Wildcats roll South Gallia, remain in control of TVC

Waterford’s Zane Heiss (24) runs with the ball during a high school football game against South Gallia Friday night. RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times

WATERFORD — Braden Bellville achieved a personal milestone in the Wildcats’ homecoming game.

The 6-foot, 190-pound junior running back eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards on the season on his second carry of the football as Waterford High drilled visiting South Gallia, 56-8, in prep football action Friday night.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” said Bellville. “I think I had about 950 last year.”

Bellville finished with 176 yards on the ground on 15 carries and three touchdown runs of 32, 10, and 14 yards. He also caught an 84 TD pass from quarterback Peyten Stephens.

“I’m glad Braden’s on our team,” said second-year WHS head coach Eric McCutcheon, laughing.

Stephens himself had a solid game as signal caller as he completed five-of-eight throws for 172 yards and two scores, one to Bellville and another to Noah Huffman of 28 yards.

Stephens also ran for one TD as did Teddy Smith, who finished with 72 yards on five attempts. Joe Zimmer added a 17-yard touchdown run.

Waterford, No. 4 in Ohio Division VII, Region 27, improved its record to 6-1 overall. The Wildcats have won four in a row since falling to Fort Frye in Week 3.

South Gallia (2-5) averted a shutout when Gavin Bevan scored on a nine-yard TD run with 3:02 left in the fourth quarter.

After receiving the opening kickoff, Waterford needed only three plays to stake itself to a 6-0 advantage. Capping the short drive, Huffman hauled in a 28-yard pass from Stephens. Setting up the six, Bellville rushed 24 yards on his first carry and seven on his second tote.

“The line this year is phenomenal,” Bellville said. “They did phenomenal tonight, and I give a lot of credit to them, people like Bryce Rhorer, Johnny Winkleman, Colin Jackson, Haydon Reynolds, Dylan Ours and Brock Hayes.”

On the Wildcats’ second offensive possession, Stephens hit Bellville for an 84-yard scoring strike to make it 12-0. Smith ran in the two-point conversion to give the green and white a 14-0 lead.

Before the quarter ended, Bellville scored his first rushing TD of the game from 32 yards out. Stephens’ two-point conversion run stretched the WHS lead to 22-0.

In the second quarter, Waterford tacked on four more touchdowns, and led 47-0 at halftime. Smith and Stephens each had a two-yard run to paydirt; Bellville ran 10 yards to the end zone; and Zimmer closed out the half with a 17-yard TD run.

With a running clock and eight-minute quarters in the second half, Bellville scored on a 14-yard run, and the Wildcats also benefitted from a two-point safety.

“We had some injuries this week and we put some different guys in,” McCutcheon said. “Our upperclassmen helped the younger guys out with blocking assignments. It was just a great team win. We preached all week about coming out fast and coming out aggressive — and we did that tonight. With homecoming going on and everything, it was a fun night.”