A pair of playoff games, three regular season home contests and a pair of important road outings in West Virginia help set up a very meaningful weekend football in the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
Gallia Academy hosts Vinton County in a Division IV, Region 15 second round matchup on Saturday night at Memorial Field, while Eastern heads to Caldwell on Friday night for a Division VII, Region 27 second round contest.
Wirt County invades Wahama on Homecoming weekend, while Southern and River Valley respectively welcome Bridgeport and Huntington Ross on Friday night in regular season affairs.
Point Pleasant travels to Man for a pivotal regular season matchup Friday night, while Hannan aims for its first win Friday night when it travels to winless Montcalm.
Here’s a brief look at this weekend’s football contests within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
Vinton County Vikings (4-3) at Gallia Academy Blue Devils (5-1)
The second round of the Region 15 playoffs features the first matchup between 12th-seeded Vinton County and fifth-seeded Gallia Academy since Sept. 27, 2013, when the Blue Devils won 48-19 in McArthur. GAHS also topped VCHS the season before, as well as in 2006 and 2007. GAHS making its 13th playoff run in program history, and its third straight. The Blue and White are 6-12 in the postseason all-time, with the last victory coming over over Archbishop McNicholas 37-35 in 2012. That is also the last time Memorial Field hosted a postseason contest. Last week was the first time Vinton County had ever hosted a playoff contest, and the Vikings defeated Union Local 33-20. Both teams have visited Wellston this season, with the Blue Devils winning 19-14, and the Vikings falling 33-12. Gallia Academy enters play with a four-game winning streak. The winner of this game faces the winner of Philo at Meadowbrook, also being played Saturday night.
Eastern Eagles (4-2) at Caldwell Redskins (4-2)
The second round of the Region 27 playoffs features a rematch of Week 1, as the 11th-seeded Eagles visit sixth-seeded Caldwell. The Eagles advanced to the second round after Sciotoville East was forced to cancel the opening round contest. In its three previous playoff bouts, Eastern fell 35-7 at Newark Catholic last year, 23-6 to Trimble in 2001, and 34-12 to Newark Catholic in 2000. In the season-opening game, Caldwell topped Eastern 34-20 on in Noble County. EHS won its 2019 meeting with the Redskins 20-14 in Tuppers Plains. The Eagles soar into the playoffs with four straight wins, outscoring South Gallia, Waterford, Belpre and Southern by a combined 126-to-23. CHS enters play with a three-game winning streak, defeating Monroe Central, Berne Union and Conotton Valley by a combined 88-to-54.
Wirt County Tigers (3-2) at Wahama White Falcons (3-3)
Wahama puts a 3-game winning streak — its first since 2016 — on the line when it faces Wirt County for the first time since 2010 Friday night during Homecoming festivities at Bachtel Stadium. The White Falcons have won 10 straight decisions over the Tigers and own a 15-10 edge in the alltime series. Wahama has produced at least 50 points in each of its last three outings and is averaging 38.8 points per game offensively while allowing 31.7 points as a defensive unit. Wirt County has dropped consecutive decisions after starting the year 3-0 and own a 1-1 mark in road games. The Tigers are scoring 32.4 points per game and allow 16.6 points defensively.
Bridgeport Bulldogs (2-5) at Southern Tornadoes (2-5)
To this point in the season, the Bulldogs and Tornadoes share two common opponents in Frontier and Beallsville. The Cougars topped Southern 42-6 and Bridgeport 50-6, while the Blue Devils fell to SHS 57-25 last week, and fell to the Bulldogs 48-14 in Week 4. This is the first of back-to-back home games for the Purple and Gold, who host Meigs in Week 9. Last week, Bridgeport fell at Steubenville Central Catholic by a 31-8 count. Southern enters play having won two of its last three decisions, while the Bulldogs enter on a three-game skid.
Huntington Huntsmen (0-7) at River Valley Raiders (2-5)
River Valley brings back-to-back wins into its the game, while Huntington looks to end a 15-game skid. The Raiders have posted 39 points in each of the last two weeks. The Huntsmen fell to Dayton Christian 34-31 last week, the closest they’ve been during their skid. HHS has been outscored by an average of 29.4 points this season. While they have no common opponents yet, both teams are scheduled to face South Point, Huntington in Week 9 and River Valley in Week 10. The Silver and Black are looking for their first three-game win-streak since Weeks 6-through-8 of 2016.
Point Pleasant Big Blacks (2-2) at Man Hillbillies (1-1)
Point Pleasant is aiming for its first winning record of the year on Friday when it travels to George A. Queen Memorial Field to face the Hillbillies for a fifth consecutive year. PPHS has won the last six meetings and -owns a 7-1 alltime mark in the series, with the last four contests resulting in shutout wins for the Big Blacks. Point Pleasant is averaging 32.5 points per game offensively and has allowed 30.8 points as a defensive unit. MHS, conversely, is producing 14 points per game offensively and allowing 21.5 points as a defensive unit.
Hannan Wildcats (0-2) at Montcalm Generals (0-4)
One team will pick up its first win of the 2020 campaign on Friday night when Hannan faces the Generals at Prudich Stadium. Montcalm has won a dozen straight decisions in the head-to-head series and owns a 15-4 lead alltime. The Generals have been shut out twice this season and are averaging just 11 points per game offensively while allowing 48 points per outing. The Wildcats have scored in both games they’ve played in this season, averaging 10 points offensively and allowing 31 points as a defense.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.