McARTHUR, Ohio — It’s not how you start, but rather the way you finish that’s important.
The Gallia Academy football team trailed 13-0 five minutes into Friday night’s contest at Vinton County. The Blue Devils answered by out scoring the Vikings 48-to-6 over the remainder of the game to earn their fourth straight win.
Vinton County (3-2) quarterback Andy Long found Devlin Hall for the 68 yard touchdown pass at the 9:06 mark of the first period to take the lead. Zach Stulley added the kick for VCHS and the Vikings held a 7-0 lead. VCHS got on the board again just 1:29 later. this time it was sophomore Tim Ousley running in from 10 yards out.
Once the Blue Devils (4-1) offense was able to take the field Wade Jarrell simply over. Wade Jarrell first found fellow senior Reid Eastman for a 24 yard score at the 4:46 mark of the first. Dylan Saunders added the kick to pull the Blue Devils within six. Wade Jarrell then found Logan Allison from 45 yards out for the score with 2:19 remaining in the first and, after Saunders added the extra point, gave the Blue Devils the 14-13 lead.
In the second quarter Wade Jarrell connected with Allison for three scores, the first from 30 yards at the 8:01 mark, the second from 29 yards at the 1:07 mark and the third from 80 yards at the 14 second mark. Saunders hammered home two-of-three extra points and GAHS led 34-12 at halftime.
Less than two minutes into the second half Wade Jarrell connected with Eastman for a 29 yard score, and following Saunders’ kick put the Blue and White up 41-12.
Vinton County’s Levi Thompson broke away from the GAHS defense and scored from 43 yards out at the 6:47 mark of the third period. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the VCHS trailed 41-19.
Just a 1:05 later Wade Jarrell found the endzone on the ground from five yards away. Saunders added the point after and GAHS led 48-19. The Blue Devils slowed down the offense and held on for the fourth straight win.
Wade Jarrell finished the game with 319 yards on 12-of-18 passing with six touchdowns and no interceptions, to go along with 10 rushes for 51 yards and a score.
Allison had four carries for 65 yards, Ty Warnimont had seven attempts for 32 yards, while Kole Carter ran twice for two yards and Blake Wilson was stopped for negative one yard on two carries.
Allison caught seven passes for 224 yards and four scores, while Eastman caught four passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Wes Jarrell had one grab for 15 yards, followed by Payton Halley had one catch for three yards.
Vinton County’s Andy Long was 5-of-17 passing for 73 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Ousley led the Vikings on the ground with 103 yards on 13 carries with a score, Long rushed for 50 yards on 19 attempts, Levi Thompson had two carries for 47 yards and a score, while J.T. Hayes had 36 yards on 10 carries. Nate Schrader with two rushes and five yards and Todd Wallingford with four yards on one carry rounded out the VCHS rushing attack.
Hall had two receptions for 63 yards and a score to lead the VCHS receiving core. Wallingford caught two passes for four yards and Schrader had one grab for six yards.
Gallia Academy held a 15-to-14 edge in first downs and a 468-to-318 advantage in total yards, while VCHS had a 69-to47 advantage in plays from scrimmage. GAHS fumbled once, Vinton County fumbled three times and the Vikings recovered all four loose balls.
The Blue Devils will travel to Kentucky next week to take on undefeated Belfry, while VCHS opens league play at 1-4 Alexander.