WELLSTON, Ohio — In seven days, the Raiders went from the peak to the valley.
After collecting its first win of the year last weekend, the River Valley football team suffered its largest setback of the season Friday night during a 42-0 decision to host Wellston in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup in Jackson County.
The Golden Rockets (5-1, 2-0) notched their fifth consecutive win in a rather impressive fashion as the visiting Raiders (1-5, 1-2) produced just five first downs total in the game … and four of those came on the opening drive of the first quarter.
The Silver and Black — who also converted a first down on their final drive of regulation — committed four turnovers that led to 18 points for WHS, all of which came in the first quarter.
After a Jonathon Garvin interception, Jeremiah Frisby started the scoring by hauling in a 15-yard pass from R.J. Kemp for a 6-0 edge at the 4:59 mark of the first.
RVHS fumbled on its ensuing possession, and Rylan Molihan converted a 12-yard scoring run at the 4:34 mark for a 12-point cushion.
The ensuing kickoff hit a Raider and bounced into the arms of Frisby, then Kemp found Hunter Smith with a 20-yard scoring pass for an 18-point lead with 2:56 remaining in the first.
Molihan tacked on a second rushing score in the second period after plunging in from a yard out, making it a 26-0 contest with 10:27 left until halftime.
Smith hauled in a 7-yard pass from Kemp with 7:16 remaining in the first half, allowing the Blue and Gold to take a commanding 34-0 advantage into the locker room.
Garvin completed the scoring with a 2-yard run with 15 seconds remaining in the third period.
Wellston claimed a 20-5 advantage in first downs and outgained the guests by a sizable 335-57 overall margin, including a 119-0 edge through the air.
WHS did not have a punt in the game and was penalized twice for 10 yards, while River Valley was flagged only once for 10 yards. RVHS also punted the ball away three times.
Ryan Jones led the Raider rushing attack with 42 yards on seven carries, followed by Cole Young with 39 yards on 13 attempts.
Jared Reese went 0-for-1 passing and Justin Stump was 0-for-2 overall, which included throwing one interception.
Molihan led the Golden Rockets with 94 yards on nine rushes, while Kemp completed 6-of-11 passes for 69 yards. Isaac Molihan also completed 3-of-6 passes for 60 yards.
Garvin hauled in a team-best three passes for 27 yards, while Pacey Rainer and Smith caught two passes each for 27 and 33 yards respectively.
It was the second time that RVHS had been shut out this fall, with the other coming against Gallia Academy in Week 2 by a 38-0 count.
River Valley returns to action Friday when its hosts Alexander in a TVC Ohio contest at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.