BELPRE, Ohio — They kept on knocking, but they couldn’t get in.
The South Gallia football team committed four costly turnovers and came up empty on five drives inside the 10-yard line Friday night following a 21-8 setback to host Belpre in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Washington County.
The visiting Rebels (4-3, 3-3 TVC Hocking) had a total of 10 possessions in the contest, and seven of those drives ended up getting inside the Belpre 20-yard line. Five of those seven drives also ended up inside the BHS 10, but South Gallia failed to score on any of those golden opportunities.
The Rebels had three drives inside the 20 end with lost fumbles, which thwarted an otherwise solid effort on the ground. The guests finished the night with 368 yards of total offense, which included a respectable 233 rushing yards on 41 carries.
The lone offensive breakthrough for SGHS came late in the third after Mikey Wheeler hauled in a 38-yard scoring pass from Landon Hutchinson with six seconds remaining in the quarter, which proved to be the final score of the contest.
Both teams were scoreless through 12 minutes of play, but the Golden Eagles (3-4, 3-2) took control of the contest during what proved to be a pivotal second quarter. BHS reeled off three consecutive scoring drives in the span of 4:53, which allowed the hosts to take a comfortable 21-0 cushion into halftime.
Manny Tullius had an 80-yard scoring run at the 9:36 mark to give the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead, then Dejon Bedgood hauled in a 14-yard scoring pass from Tavian Miller at the 6:23 mark to make it a 14-0 contest.
Belpre’s final score came on a second Tullius TD run at the 4:43 mark — this time from 45 yards out — giving the hosts a three-possession lead headed into the break.
The Rebels outgained the hosts by a slim 368-367 overall margin in total offensive yards and also claimed a 15-10 edge in first downs, but Belpre finished the night plus-2 in turnover differential and gained 90 more yards on the ground. BHS finished the night with 323 rushing yards on 39 attempts.
Both teams were penalized 12 times apiece in the contest. South Gallia was flagged for 80 yards, while the Golden Eagles had 130 yards marched off. SGHS claimed an aerial advantage in yardage by a 135-44 clip.
Jacob White led the Rebels’ running attack with 109 yards on 15 carries, followed by Lnadon Hutchinson with 69 yards on 16 attempts. Dakota Wroten added 37 yards on four tries and Ethan Spurlock added four rushes for five yards. Corey Dovenbarger and Nathan Colburn each had one carry for seven and six yards, respectively.
Hutchinson was 5-of-16 passing for 97 yards and Spurlock was also 1-for-1 passing for 38 yards. Issiah Geiger led the wideouts with three catches for 18 yards, followed by Dakota Wroten with one grab for 39 yards. Wheeler also hauled in one pass for 38 yards and a score.
Tullius led Belpre with a game-high 303 rushing yards on 24 carries, followed by Bedgood with 12 yards on three attempts. Miller finished the night 3-of-8 passing for 44 yards, throwing one TD and one interception. Bedgood hauled in all three passes for 44 yards.
South Gallia returns to action Friday when it hosts Wahama in a Week 8 TVC Hocking contest at 7:30 p.m.