SOUTH POINT, Ohio — After a week of rain, fog and dark clouds, the sun shone brighter at South Point High School on Monday and it had nothing to do with the weather.
The Pointers football coaches and players walked into school that morning winners of an Ohio Valley Conference game for the first time since Sept. 25, 2015. South Point (1-6 overall, 1-4 OVC) defeated Chesapeake (0-6, 0-4) 27-9 at Phil Davis Field in Chesapeake, Ohio, to snap a 41-game losing streak in league games.
“Coming into school Monday there was a different feeling,” Pointers coach Chris Davis said.
South Point’s last OVC triumph before that was four coaches ago when it beat Fairland 32-8. Since then, the Pointers have gone 4-46 overall.
“It’s a very good feeling,” Davis said of his players raising their helmets in victory after Friday’s game. “This helps us build. The kids are super excited. The fans and parents are excited. It’s good to get that monkey off our back.”
South Point was competitive in some games this season, leading Boyd County 10-7 at halftime and losing 14-8 at Alexander. After losing to Fairland 41-7 on Oct. 1, though, Davis said he was struggling to believe what he had been telling his players — that if they stuck with the plan and process, victories would come.
During preparation for Chesapeake, however, Davis snapped back and encouraged his players.
“I told the seniors they only have a few games left,” Davis said. “I asked them how they want to finish the season.”
South Point has three games remaining — Friday at Portsmouth (6-2, 3-1), home vs. Gallia Academy (3-2, 1-1) Oct. 22, and at non-conference foe River Valley (2-4) in a game rescheduled from Sept. 3. The Pointers haven’t won back-to-back games since defeating Roane County 18-0 and Boyd County 20-12 to begin the 2017 season. South Point hasn’t won consecutive OVC contests since beating Rock Hill 45-36 on Oct. 11, 2013, and Chesapeake 19-7 on Oct. 18, 2013.
Portsmouth doesn’t intend to become the Pointers’ second victim in a row. The Trojans, though are coming off an emotional 15-14 loss at Fairland and next week have a showdown at home with non-conference for River Valley.
“We’ve got to take care of business against South Point; we’ve got to bounce-back, make sure we execute and come out healthy,” Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb said, The big matchup on the road in week 10 and that’s probably going to mean a lot as far as points are concerned, placement in the region, as well as if you’re hosting or travelling in week 11. I know that the team will focus on the task at hand and that’s beating South Point.”
Portsmouth features the Tri-State’s leading passer in senior quarterback Drew Roe. The Trojans field a bevy of speedy receivers to challenge the Pointers’ secondary.
“We have to try to stop that Portsmouth passing game,” Davis said. “They’re the same as they were last year and we kept up with them for a while (a 31-14 loss). They’re a very good football team.”
Portsmouth is vastly improved from a year ago on defense. Davis said the Trojans will be a challenge.
“We’re going to try to finish strong,” he said.