GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Once the flood gates opened, there was no stopping the Chieftains.
The Gallia Academy football team held with Southeastern Ohio Athletic League guest Logan for nearly a quarter Friday night, but the Purple and White proved to be too much as they scored 35 unanswered points en route to a 48-13 victory, at Memorial Field in the Old French City.
“I think their size and depth wore us down,” said Gallia Academy coach Josh Riffe. “We liked the beginning; we traded punches back and forth, and that was fun, but their size just wore us down. The kids did a good job and the coaches did a good job getting prepared. Hats off to Logan, they have a great team and some great players.”
Logan (7-2, 1-1 SEOAL) began the scoring with an 11-yard Jeremy Minor run at the 7:27 mark of the opening quarter. Stu Harper added the point after kick and the Chiefs led 7-0.
The Blue Devils (1-8, 1-1) answered at the 4:02 mark of the first when senior quarterback Kole Carter found fellow senior Devin Henry for a 59-yard scoring pass. Matt Bailey kicked home the extra point for the Blue and White and game was tied at seven.
The Chiefs regained the advantage with 2:32 remaining in the first, as LHS senior signal caller Lane Little connected with classmate Isaiah Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass. The point after kick missed, but Logan held a 13-7 lead.
Just two minutes later Gallia Academy tied the game on a 19-yard pass from Carter to junior Colton Campbell. The Blue Devils had a chance to take the lead on the point after, but the Chieftains blocked the kick to keep the score tied at 13.
The score was only tied for 22 seconds as Little connected with Smith for a 48-yard touchdown pass, giving Logan a 19-13 advantage with 10 seconds to play in the opening quarter. Little tossed the two-point conversion pass to Jenson Wallace and the Purple and White led 21-13 at the end of the first.
Just 20 seconds into the second period, Logan sophomore Brady Walsh returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs added on with just under five minutes remaining in the first half, when Little found T.J. Meyer for a 13-yard scoring pass. Harper was 2-for-2 on extra point kicks in the second quarter and the Purple and White led 35-13.
After the break the Chiefs picked up right where they left off, as Little found Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass just 2:10 into the second half. LHS added another score one minute into the fourth quarter, this time Little found Colton Stilwell for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Harper hit his only second half extra point kick, while Logan failed on a two-point try, and the Chiefs left Gallipolis with a 48-13 triumph.
“We have a lot of seniors, but a lot of those guys haven’t had much playing time until this year,” said Riffe. “This is difficult for them, 1-8 is not what they expected and I think that is the hardest part.”
The Chieftains held a 464-to-218 advantage in total offense, including a 199-to-88 edge on the ground. LHS also had a 25-to-9 advantage in first downs and a 59-to-41 edge in offensive plays. Gallia Academy fumbled and lost possession twice, while Logan never fumbled the ball. Gallia Academy punted five times in the game, three more times than the Chiefs, while both teams intercepted a pass. Both Logan and GAHS were penalized for 75 yards, with seven and eight penalties respectively.
Carter led the home team with 130 yards and two scores on 11-of-20 passing, while running for 75 yards on 13 attempts. Henry caught three passes for 64 yards and a score, while racking up 20 yards on five carries. Matt Bailey caught six passes for a total of 44 yards, Campbell had one 19-yard touchdown reception, while Brett Hively had one reception for three yards.
Little charged the Chieftain offense with 259 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-31 passing with an interception. Corey Wilson paced the Purple and White on the ground with 73 yards on nine carries, followed by Minor with 64 yards and a score on four carries.
Stilwell, who had one reception for an eight-yard touchdown, ran seven times for a total of 34 yards in the win. Smith led all receivers with 149 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions, while Wallace hauled in six passes for 54 yards.
Logan, which ended a two-game skid, improves to 43-38-1 in all-time meetings with the Blue Devils.
This marks the final home game in the careers of Blue Devil seniors Kole Carter, Devin Henry, Eric Ward, Micah Saunders, Russell Matthew, Isaiah Holley, Matt Bailey, Brian Hurt, Ben Saylor, Brett Johnson. Anthony Sipple, Justin Reynolds, Ethan Robinson and Brett Hively.
Gallia Academy will travel to Jackson on Friday for the season finale and the Blue Devils’ final SEOAL football game. The Purple and White will host 0-9 Warren in the regular season finale at Logan Chieftain Stadium. If GAHS and Logan both win next week then Jackson and Logan will share the SEOAL title, otherwise the Ironmen will be outright champions.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.