Spring Valley's next drive churned out three first downs and reached the SC 14, but Wellman lost a fumble and the Black Eagles (1-2) immediately turned it into points on a 72-yard pass from Jon Alexander to Kevin Forrest with 2:51 left. Forrest finished with seven catches for 177 yards.
Alexander, who threw for 221 yards, ran in the 2-point conversion to bring SC within 37-36.
The Wolves, who ran much of the game out of wing-T formation, covered the ensuing kickoff and picked up two more first downs to salt away the remaining time.
"We controlled the line of scrimmage in that football game all night,'' said Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess. "We were just stressing it all week.
"We thought last week the offensive line blocked well, but the backs didn't block well. They blocked well tonight, they blocked well at the second level even when they had everyone up in the box. Our line surge was there. We hit people 10, 15 yards downfield. Our backs were running hard, always falling forward. It was a great effort on offense for us tonight.''
Spring Valley made an early statement, rushing for 209 yards in the first quarter alone. About the only thing that kept the game from getting out of hand was the Wolves' problem keeping the ball in their hands. They lost three fumbles in the game's first 13 minutes and led just 14-8 at halftime.
SC wasn't blameless in that department, either, losing the ball four times on three fumbles and one interception. One fumble came in the Spring Valley end zone.
"We shot ourselves in the foot three, four times when we tried to make plays,'' Messinger said, "and didn't make plays. They did the same thing and turned three or four into scores.
"We told our team coming in here that this was not a situation where 0-2 meant anything. They were a preseason top-five pick, and I've said all along they may still be a top-five team. I don't see them losing another football game.''
Ken Haynes led South Charleston's ground game with 61 yards and one TD on eight carries. A.D. Cunningham added 46 yards and two short scores on nine attempts.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com