Week 7 football previews


By Alex Hawley - ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com



River Valley senior Jared Reese, right, eludes Gallia Academy defender Mason Skidmore during the second half of a Sept. 7 football contest in Bidwell, Ohio.

River Valley senior Jared Reese, right, eludes Gallia Academy defender Mason Skidmore during the second half of a Sept. 7 football contest in Bidwell, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Wahama junior defenders Josh Frye (23), Gavin Stiltner (20) and Jacob Saxon (78) converge on an Eastern ball carrier during an Oct. 4 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Week 7 of the 2019 football season kicks off in both Ohio and West Virginia this weekend as there are eight contests going on from within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.

Six of the eight local contests are at home venues, with four of those serving as Homecoming contests.

All three Mason County games are Homecoming-based events as Point Pleasant hosts Linsly, Wahama welcomes Waterford, and Montcalm travels to Hannan.

Southern also has a Homecoming contest in hosting Ravenswood, while Gallia Academy and River Valley also welcome Coal Grove and Alexander, respectively, in a pair of conference matchups.

Meigs travels to Athens for a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup, while South Gallia travels to Belpre for a TVC Hocking contest.

With Federal Hocking canceling the remainder of its gridiron schedule, the Eastern Eagles (4-2, 2-2 TVC Hocking) have an off week as they were supposed to host the Lancers this weekend.

Here’s a brief look at all of the Week 7 football games from the OVP area. All of the contests are slated for Friday night.

Coal Grove Hornets (2-4, 1-2 OVC) at Gallia Academy Blue Devils (6-0, 3-0)

With their first 6-0 start to a season since 1994, the Blue Devils will be trying for their first 7-0 start since 1986 on Friday. GAHS has 13 straight wins in the regular season, as well as a dozen consecutive victories in OVC play. Gallia Academy’s 42-20 triumph at Coal Grove last season ended the Blue Devils’ two-game skid against the Hornets. Coal Grove won 33-20 in its last trip to Memorial Field — on Oct. 6, 2017 — but Gallia Academy hasn’t lost there since, winning nine straight. Last Friday, GAHS topped Fairland by a 28-0 tally, making the Blue Devils’ third shut out of the year. The last time the Blue and White blanked three teams in the same campaign was 2007. The Hornets are on a two-game skid after a 28-13 loss at Portsmouth last week and a 45-38 setback at home to Chesapeake the week before. Gallia Academy and Licking Valley are the only two unbeaten teams remaining in Region 15. Coal Grove holds a 10-9 edge in the all-time series with GAHS.

Linsly Cadets (6-0) at Point Pleasant Big Blacks (1-2)

It will be the first-ever meeting between Linsly and Point Pleasant on Friday night at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field. The Big Blacks celebrate Homecoming by welcoming the Cadets, who have posted a pair of wins over teams from West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Cadets — based out of Wheeling — have won their last four outings by at least 20 points, as well as five out of six overall. Linsly also edged out a 14-13 win at Martins Ferry in Week 2. The Big Blacks haven’t started a regular season with a 1-3 record since 2007, David Darst’s first season as PPHS head football coach. Point Pleasant has won its last six Homecoming contests. The Big Blacks are tied with Oak Hill for 31st out of 44 teams in the Class AA playoff ratings. Linsly is not part of the WVSSAC playoff system.

Ravenswood Red Devils (2-3) at Southern Tornadoes (5-1)

The Tornadoes have three of their four remaining games on Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field, beginning with their Homecoming game against Ravenswood on Friday. The Tornadoes took a 35-19 win at Ravenswood last season, in the first meeting between the programs. Southern has won seven regular season non-conference games in a row. The Purple and Gold are 1-2 in their last three home games after winning the prior five. Last Friday, Southern bounced back from its first loss of the year with a 39-12 triumph at South Gallia. The Red Devils fell to Ritchie County 41-13 last week, after a 33-0 win at Sherman the week before. Ravenswood’s other victory this season came in Week 1, by a 28-14 tally at Wahama. SHS topped Wahama 58-22 two weeks later.

Alexander Spartans (3-3, 0-3 TVC Ohio) at River Valley Raiders (1-5, 1-2)

Both teams are in need of a bounce back, with the Raiders falling 42-0 at Wellston in Week 6 and the Spartans dropping a 28-7 decision at home to Vinton County last Friday. The home team has won back-to-back games in this series, with the Raiders winning by a 27-15 tally the last time these teams met in Bidwell. This is the 10th consecutive season these teams have met, with the Spartans holding a 6-3 record in the previous nine bouts. AHS began the campaign with three straight non-league triumphs, but has since fallen in three consecutive league games, being out scored by a 64-13 tally in TVC Ohio play. Wellston is the lone common opponent for these teams, with the Golden Rockets taking an 8-0 win at AHS in Week 5. RVHS is trying to win back-to-back home games for the first time since 2016.

Waterford Wildcats (4-2, 3-1 TVC Hocking) at Wahama White Falcons (2-4, 2-3)

Waterford has won four straight decisions in this head-to-head matchup, including a 44-0 home win last fall. Wahama still holds a 9-5 advantage in the all-time series and last defeated the Wildcats at Bachtel Stadium back in 2013. The Green and White were shutout by unbeaten Trimble last week (37-0) and were also held scoreless by unbeaten Fort Frye (49-0) in Week 2. The Wildcats have reached 40 points three times in wins over Sciotoville East (40-0), South Gallia (40-8) and Miller (46-7), plus they have a big 24-19 win at Eastern. The White Falcons have produced at least 14 points in all six of their contests this fall, but the Red and White has also allowed at least 20 points in all six contests. Waterford is currently ninth in the Division VII Region 27 rankings, while Wahama is 30th out of 41 teams in the Class A playoff ratings.

Montcalm Generals (0-5) at Hannan Wildcats (1-4)

Hannan is looking for its first winning streak since 2017, while Montcalm is shooting for first win of the 2019 campaign. The Generals have won 11 straight in the head-to-head series, which includes a 50-13 decision last season at MHS. The Wildcats last defeated the Generals in 2007 by a 12-6 margin at the Craigo Athletic Complex. Montcalm has managed double digits in only two of its five contests, including a season-high in points during a 30-16 loss to Craig County (VA). The Red and Blue have also surrendered at least 28 points in all five of their setbacks. The Wildcats — who were shutout in their first three games — produced 34 of their 40 points this season two weeks ago in their 34-26 win over Manchester. HHS has surrendered at last 26 points in all five of their previous outings. Hannan is 36th out of 41 teams in the Class A playoff ratings, while Montcalm is one of four schools in West Virginia without a win at the Class A level.

Meigs Marauders (1-5, 0-3 TVC Ohio) at Athens Bulldogs (2-4, 2-0)

Athens holds an 21-15 record over Meigs in all-time meetings, with 10 consecutive victories. The last time the Marauders claimed victory over the Bulldogs was on Sept. 12, 2008 — Athens’ first year as a member of the TVC Ohio. The Bulldogs claimed a 50-20 win in Rocksprings last year, after a 19-18 win in The Plains in 2017. The Marauders’ 42-6 setback to Nelsonville-York last Friday was the team’s fourth straight loss overall. Meigs will be trying to avoid its first five-game skid since 2010-11. Athens had it’s two-game winning streak ended by Logan last Friday, with the Chieftains claiming a 46-20 decision in The Plains. AHS has won eight league games in a row, including a 33-28 win at Vinton County in Week 5. MHS fell to the Vikings by a 20-0 count the week prior.

South Gallia Rebels (1-5, 1-4 TVC Hocking) at Belpre Golden Eagles (4-2, 4-1)

The Golden Eagles have won seven straight against the Rebels, including a 52-13 decision the last time they met in Belpre, on Sept. 29, 2017. South Gallia last defeated the Orange and Black on Oct. 7, 2011, by a 62-7 final. Belpre was 0-10 that year, and has outscored SGHS 239-to-84 in the seven meetings since then. Last year, the Golden Eagles won 50-31 in Mercerville. South Gallia fell to Southern by a 39-12 count last Friday, making the Rebels third straight setback. Belpre began the year with losses to Fort Frye and Trimble — both of which are still unbeaten — but has since won four straight games by at least 26 points, including a 42-12 win at Federal Hocking last week. The Orange and Black have scored 42 points in each of their four wins.

River Valley senior Jared Reese, right, eludes Gallia Academy defender Mason Skidmore during the second half of a Sept. 7 football contest in Bidwell, Ohio.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/10/web1_RV-Reese-1.jpgRiver Valley senior Jared Reese, right, eludes Gallia Academy defender Mason Skidmore during the second half of a Sept. 7 football contest in Bidwell, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Wahama junior defenders Josh Frye (23), Gavin Stiltner (20) and Jacob Saxon (78) converge on an Eastern ball carrier during an Oct. 4 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/10/web1_WAH-Frye.jpgWahama junior defenders Josh Frye (23), Gavin Stiltner (20) and Jacob Saxon (78) converge on an Eastern ball carrier during an Oct. 4 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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