RENO - Getting a correct read on the Reno Huskies hasn't been the easiest thing for Galena football coach Steve Struzyk.
Struzyk has watched a few past game films, and he knows that the Huskies will run the ball. He also knows they can pass as evidenced by Glenn Wallace's 1,032 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The passing aspect of the game is something that Struzyk hasn't seen much on film, however. The main reason is that Reno has won its last four regular-season games - South Tahoe, Damonte Ranch, Hug and Wooster - by a combined score of 177-19, thus the Huskies haven't had to do much more than run straight ahead.
"They are running the ball well," Struzyk said. "They are running right and running left. Their offensive line has been able to get a big push up front. They have been pretty basic. I think the situation (the last few games) has dictated that.
"That's not how they have played all year. (Glenn) Wallace is third in the north in passing yards. We are not going to sell out to stop the run at all costs. I do know that once they have success on the ground, they will try to pound you."
The Huskies boast two runners who rank in the Top 25 in 170-pound Brennan Caverhill and 210-pound Allen McKinley. Unofficially, Caverhill has rushed for 518 yards and four scores, and McKinley has rushed for 421 yards and three scores. McKinley is a load to bring down, especially once he gets to the secondc or third line of an opposing defense.
The good news is that Levi Stafford, who has been bothered by a knee injury, played briefly last week and is running full speed this week. The Grizzlies' defense, which has been led by Pete Lazzari, Jake Hess, P.J. Tomaino, Michael Parker and Jake Mansfield, also will get a boost by the return of linebacker/defensive end/tight end Kyle Griffin.
Galena QB Jacob Anderson (2,045 yards, 22 TDs) threw for five TDs against Hug last week, and was especially efficient in the red zone throwing to Jason Parkinson and Steve Blackhart. Parkinson caught three touchdown passes last week and Blackhart had two TD grabs.
The diminutive Lazzari ran well against Hug, especially on draw plays. He had some great blocking by Hess to get him through some holes. Struzyk expects Jarrod Faust and Ryan Howsley to get some carries this week against the Huskies.
"That (fullback) I think is going to be his position if he plays at the Division I level," said Struzyk about Hess. "He's a big part of our offense whether he's blocking, carrying the ball or catching a pass. If we see something in somebody's defense where we can use a big back to run, we're going to give it to him. A lot depends whether we're in a one-back set or two-back set in terms of how we use Jake.
"The Reno defense is very aggressive. They use a five-man front and blitz two linebackers. All five linemen are in down stances. They try to get a lot of pressure. Their defensive backs are aggressive and the linebackers are always coming downhill. They try to get 11 hats around the ball."
The onus will be on the Galena offensive line to protect Anderson. The Grizzlies are a versatile passing team, however. Anderson can throw the underneath pattern as well as the deep ball.
• Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281
GALENA AT RENO
What: 4A Regional playoff game
Where: Reno High School
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.