Gallia Academy annihilates Pointers, 47-0

By Alex Hawley -

SOUTH POINT, Ohio — Going out in style.

The Gallia Academy football had seven different players, including four seniors, find the end zone on Friday night in Lawrence County, as the Blue Devils rolled to a 47-0 victory over Ohio Valley Conference host South Point in the season finale for both squads.

The Blue Devils (5-5, 4-3 OVC) — who finish with a non-losing record for the first time since 2013 — scored from the other side of the field to break the scoreless tie, as junior Justin McClelland hit senior Matthew Moreaux for a 59-yard scoring pass. Trentin Waller added the extra-point kick for the guests, his first of five makes in the game.

Next, McClelland found senior John Stout for a seven-yard scoring pass to give the Blue and White a 13-0 edge.

Still in the first period, the McClelland completed his third scoring pass to a GAHS senior, finding Tanner Allen for an eight-yard score to give the guest a 20-0 lead.

The Blue Devil offense didn’t slow down in the second period, with McClelland opening the quarter with a seven-yard scoring pass to senior Garrett Burns.

The GAHS run game got in on the fun next, as James Armstrong broke a 97-yard scoring run, increasing the Blue Devil lead to 34-0.

The big plays continued for Gallia Academy, as Cory Call threw a 61-yard touchdown to Caleb Henry, extending the GAHS lead to 40-0.

The Blue Devils added their final touchdown of the game before the half, with Boo Pullins rushing into the end zone from 19 yards out.

The Gallia Academy offense finished the game with 431 total yards, including 208 on the ground. Meanwhile, South Point (3-7, 0-7) was held to just 15 passing yards and 24 rushing yards.

The Blue Devils held a 17-to-4 advantage in first downs, with the guests converting on 5-of-7 third down tries as well as 1-of-2 fourth down attempts. South Point was 2-of-12 on third down and came up empty on a trio of fourth down tries.

Gallia Academy won the turnover battle by a 3-0 count, intercepting two passes and recovering one SPHS fumble. The Blue and White were penalized nine times for a total of 70 yards, while the Pointers were flagged twice for 15 yards.

McClelland was 8-of-12 passing in the win, tossing four touchdowns and earning 154 yards. Call was 1-for-1 with a 61-yard scoring pass, while Noah Vanco was 1-of-4 passing for eight yards.

Armstrong’s one carry earned him a team-high 97 rushing yards and one score. Pullins was next with 51 yards and one touchdown on eight carries, followed by McClelland with 28 yards on a pair of totes. Michael Beasy ran five times for a total of 22 yards, while Burns and Cade Roberts each rushed for 11 yards on one and three carries respectively.

Henry, Stout and Allen each caught two passes, including a touchdown apiece, while earning 95, 31 and 12 yards respectively. Moreaux had one 59-yard touchdown reception, while Burns hauled in one pass for a seven-yard score. Call and Armstrong contributed a reception apiece, picking up 11 and eight yards respectively.

The Blue Devil defense was led by Roberts and Waller with four tackles apiece, including two tackles for a loss by Waller. Trenton Johnson came up with a team-best three tackles for a loss, including a sack.

Beasy and Justin Wilcoxon intercepted a pass apiece for Gallia Academy, while Burns recovered a fumble.

The Blue Devils have now defeated South Point in back-to-back meetings. This is Gallia Academy’s first road win in a league game since Oct. 17, 2014, when the Blue Devils topped Warren by a 20-6 count in Southeastern Ohio Athletic League play. GAHS lost its next two road games in the SEOAL and then dropped its first six road games in the OVC.

The triumph also ends the Blue Devils’ five-game losing skid in Lawrence County, where GAHS hadn’t won since Sept. 12, 2014.

This is the final game in the Blue and White for seniors Garrett Burns, John Stout, Tanner Allen, Matt Moreaux, Nathan Mitchell and Jonas McCreedy.

By Alex Hawley

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.