BELPRE, Ohio — A first half to forget.
The South Gallia football went into halftime trailing Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Belpre by 38 points on Friday night at Ralph Holder Stadium in Washington County, and the host Golden Eagles put it on cruise control from there, rolling to a 52-13 win.
The Golden Eagles (3-3, 3-2 TVC Hocking) — who have now won three of their last four decisions — found paydirt for the first time less than five minutes into play, as quarterback Brandon Simoniette scrambled 36 yards for the touchdown. BHS place kicker Bailey Sprague added the point-after with his first of seven successful extra-point tries.
With 3:26 left in the first quarter, Belpre went ahead 14-0, as Logan Adams scored on a 28-yard run. South Gallia (2-4, 1-3) surrendered one more touchdown in the quarter, as Ryan Simoniette rushed for a 15-yard score with 1:19 remaining in the period.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Golden Eagles moved ahead 28-0 with a 29-yard Tojzae Reams scoring run. Belpre scored its final touchdown of the first half with 4:32 left, when Brandon Simoniette tossed a five-yard scoring pass to Sprague.
Sprague wasn’t finished in the first half, however, as the BHS senior connected on a 30-yard field goal as time expired, giving the hosts a 38-0 lead at the break.
Belpre increased its lead to 45-0, less than three minutes into the second half as Adams caught a 37-yard scoring pass from Brandon Simoniette.
The Rebels ended the shut out with 1:36 left in the third period, as Jaxin Mabe found Jacob Birtcher for a 23-yard scoring pass. Sviatoslav ‘Savat’ Hryhorenko made the point-after kick, putting Belpre’s advantage 45-7 headed into the fourth.
The Golden Eagles’ final points of the game came with 7:03 left in regulation, as Adams broke a 24-yard touchdown run.
The Rebels weren’t done, however, as Mabe found paydirt on a one-yard run with 29 seconds left. Belpre blocked the SGHS point-after attempt, as the Golden Eagles sealed the 52-13 win.
For the game, Belpre held a 403-to-157 advantage in total offense, including 312-to-84 on the ground. BHS held a 17-to-12 advantage in first downs and a 4-1 edge in the turnover battle. South Gallia was penalized seven times for 55 yards, while the Golden Eagles were sent back six times for 53 yards. The Rebels had the game’s only two punts.
Mabe had 73 yards and one touchdown on 3-of-3 passing, completing all three throws to Birtcher. The Rebel running game was led by A.J. Woodall with 46 yards on eight tries, and Kyle Northup with 44 yards on 19 totes.
Brandon Simoniette — who ran three times for 41 yards and one score — completed 6-of-6 passes for 91 yards and two scores in the win.
Isaac Tullius led BHS on the ground with 99 yards on 12 carries, followed by Reams with 88 yards and one score on eight runs. Adams combined a team-high three receptions with three carries for a total of 128 yards and three touchdowns.
Belpre has now won six straight decisions against South Gallia.
The Rebels will look to rebound from back-to-back losses on Friday at league-leading Waterford. Belpre will try for its fourth win of the year on Friday at Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.