COAL GROVE, Ohio — Host Coal Grove reeled off 25 unanswered points over the final three-plus quarters and welcomed Jay Lucas back to the sidelines in style on Friday night with a 32-7 victory over the River Valley football team in a Week 1 non-conference matchup in Lawrence County.
The visiting Raiders (0-1) found themselves in a quick 7-0 hole after Logan Sizemore recovered a fumble in the end zone with 6:42 remaining in the opening frame, but Cole Young needed just 15 seconds to knot things up with an 85-yard kickoff return on the ensuing possession for a 7-all contest.
The Hornets (1-0), however, answered with an Austin Stormes 8-yard scamper at the 1:34 mark for a permanent lead of 14-7, then Austin Stapleton added a 13-yard run with 2:52 remaining in the opening half for a 20-7 halftime cushion.
Stapleton added a 1-yard run four minutes into the third quarter for a 26-7 lead, then Jarren Hicks hauled in a 6-yard pass from Cory Borders with 4:58 left in the third for the final score of the evening.
The Red and Black stymied RVHS offensively after claiming a sizable 25-5 advantage in first downs while also finishing plus-2 in turnover differential.
The Raiders mustered only 33 rushing yards on 20 carries en route to a final output of 117 yards of total offense. CGHS, conversely, churned out 405 total yards of offense — including 284 rushing yards on 52 attempts.
River Valley was flagged nine times for 85 yards, while the hosts were penalized six times for 40 yards.
Ryan Jones led the Raiders with 10 rushing yards on three carries, followed by Young and Michael Conkle with eight yards on a carry apiece.
Jordan Burns went 5-of-15 passing for 84 yards and threw an interception. Brandon Call led the guests with two grabs for 49 yards.
Stapleton led the Hornets with 115 rushing yards on 19 carries, with Stormes and Borders adding 50-or-more rushing yards apiece on 10 and five carries, respectively.
Borders went 8-of-14 passing for 116 yards, including a score and an interception. Stormes also hauled in five passes for 74 yards in the triumph.
The Raiders are now 1-13 all-time against the Hornets, with the lone win coming the 2003 season. River Valley has also lost its last two season openers under second-year frontman Jason Peck.
The Raiders make their home debut next Saturday night when they welcome Gallia Academy in a non-conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.