Game Preview: Eastern, South Gallia looking to gain ground in TVC-Hocking

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Teams in the TVC-Hocking are hitting the midpoint of their season, and that means they’re reaching the meat of their conference schedule. Eastern and South Gallia square off this Friday, battling for a third-place position in the TVC-Hocking.

Eastern (2-2, 2-0) will return home for their matchup against the Rebels (2-2, 1-1) following two straight road games where they went 1-1.

“It’s gonna be really huge,” Eastern coach Pat Newland said. “It’s homecoming. We’re looking for a lot of people to get behind us. There’s nothing like playing at home.”

The Eagles defeated Federal Hocking in their last matchup, 26-14, to pick up their second TVC-Hocking win. Last season, Eastern had an overall record of 2-8, and they’ve matched that win total with two early victories this season.

“I don’t know what happened last year and I don’t think we have anything about that,” said Newland, who rejoined the Eagles this season as head coach. “We talked (Monday). We’re real excited because it’s two evenly-matched teams and, you know, this is why you coach football; this is why you play football.”

The Eagles defense will be challenged by South Gallia’s dynamic duo of brothers Landon and Kane Hutchinson. In the Rebels’ loss against Symmes Valley last Friday, Landon (132 passing yards) found Kane (83 receiving yards), for a 23-yard touchdown reception.

The Rebels have a solid all-around offense that will be difficult for Eastern to contain. When it comes to stopping them, there’s one key element that Newland’s team will need to focus on.

“Speed. They’ve got the quarterback and receiver. They’ve got the two Hutchinson brothers,” Newland said. “And they’ve got a good line and a good fullback, a big, powerful fullback. Not only do they have speed, they’ve got speed and power.

“Basically our front eight is going to have a great game in order to stop because they’re pretty impressive.”

That speed-and-power offense combined for 92 points in the first two weeks, but has been contained to just 24 in the past two games.

The Rebels will look to bounce back and win this week on the road. South Gallia had the advantage in last year’s game, winning at home, 20-13.

“It’s gonna be a great atmosphere,” Newland said. “You’re gonna have a really good match. I think it’s gonna be a real good fight this week.”

South Gallia and Eastern will kick off Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Reedsville.

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