MERCERVILLE, Ohio — You could say the Raiders had a lot to take away from this one.
The River Valley football team forced eight turnovers and won consecutive games for the first time since 2016 on Friday night during a 39-8 victory over host South Gallia in a Week 7 regular season matchup between Gallia County programs.
The Raiders (2-5) notched their third consecutive triumph over the Rebels (0-7) in as many all-time meetings, with the guests using a proficient running attack and plenty of extra opportunities to seal the deal on a convincing 31-point outcome.
RVHS led wire-to-wire and built a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Red and Gold mustered their only points of the night.
Greg Davis hauled in a 42-yard pass from Tristan Saber with 2:18 left in the half, then Saber added a successful 2-point conversion run to close the gap down to 20-8.
SGHS — which committed five of its eight giveaways after the break — was never closer the rest of the way as the Silver and Black reeled off 19 unanswered points down the stretch.
The Raiders took a permanent lead after their opening drive of the game as Ryan Jones capped a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 6-yard run at the 7:30 mark for a 6-0 edge.
Justin Stump scurried in from seven yards out at the 10:04 mark of the second frame for a 13-point cushion, then Michael Conkle rumbled 42 yards to the house with 6:36 left in the half for a 20-0 advantage.
Conkle added his second rushing touchdown on a 3-yard scamper with 4:59 remaining in the third quarter for a 26-8 lead, then Stump tacked on his second TD score with a 6-yard run at the 7:48 mark in the fourth.
Riley Evans rumbled 16 yards to paydirt with 2:56 left in regulation to not only wrap up the 31-point outcome, but also started a continuous clock due to the 30-point advantage.
The Raiders outgained the hosts by a 388-220 overall margin in total offense, including a sizable 319-131 edge on the ground. RVHS was also plus-7 in turnover differential and scored 26 points off of those takeaways.
River Valley claimed a 17-11 advantage in first downs and was also penalized seven times for 55 yards, compared to seven flags for 50 yards against the Rebels.
Conkle led the RVHS ground attack with 226 yards on 23 carries, followed by Evans with 49 yards on five attempts and Jones with 24 yards on five totes.
Stump completed 6-of-13 passes for 69 yards, with Jones leading the wideouts with three catches for 41 yards.
Russell, Andrew Huck and Landen Dodrill each recorded an interception in the win, while Ryan Weber, Drew Loveday, Logan Hancock and Aiden Greene each recovered a fumble … with Loveday scooping up a pair of fumbles.
Greg Davis paced SGHS with 56 rushing yards on 14 carriers, followed by Ean Combs with 28 yards on 11 attempts. Davis also led the wideouts with two grabs for 52 yards.
Saber — who ran for 27 yards — completed 5-of-9 passes for 73 yards, including two picks and a touchdown. Noah Cremeens also went 1-of-2 passing for 16 yards and threw one interception.
Connor Stanley came up with the Rebels’ lone takeaway with a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
River Valley — which has now scored 39 points in each of the last two weeks after a 39-22 win at Bridgeport — will host Huntington Ross on Friday at 7 p.m.
South Gallia returns to action Friday, Oct. 23, when it hosts Alexander at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.