RENO — Ben Barnard ran for two touchdowns and had a momentum-turning 50-yard kick return for Galena Friday night in its 27-7 homecoming win against Douglas in the Sierra League football opener for both teams.
Douglas (1-5) gave the undefeated Grizzlies all they could handle through three quarters and pulled to within 13-7 on Nick Abreu’s 4-yard touchdown run with 41.9 seconds left in the period. The score had been set up five plays before when Taylor Souza stripped the ball and Dalton Grissel recovered the fumble at Galena’s 18.
Galena (6-0) answered immediately, however, as Barnard returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Douglas 38. Barnard, who came into the game as the leading Northern Division I rusher with 1,009 yards in five games, followed with a 22-yard run on the next play. Following an offensive holding call, the Grizzlies scored when quarterback Brock Raggio threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Josh Folkers as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
Raggio and Folkers also collaborated on a 21-yard touchdown pass to extend Galena’s lead to 13-0 earlier in the third quarter.
Barnard broke the ice late in the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Grizzlies had threatened on their two previous possessions, driving to the Douglas 19 and 11, only to come away empty handed both times. The first ended when Kyle Adams stripped the ball from Barnard and Garret Rice recovered the loose ball at the 12. The second was denied when Adams broke through to block Barnard’s 28-yard field goal attempt with 8:35 left in the second quarter.
Douglas mounted a good drive on its opening possession, as the Tigers moved to Galena’s 32 in 10 plays before they were forced to punt. Quarterback Wes Hundley completed 4 of 5 passes for 39 yards during the five-minute drive.