red and Gold countered with a 10-play drive that ultimately ended on downs at the RVHS 33, then the Raiders needed only five plays to cover the 67 yards while building a 3-score lead.
From the Rebel 45, Young took a handoff up the middle and broke free before heading down the right sideline for a touchdown. The 45-yarder came with 1:27 left in the second period, giving the hosts a 21-0 cushion.
The Rebels started making some things happen after the break as Kyle Northup intercepted a RVHS pass at the 8:13 mark, then the guests covered 55 yards in eight plays to get on the scoreboard.
Tristan Saber found Northup on a 7-yard scoring pass with 3:53 left in the third stanza, trimming the deficit down to 21-6.
The Raiders turned the ball over on downs at the SGHS 41 on their ensuing drive, and the Rebels needed nine plays to cover 59 yards while getting even closer.
Northup plunged in from two yards out with 4:47 left in regulation, but the guests again missed a 2-point conversion run and trailed 21-12.
The Raiders, however, strung together one final drive that all but sealed the deal on the final outcome, marching 58 yards in nine plays.
Reese capped the drive with a 6-yard run into the end zone with 47.8 seconds left, then Darian Peck successfully converted a 2-point run that wrapped up the 17-point outcome.
The Raiders improved to 2-0 all-time against their Gallia County counterparts from South Gallia after winning last year’s inaugural contest at SGHS by an 8-0 count.
River Valley claimed a 16-10 advantage in first downs and also ended the evening plus-1 in turnover differential, but the Rebels did come away with points on their only takeaway of the night for a 7-0 advantage.
The hosts outgained South Gallia by a 307-183 overall margin in total yards of offense, which included a 219-114 advantage on the ground and an 88-69 edge through the air.
The guests were flagged seven times for 20 yards, while the Raiders were penalized six times for 70 yards.
Young led the Silver and Black ground attack with 156 rushing yards on 22 carries, followed by Jones with 47 yards on seven attempts.
Jordan Burns was next with 24 yards on seven tries and also completed 5-of-10 passes for 88 yards, which included an interception.
Brandon Call led the Raider wideouts with two catches for 28 yards and Reese added two grabs for 15 yards, while Jones hauled in a single pass for 45 yards.
Call and Young each came away with an interception late in the first and second halves, respectively.
Young was also believed to have set a school record for rushing yards in a season with over 1,060, but that was not able to be confirmed by press time.
Northup paced South Gallia with 110 rushing yards on 31 carries, with Saber adding four yards on four attempts.
Northup completed all three of his passes for 62 yards, while Saber was 1-of-6 passing for seven yards — including a touchdown pass and two interceptions.
Saber hauled in three passes for 62 yards, while Northup added a single catch for seven yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders doubled their win total from a year ago and ended up with a 2-3 record at home this season. RVHS was also 1-5 in TVC Ohio play.
The Rebels ended up dropping their last seven decisions and went 1-7 in TVC Hocking play.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.