SCIOTOVILLE — The East Tartans ran enough plays from scrimmage, collected enough rushing yardage, and posted four-and-a-half yards per play on Friday night.
In most cases, those statistics should win you a football game — or two.
Unfortunately for East, the host Tartans committed four costly turnovers, and underdog and visiting South Gallia took full advantage — in handing the Tartans a 22-14 non-league loss at Allard Park in Sciotoville.
How costly were those East miscues you ask?
The most glaring resulted in the Rebels’ tide-turning and opening-half closing first touchdown —a 44-yard interception return by Tanner Saunders of an Austin Baughman pass, and a Noah Cremeens two-point conversion run with 15-and-a-half seconds remaining.
That made it 8-6 in favor of stunning South Gallia, and the Rebels relinquished the lead nary in the second half.
The Tartans twice lost fumbles in the second quarter, on a punt return and on a running play, and again late in the fourth frame.
The loss was the first for East (2-1), which actually plays South Gallia (1-2) twice this season —with the second matchup coming in week five on Sept. 16 in Mercerville.
Dylan Fitzgerald got East on the scoreboard first following a scoreless opening quarter, as he capped a seven-minute and six-second scoring drive — which covered a massive 85 yards and 14 plays.
Fitzgerald finished the march off with a three-yard dive at the 8:13 mark, but the Tartans failed on the two-point try —and were shut out over the remainder of the half, along with all of the third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth.
Sanders gave the Rebels the lead with his interception return, then quarterback Kyle Wright — with a one-yard sneak and the two-point conversion run —increased the guests’ advantage to 10 points (16-6), with three minutes and 10 seconds to play in the third.
Landehn Pernell punched in a three-yard Tartan touchdown run, and the subsequent two-point rush, with seven minutes remaining —making it a two-point (16-14) deficit.
But South Gallia salted the victory with only a minute and 39 tics to play —when Ethan Stanley scored from 10 yards out for the 22-14 final.
East’s offense ran 62 plays and gained 269 yards — 204 of which was on the ground and spread among five different ballcarriers.
The quarterback Baughman completed 6-of-10 passes for 37 yards, and rushed nine times for 82 —as Pernell (12 carries for 53 yards), Fitzgerald (12 carries for 46 yards) and Cam Justice (13 carries for 27 yards) all carried at least a dozen times.
Pernell even completed a 28-yard pass, and made two receptions himself.
However, four turnovers turned the game distinctly in the Rebels’ favor —along with five East penalties, including a 15-yard roughing-the-kicker call, a 15-yard personal-foul face mask, and another 15-yard personal-foul flag.
The other two penalties were five-yard false starts.
For the Rebels, as East’s Chris Escamilla recovered a lost fumble, Wright was 7-of-17 passing for one yard shy of 100 —and ran eight times for 11 yards.
Three Rebels made at least two receptions for at least 15 yards apiece, as South Gallia gained 191 total yards on 44 snaps from scrimmage.
The Tartans, for the second time this season, travel for a game on Friday night —and it’s a long road trip to non-league Newcomerstown.
* * *
South Gallia 0 8 8 6—22
East 0 6 0 8 — 14
E — Dylan Fitzgerald, 3-yard run (run failed), 8:13, 2nd (6-0 E)
SG —Tanner Sanders, 44-yard interception return (Noah Cremeens run), :15.5, 2nd (8-6 SG)
SG — Kyle Wright, 1-yard run (Kyle Wright run), 3:10, 3rd (16-6 SG)
E — Landehn Pernell, 3-yard run (Landehn Pernell run), 7:04, 4th (16-14 SG)
SG — Ethan Stanley, 10-yard run (run failed), 1:39, 4th (22-14 SG)
RUSHING — South Gallia: Kyle Wright 8-11 TD, Ethan Stanley 7-47 TD, Noah Cremeens 7-32, E.J. Siders 2-2; East: Austin Baughman 9-82, Landehn Pernell 12-53 TD, Dylan Fitzgerald 12-46 TD, Cam Justice 13-27, Jagger Childress 1-(-4)
PASSING —South Gallia: Kyle Wright 7-17-0-99; East: Austin Baughman 6-10-1-37, Landehn Pernell 1-1-0-28
RECEIVING —South Gallia: Layne Wright 3-31, Tanner Sanders 2-53, Bryson Stanley 2-15; East: Jaylen Mayhew 2-34, Landehn Pernell 2-7, Tyell Baker 1-15, Matthew Flannery 1-9, Cam Justice 1-0
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