Week 3 of the high school football season kicks off in both Ohio and West Virginia this weekend, and there are seven contests going on from within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
The Point Pleasant Big Blacks will make their 2019 season debut as they face Gallia Academy in a renewal of the Battle for the Bridge, while Southern welcomes Wahama in a pivotal TVC Hocking contest.
Both South Gallia and Hannan are at home this Friday as well, while Meigs, Eastern and River Valley all hit the road for their Week 3 matchups.
Here’s a brief look at all of the Week 3 football games from the OVP area. All seven games are slated for Friday night.
Point Pleasant Big Blacks (0-0) at Gallia Academy Blue Devils (2-0)
One team is starting its season, while the other is coming home for the first time in three weeks. Gallia Academy welcomes Point Pleasant for the 83rd installment of the Battle for the Bridge at Memorial Field. The Blue Devils (2-0) have posted a pair of shutouts in their first two contests, both road wins over Meigs and River Valley. GAHS has also claimed shutout wins in its last three regular season contests and owns a 40-37-5 all-time record in the head-to-head series. The Big Blacks have won three consecutive decisions in this rivalry, with the last coming in the fall of 2016. PPHS begins its trek for a 12th straight postseason appearance on Friday night. Gallia Academy’s last win over Point Pleasant came in 2008 at Memorial Field by a 28-21 count.
Wahama White Falcons (1-1) at Southern Tornadoes (2-0)
The unbeaten Tornadoes put a 4-game winning streak on the line in this head-to-head matchup when they make their home debut this Friday night against the White Falcons, who will be making their first road trip of the year. Wahama owns the all-time series mark by a sizable 32-5 advantage, but the Red and White haven’t defeated SHS since 2014 and haven’t won at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field since the 2013 campaign. The 2017 contest did manage to go into double overtime before the Purple and Gold held on for a 27-21 decision. Southern is looking for its four straight 3-0 start to the season, while Wahama is aiming for its first winning streak since the final four games of the 2017 campaign.
Federal Hocking Lancers (1-1) at South Gallia Rebels (0-2)
This is the 10th all-time gridiron meeting between the Rebels and Lancers, with South Gallia holding a 8-1 record in the previous nine bouts. SGHS has defeated FHHS in seven straight seasons, and the Lancers head into the contest having gone 0-4 in Mercerville. Federal Hocking’s only victory over the Rebels came on on September 28, 2012, in Athens County, by a 56-0 count. SGHS defeated FHHS by a 41-6 count last year, after winning 42-6 the year before. Federal Hocking has last 34 straight games in league play, including a 31-0 loss to Southern last Friday. The Rebels led 8-0 after a Kyle Northup kickoff return and two-point conversion run last Friday, but wound up falling to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Waterford by a 40-8 tally.
Tug Valley Panthers (1-1) at Hannan Wildcats (0-2)
Hannan makes its home debut this Friday night when it welcomes Tug Valley. The Wildcats have been shutout in their last four regular season outings and have dropped 16 consecutive decisions. The Panthers, on the other hand, are 4-0 all-time against HHS, including a 56-0 decision last fall in the season opener in Williamson. TVHS picked up its first win of the year last week with a 32-12 decision over Sherman. The Panthers lost on the road to Hurley 22-14 in the season opener. This will be the first of three home games for Hannan over the next four weeks of the year.
Eastern Eagles (2-0) at Trimble Tomcats (2-0)
The Tomcats have won 19 in a row against the Eagles, but this is the first time Eastern heads in to the Trimble game with an unbeaten record since 2001. Eastern last defeated Trimble in Week 6 of the 2000 season, by a 34-6 final. Last season, the Tomcats won 35-0 at Eastern. The Eagles were also blanked the last time they visited Glouster, falling by a 31-0 count on Oct. 13, 2017. Eastern’s last points against THS came in a 75-12 setback in 2015. This is Eastern’s TVC Hocking opener, with EHS going 5-3 in the league a year ago. In their 20-14 Week 2 victory over Caldwell, the Eagles scored twice in the final quarter on passes from Brady Yonker to Mason Dishong. Trimble hasn’t allowed a single point through two weeks of play, with a 35-0 win over Nelsonville-York and a 46-0 triumph over Belpre.
Meigs Marauders (1-1) at Warren Warriors (1-1)
The Marauders and Warriors lock up for the first time since 2013, when Meigs defeated WHS by a 43-18 count in Vincent. That MHS decision ended a three-game winning streak in the series by the Warriors. The Maroon and Gold will be trying to win road games in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2009. Last week, the Marauders posted 405 total offensive yards in their 44-28 win at Rock Hill. In Week 2, Meigs scored on three runs, as well as three passes and one punt return. Seven different Marauders touched the ball, with Jake McElroy earning a game-best 138 all-purpose yards. The Warriors opened the year with a 33-20 win at home against Crooksville, but fell at Marietta by a 52-34 count last week.
River Valley Raiders (0-2) at Portsmouth Trojans (2-0)
Off to opposite starts to the season, Portsmouth has a 32-27 win over Valley, as well as a 48-28 win at Portsmouth West on its résumé, while the Raiders have dropped a 32-7 decision at Coal Grove and a 38-0 decision to Gallia Academy. The Trojans — a playoff squad a year ago —claimed a 35-7 victory at RVHS last season. Portsmouth will be trying to get out to its first 3-0 start since 2007, while River Valley will try to avoid starting 0-3 for a second straight year. RVHS hasn’t been 0-3 in back-to-back seasons since 2007-08. RVHS outgained Gallia Academy 228-to-219 on the ground last week, but was responsible for three of the game’s four turnovers. This is River Valley’s first trip to Scioto County since winning 48-21 in Week 10 of the 2014 season.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.