NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Signs of progress, but still a long way to go.
The River Valley football team produced a season-high in points and led 14 seconds into regulation, but host Nelsonville-York countered with 48 first half points and eventually rolled to a 51-18 victory Friday night in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division opener for both programs at Boston Stadium in Athens County.
The Raiders (0-4, 0-1 TVC Ohio) wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Jared Reese took the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a quick 6-0 advantage, but that was about as good as the night would be for the guests.
The Buckeyes (2-2, 1-0) followed with four consecutive scoring drives over the next 9:06 while turning a 6-point deficit into a comfortable 28-6 cushion with 2:40 left in the opening quarter.
Keegan Wilburn gave the Orange and Brown a permanent lead following a 28-yard run at the 8:38 mark, then added an 18-yard run at 5:48 for a 14-6 edge.
Brandon Phillips tacked on a 6-yard scamper with 2:53 left in the first period, then Wilburn hauled in a 48-yard TD pass from Mikey Seel 13 seconds later en route to a 22-point advantage.
Cole Young ended the RVHS dry spell with a 7-yard scamper with just six seconds left in the opening frame, cutting the deficit down to 28-12 headed into the second frame.
Seel found Ethan Gail on a 19-yard scoring pass at the 9:20 mark, then Phillips hauled in an 18-yard TD from Seel with 8:10 left in the half for a 42-12 lead.
Ryan Jones provided River Valley’s final points of the night with a 5-yard run at the 5:17 mark, cutting the gap down to 42-18. Alec Taylor completed the first half scoring by hauling in a 31-yard pass from Seel with 2:39 remaining en route to a 48-18 edge at the break.
Neither team scored in the third quarter and NYHS mustered a 41-yard field goal from Taylor with 7:42 left in regulation to wrap up the 33-point triumph.
Nelsonville-York outgained the Silver and Black by a 403-194 margin in total offense, which included a 232-0 edge in passing yards. The hosts also claimed a 20-11 advantage in first downs and ended up plus-3 in turnover differential.
NYHS was flagged six times for 63 yards, while the guests were penalized only twice for 20 yards.
Young led the Raiders with 150 rushing yards on 23 carries, followed by Jones with 26 yards on six attempts and Michael Conkle with 10 yards on two rushes. Reese threw an interception on River Valley’s only pass attempt of the game.
Wilburn led Nelsonville-York with 93 rushing yards on nine carries, followed by Phillips with 31 yards on six totes.
Seel completed 13-of-15 passes for 212 yards, with Wilburn and Gail leading the wideouts with three catches apiece for 65 and 49 yards respectively.
River Valley — which had previously scored just 13 points entering this Week 4 contest — returns to action Friday when it welcomes Meigs for a TVC Ohio matchup at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.