GALLIPOLIS — A week after earning it’s first-ever home playoff victory, Vinton County ran into a brick wall.
Gallia Academy forced a pair of turnovers early and got multiple fourth down stops throughout the game as it ended the Vikings’ season with a 46-8 drubbing on Saturday in a Division IV second round matchup.
“The effort and attitude was there all night and our kids played extremely hard,” Vinton County coach Travis Bethel said. “We down early and trailed all night, but they continued to play hard. We faced a really good team with a ton of athletes and kids who could play at the next level. They’re a big team and we were just out matched.”
The Blue Devils’ offens went through standout tailback James Armstrong who gave the Vikings all type of problems all night from the backfield and in open space.
Armstrong accounted for five of the Blue Devils’ six touchdowns on the night, three rushing and two receiving.
“Undoubtedly, he’s the best back we’ve seen all year and he was just a little too much to handle,” Bethel said. “It took just a long time to get adjusted to him, but I’m not sure we every really did. He’s a dynamic player who has some guys on the offensive line who are getting looked at from Division I schools so it was a tough night.”
Zack Radabaugh scored the lone touchdown for the Vikings on a 52-yard rushing score that pulled the game to 24-8 midway through the third quarter.
The Vikings finish the season 4-4 and say goodbye to 12 seniors including Radabaugh, Lance Montgomery, Elijah Williams, Boomer Herold, and Koby Waugh.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how this team handled the uncertainty day by day of whether we were going to play the season or not,” Bethel said. “They left everything on the field week in and week out, never shorted us coaches or themselves on effort. It’s a tough loss but we accomplished a lot and I’m proud of these guys.
“The seniors are a special group and some of these kids are simply irreplaceable. Overall, they are a high characters group of guys off the field and what they accomplished on the field will be talked about for years to comes and it goes down in Vinton County history.”