Bulldogs greatest Gallia Academy, 21-2

HEATH, Ohio — Loads of ethical victories … which sadly don’t quantity to a lot on the scoreboard.

The Gallia Academy soccer workforce struck first, however host Heath reeled off 21 unanswered factors Friday night time en path to a 21-2 victory in a Division IV, Area 15 opening spherical playoff sport at Swank Discipline in Licking County.

The Thirteenth-seeded Blue Devils (4-4) put up a valiant battle for 4 quarters of play, regardless of struggling quite a few accidents all through the sport with an already restricted roster — however the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (9-2) finally proved to be a bit an excessive amount of to cope with all through a gentle downpour of rain.

GAHS mustered solely six first downs and 52 yards of whole offense by night time’s finish, however the friends additionally had three inside linemen, a pair of vast receivers and a quarterback all miss a number of performs all through the course of the competition.

And regardless of having a roster than ran roughly round 25-strong, the Blue and White nonetheless discovered methods to forestall HHS from operating away with the end result.

Provided that the end result was nowhere close to what he had hoped for, GAHS fifth-year coach Alex Penrod was, actually, impressed with the quantity of coronary heart that his whole squad confirmed in battling by means of 2-plus hours of adversity.

“In relation to playoff video games, there are ups and downs … and also you hope to form of climate that storm of momentum as the sport progresses. We simply finally didn’t have a lot luck in staying wholesome tonight … and it caught up with us,” Penrod stated. “I’ll say that our children purchased into the plan Monday and that this was a sport that we might win. Each certainly one of them fought by means of all 4 quarters tonight, and I feel that could be a testomony to their character and their delight.

“We’ve battled accidents and having below 30 children all 12 months lengthy, and it actually confirmed itself and labored in opposition to us tonight. However, the youngsters stored taking to the teaching as we simply stored plugging folks in … they usually simply fought their tails off tonight. There’s a lot to be stated about these children and the way they completed what they began.”

The Blue Devils — who have been outgained 123-6 in whole yards through the first half — struck first with 4 minutes left within the opening quarter as a handoff to ArMoni McCrae resulted in a fumble that was finally recovered by Heath in its personal endzone, making it a 2-0 contest.

The Bulldogs held on the following GAHS drive, then orchestrated a 6-play, 60-yard drive that was aided by a 42-yard cross from Brayden Bayless to Riley Gould — organising a first-and-goal on the seven.

McCrae scored on the following snap and Angelo Barcelona added the primary of three profitable PAT boots, making it a 7-2 contest with 3.5 seconds left within the first stanza.

Isaac Clary recovered a fumble on Heath’s first drive of the second quarter, however the hosts answered with an 8-play, 52-yard drive on their subsequent possession.

McCrae capped the drive with an 11-yard scamper with 3:23 left within the half for a 14-2 benefit.

The Orange and Brown protection held on a fourth-and-1 at their very own 45 on the second drive of the second half, then wanted solely 4 performs to cowl 55 yards as Conner Toomey hauled in a 39-yard landing cross from Brayden Bayless on the 6:34 mark for a 21-2 cushion.

Gallia Academy adopted with a 12-play drive that ended with a failed fourth down conversion try with 29 seconds left within the canto.

Heath ran the ultimate play of the third body, which ended up as a 40-yard run by McCrae — organising a first-and-goal on the GAHS eight as each groups headed into the finale.

Heath ended up going backwards and didn’t convert a fourth-and-goal on the 14, permitting the Blue Devils to stay inside placing distance.

The Blue and White offense stalled and was compelled to punt, however Paolo Jones recovered a fumble on the following return. Each groups traded punts after which Gallia Academy needed to punt once more, and Jones once more recovered a fumble on the return with 1:07 left in regulation.

Heath claimed a 13-6 benefit in first downs and outgained the friends by a large 295-52 general margin in whole yards of offense, together with a 156-12 edge by means of the air.

GAHS completed the sport plus-3 in turnover differential, but additionally managed solely 40 dashing yards on 44 makes an attempt.

In a method, Penrod felt that this night filled with adversity had some similarity to the 2021 marketing campaign typically.

“The 12 months was a roller-coaster from begin to end. We play three weeks after which we miss three weeks (resulting from COVID), then come again and play a extremely essential sport with Coal Grove all the way down to the wire,” Penrod stated. “That was the one which if we’d have had just a little momentum coming in as a substitute of virtually a month away from the sphere, it may need made a distinction within the consequence that night time and in the place we have been seeded tonight. It’s simply been a unique form of soccer season, little question.”

Penrod was additionally very complimentary of his seniors, who’ve amassed a 28-10 mark en path to 4 consecutive playoff appearances.

“This can be a 4-year group of playoff qualifiers, so that’s what these seniors imply to this program,” Penrod stated. “These guys have put in numerous work through the years they usually have been instrumental in constructing what we’ve carried out right here the final 4 years. There aren’t too many lessons that exit as 4-time playoff qualifiers, so they need to positively maintain their heads excessive.”

Hunter Shamblin led the GAHS dashing assault with 44 yards on 15 carries, adopted by Hudson Shamblin with 13 yards on 13 totes.

Brody Fellure accomplished 3-of-6 passes for 12 yards. Ashton Janey led the Blue Devils with one catch for 12 yards, whereas Kenyon Franklin added one seize for 4 yards.

McCrae paced HHS with 81 dashing yards on 15 carries, whiel Gould added two tries for 43 yards. Bayless accomplished 9-of-22 passes for 156 yards, with Gould main the wideouts with 4 receptions for 64 yards.

The Bulldogs will face fifth-seeded Gnadenhutten Indian Valley within the subsequent spherical of the D-4 Area 15 playoffs. Indian Valley defeated Philo by a 30-12 depend on Friday night time as effectively.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Gallia Academy sophomore operating again Hudson Shamblin is swarmed by a number of Heath defenders throughout Friday night time’s Division IV, Area 15 playoff sport at Swank Discipline in Heath, Ohio.

Bryan Walters will be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.