by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
ASHVILLE — Maybe it was opening night jitters for a team that doesn’t have a lot of varsity experience, but five turnovers and a slew of penalties set the table for a rough home opener for Teays Valley as the Vikings fell to Chillicothe 29-19.
“I think early on we made the big plays — I thought they were the better team. They were doing some of the little things and we stepped up when we had to,” Chillicothe coach Scott Bartholomew said.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” Teays Valley coach Mark Weber said. “You’ve got to clean it up or you’ll continue to lose.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good team.”
The Vikings led in most offensive categories Friday night with 19 first downs to Chillicothe’s 12 and 439 yards of offense to the Cavaliers’ 299.
But three lost fumbles, two interceptions and 14 penalties for 110 yards were too much to overcome.
The game started off well enough for the Vikings as they forced a Chillicothe punt 90 seconds into the contest. But the punt was misplayed and the Cavaliers wound up with the ball back. Three plays later Mason Doughty connected with Tayvion Galloway for a 10-yard score.
Then Teays Valley’s third play on offense ended with Chillicothe recovering a fumble.
Late in the quarter, TV hit a couple of big plays with Matthew Farmer and Harrison Payne connecting on a 53-yard pass. Then, following a penalty, Payne hauled in another Farmer pass and went 49 yards for a score to tie the game.
It took the Cavaliers about a minute to answer as Max Lee broke off a 64-yard scoring run.
Teays Valley’s ensuing possession ended after four plays when another fumble was lost.
Doughty found Galloway two plays later for a 53-yard score and a 21-7 advantage.
The Vikings closed to within a score as the third quarter came to a close when Gavin Karshner scored from two yards out. The PAT kick was wide leaving the score 21-13.
Chillicothe answered with a seven-play drive which ended with Caden Eblin hitting Tre King on a 10-yard TD pass. The Cavs went for two and Lee ran it in for a 29-13 lead.
Teays Valley came back out with a 10-play drive that ended with Karshner scoring from 11 yards. The PAT play failed to convert leaving the score at 29-19 with 7:23 left in the game.
Teays Valley’s defense forced a three-and-out and the offense picked up three first downs on eight plays. But the ninth play saw Chillicothe’s Shawn Smith step in front of a pass. With only 2:14 left in the game, the Cavs were able to pick up a first down and then take a knee to run out the clock.
“My guys fought to the end,” Weber said. “We’ve got some special kids, they’re just young. I think – maybe – 70 percent of our guys, this was their first varsity game under the lights. I said as long as you keep fighting, I’m good.
“There were probably seven things that didn’t go our way,” he added. “Those seven things probably should have broken our back by losing by more than 10. Those things could have made it 49-10. To persevere through all that terribleness, it shows some true leadership on the team.
“This team is really, really talented. We’ve just got to get them there.”
Payne ended the night with 182 receiving yards on a dozen receptions.
The Vikings had a pair of 100-yard rushers Friday night. Karshner ran for 131 and Richard Odum had 117.
Lee led Chillicothe with 97 rushing yards and Galloway had 87 yards on three catches.
In his first year at the helm for Chillicothe, Bartholomew felt his team got better as the game progressed.
“Once we got to the late third, early fourth quarter we got in a little better rhythm. We became a little better team at the end of the game than we were in the first half and early third quarter,” he said. “I preached that to the kids all week long that there are going to be ups and downs in this game and you’ve got to be able to handle them. Even though we didn’t look great all the time, when we needed to, we did what we had to do.”
Bartholomew is no stranger to Pickaway County football. A Teays Valley graduate, he roamed the sidelines at Westfall and then Logan Elm — leading both teams to multiple playoff appearances — before stepping down as a head coach to help his son, Wade, at Bloom-Carroll.
Back in the position of being a head coach has been a little tough this month.
“It’s awful. I’ve been a nervous wreck for weeks,” he said, with a smile. “Trying to put in a new system and seeing these kids work and what they were doing, winning is really going to take them a long way.
“They’re buying in to what we’re doing but this really gives them that extra punch. They’re great kids and I’m happy for them.”
Teays Valley will be looking for a better outcome next week when the Vikings travel to Logan. The Chieftains fell 35-8 to Jackson Friday. TV beat the Chieftains 49-6 last year.
Chillicothe is home with London, which fell 42-31 to St. Marys Memorial.
Chillicothe 29, Teays Valley 19
By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Chillicothe 14 7 0 8 29
Teays Valley 7 0 6 6 19
CH — Tayvion Galloway 10 pass from Mason Doughty (Mason Siberell kick).
TV — Harrison Payne 49 pass from Matthew Farmer (Cale Clifton kick), 1:22.
CH — Max Lee 64 run, (Mason Siberell kick), 0:16.
CH — Tayvion Galloway 53 pass from Mason Doughty (Mason Siberell kick), 10:14.
TV — Gavin Karshner 2 run (kick failed), 0:09.
CH — Tre King 10 pass from Caden Eblin (Max Lee run), 9:36.
TV — Gavin Karshner 11 run (run failed), 7:23.
First downs 12 19
Rushing yards 30-118 42-223
Passing yards 181 216
Comp.-Att.-Int 14-24-1 16-24-2
Total yards 299 439
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-3
Penalties-Yards 9-67 14-110
Punts-Ave. 6-35 2-42
RUSHING – Chillicothe — Mason Doughty 2-(-9), Oscar Morgan 13-33, Max Lee 12-97, Lucas Rinehart 1-2, Caden Eblin 2-(-10). Teays Valley — Matthew Farmer 4-(-17), Richard Odum 15-117, Gavin Karshner 18-131, Cale Clifton 1-(-1),
PASSING – Chillicothe — Mason Doughty 11-20-1-144, Caden Eblin 3-4-0-37. Teays Valley — Matthew Farmer 16-23-1-216, Kaden Hines 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING – Chillicothe — Max Lee 1-3, Lucas Rinehart3-16, Tre King 2-37, Tayvion Galloway 3-87, Quinlin Netter 3-18, Coen Butler 1-15. Teays Valley — Harrison Payne 12-182, Jeremiah Fabbro 2-18, Gavin Sparks 2-19.