PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — 48 minutes just weren’t enough.
The Gallia Academy football team was tied with Ohio Valley Conference host Portsmouth at the end of regulation on Friday night in Scioto County, but GAHS senior James Armstrong found the end zone for a third time, propelling the Blue Devils to a 18-12 overtime victory.
Gallia Academy (5-1, 4-1 OVC) broke the scoreless tie and led 6-0 with 2:18 left in the first half, as Armstrong hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Noah Vanco.
Portsmouth (1-5, 1-5) tied the game at six 6:40 into the second half, with a one-yard touchdown pass from Drew Roe to Chris Duff.
The Trojans took a 12-6 lead 3:30 into the fourth quarter, with Roe tossing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amare Johnson.
GAHS needed less than two minutes to answer, however, with Armstrong scoring on a 16-yard run with 6:37 left in regulation.
Gallia Academy got the ball first in overtime, and took the 18-12 lead on an eight-yard Armstrong touchdown run.
Then the Blue Devil defense came up with the stop it needed to seal the 18-12 victory.
For the game, PHS held a 17-to-12 edge in first downs, and a 303-to-254 advantage in total offense. GAHS, however, outgained its host 142-to-90 on the ground. The Blue and White were penalized nine times for 80 yards, while Portsmouth was sent back five times for 34 yards. Each team committed one turnover in the contest.
Armstrong finished with 185 yards and two touchdown on 22 carries, to go with 32 yards and another score on two receptions to lead GAHS. Vanco completed 11-of-19 pass attempts for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Webb caught a team-best five passes for 53 yards in the win, Mason Skidmore hauled in two passes for 17 yards, while Briar Williams and Trent Johnson had a catch apiece for seven and three yards respectively.
For Portsmouth, Johnson led the ground attack with 54 yards on 16 carries, and also caught five passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Roe — who ran a dozen times for a net gain of 19 yards — was 27-of-41 passing for 213 yards. Reade Pendleton ran once for 17 yards and caught 11 passes for 73 yards, while Mike Duncan caught four passes for 60 yards. Duff finished with four catches for 23 yards, while Devon Lattimore ended with 17 yards on three grabs.
GAHS will have next week off, as the Blue Devils await the winner of Saturday’s Union Local at Vinton County postseason opener.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.