South Gallia Soundly Secures First Win Versus Federal Hocking

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The visiting South Gallia Rebels (1-2) left Lester & Betty Green Field with a victory Friday, beating the Federal Hocking Lancers (0-3)  41-6. The Lancer’s first victory of the year came thanks to an explosive rushing attack and an aggressive defense.

It was a wire-to-wire win for the Rebels, who first scored off a 60-yard touchdown run from junior running back Jeffrey Sheets in what would be a trend of long runs for South Gallia. It’s clear the Rebels’ game plan was to pound the pigskin Friday night, as they continually battered The Federal Hocking defense, rushing the ball until their talented backs were able to make an explosive play. Those running backs; Sheets, senior Garrett Saunders and junior Kyle Northup, combined for 391 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Northup had another touchdown in his grasp, but fumbled the ball into the endzone where Federal Hocking would recover it.

Sheets also split time along the defensive line, where he earned a sack late in the first quarter.

Conversely, Federal Hocking tried to go through the air early and often with their freshman quarterback Hunter Smith, and while their game plan did yield the occasional chunk-yardage play, such as a 20-yard strike to junior Owen Roark in their first drive, their receivers largely struggled to create separation, and the Lancers too often found themselves in 3rd-and-long situations. Roark ended the game with three receptions for 33 yards.

The Lancers’ senior halfback Aaron Burns proved to be a bright spot in the game, finishing the game with 22 rushing yards. Burns may have had the opportunity for more carries, but Federal Hocking was forced to abandon the ground game after finding themselves in a hole early in the contest.

Federal Hocking’s sole touchdown came with just 16 seconds left in the half, as Hunter Smith was able to scramble from the 15 yard line and find paydirt. The score at the half was 6-28.

South Gallia trotted out their own freshman quarterback in Tristan Saber, who had an efficient 96 passing yards and one touchdown. Saber served as an excellent compliment alongside the Rebels’ incendiary rushing attack, making few mistakes and controlling the offense.

South Gallia dealt with some sloppiness along the offensive line, as false starts crippled several Rebels drives. Late in the first second quarter, four consecutive false starts brought the Rebel offense to their own redzone for a 1st-and-35. South Gallia would have to punt and give Federal Hocking great starting field position.

The Lancers had some chances to get back into the game thanks to blunders like South Gallia’s frequent false starts and their fumble in the endzone. Federal Hocking was unable to capitalize though, and had a few missteps of their own. The Lancers tried to execute a trick play halfway through the second quarter, handing the ball off to their tailback who fumbled the ball trying to give it to a wide receiver doing an end-around. It would be recovered by the Rebels, halting any momentum Federal Hocking had gained up to that point.

Next week, South Gallia will host Trimble (3-0), while Federal Hocking will host Fort Frye (3-0).