RENO - Galena High was 0 for McQueen, and if you want to be recognized as a legitimate program in Northern Nevada, sooner or later you have to beat the Lancers.
Galena, thanks to 249 yards rushing by Jimmy Sargent and solid defensive play, broke a 15-game losing streak when it knocked off McQueen, 20-14, in the High Desert League opener for both teams Friday night at Galena.
"This is huge," Galena coach Steve Struzyk said after the Grizzlies' first-ever win. "Until you beat those guys, you don't have much to talk about. I think with the bye week coming up to lay an egg would have been tough.
"We knew this would be a battle to the end. The defense really flew around tonight. The game plan was to stop 22 and 5 (Styker Ngongosoke and Josh Lagrone). We needed to stop them to win the game. We put a safety over the top to help stop Lagrone."
Lagrone caught just one pass for six yards and Ngongosoke gained only 31 yards unofficially.
With Sargent having a career game and the defense putting together a solid effort, Struzyk didn't have to worry about laying an egg. Besides his 249 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, Sargent threw a 22-yard touchdown pass and recovered a fumble that led to his 37-yard TD run and gave the Grizzlies a 20-0 lead.
"Pound for pound, he is the toughest kid I've ever been around," Struzyk said. "There is no quit in that kid."
That wasn't an option, according to Sargent.
"We knew we had to keep going after them," Sargent said. "They are a solid team. They are good every year. The offensive line did a great job tonight opening up holes."
The Lancers showed a lot of resolve in the second half, making the Grizzlies sweat a little bit and taking the game down to the wire.
Leading 20-7 midway through the fourth quarter, Galena punter Ryan Spinuzzi was unable to catch a high snap from center and was thrown for a 17-yard loss back at his own 18.
Five plays later, Kyle Stewart scored on a 2-yard run, and the ensuing PAT made it 20-14 with about 3 1/2 minutes left.
McQueen attempted an onsides kick that went out of bounds at the Galena 46.
Sargent ripped off a 14-yard gain on the first play, but the Grizzlies' Jake Hess was hit with a personal foul, pushing the ball back to the Galena 41. After Hess was thrown for a loss and then rushed for 4 yards, the Grizzlies faced a critical third-down play at the 48.
Sargent took a toss and tried to throw back to Anderson, who had circled out of the backfield. McQueen's Derek Martindale was flagged for a pass interference giving the Grizzlies a first down at the McQueen 38.
Sargent carried twice for 20 yards, and all that remained was for Anderson to kneel down two times to end the game.
Sargent had thrown a TD pass to Steve Blackhart in the first half on the same play, and he had lobbied Struzyk to try the play again.
"He has a couple of different options," Struzyk said. "He can throw to the receivers out in front of him, throw to Jacob in the flat or tuck it and run. He knows not to force it."