• 39°

Coal Grove keeping positive outlook

GALLIPOLIS – Fans filing out of Gallipolis’ football stadium looked at the scoreboard and saw: Gallipolis 42, Coal Grove 8.

Monday, September 06, 1999

GALLIPOLIS – Fans filing out of Gallipolis’ football stadium looked at the scoreboard and saw: Gallipolis 42, Coal Grove 8.

But Coal Grove Hornets coach Nick Miller sipped on a 7-Up, took a bite of a hot dog, and paused.

"Even though we lost and it was 42-8, we made some strides," said Miller. "I’m not looking at the scoreboard. I saw some things that were very positive. We played hard and didn’t quit.

"Gallipolis came out the second half trying to score and left their starters in trying to do it. We challenged our kids and we won that battle. We didn’t win the game by and stretch, but we didn’t quit."

The inexperienced Hornets fell to 0-2,and travel to powerhouse Amanda Clearcreek next Saturday, but Miller said the team is pointing more toward its Ohio Valley Conference schedule that begins in four weeks at South Point.

"Our focus is the league," Miller said. "We’re not going to get into the playoffs, so we’re working toward the OVC."

Gallipolis, 2-0, was working on its offense led by quarterback Jeremy Payton. The talented senior 9 of 14 for 121 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

The running game produced 203 yards with T. R. Rogers getting 58 yards on nine carries and Ike Simmons 55 more on eight tries. Cody Lane had 54 yards on two attempts, 49 coming on a fake punt.

Coal Grove’s running game was led by Jason Adams who went over 100 yards for the second straight week. Adams had 111 yards on 20 carries. Dean Mader added 45 yards on 11 rushes.

Gallipolis scored on its first possession with a 53-yard, eight-play drive. Payton used a fourth down bootleg pass to hit tight end Jeff Mullins running a flag pattern into the left corner of the end zone to cover the final 6 yards. Payton’s conversion kick made it 7-0.

A 49-yard pass from Payton to Cody Lady got the ball to the Hornets 3-yard line on the next possession, and two plays later Rogers scored from 2 yards out and it was 14-0.

The Blue Devils blocked a punt to start the second quarter for a first-and-goal at the 7. Simmons ran wide right on the ensuing play and it was 21-0.

Another Coal Grove mistake – a fumbled punt – gave Gallipolis the ball at the Hornets 19. Three plays later Payton hit Rothgeb for 9 yards and the touchdown.

The final touchdown of the half came with time running out. On fourth and 4, Lane took the snap from the up-man position and started to run an option to his left with Payton, the team’s punter. Seeing his path blocked, Lane cut back and race 50 yards to the 1-yard line. Payton scored two plays later and the lead was 35-0 with 41 seconds on the clock.

Gallipolis had a scoring drive working to begin the second half, but Jeff Hamilton’s interception in the end zone halted the threat.

But on their next possession, the Blue Devils scored when Payton passed 16 yard to Bobby Jones with 4:20 on the clock.

Coal Grove got on the scoreboard with a 61-yard, 12-play drive capped by Adams’ 3-yard touchdown run with 6:14 left. Backup quarterback J. J. Hunt passed to Adams for the conversion.