Galena football falls to North Valleys

RENO " If you can't stop the run and you turn the ball over four times, chances are you won't win many football games.

For the second straight week, the Galena Grizzlies gave up more than 200 yards rushing, and if that wasn't bad enough, they turned the ball over four times.

Those two problems added up to a 26-3 loss to undefeated North Valleys Friday night at North Valleys in a nonleague game.

The Panthers haven't given up a touchdown in the first eight quarters of the season, and Galena, 0-2, has scored just nine points this season. Talk about a turnaround.

The four Galena turnovers led to 20 North Valleys points, a fact not lost on Galena coach Steve Struzyk in his post-game media chat.

"We've certainly proven that we can't turn the ball over and expect to stay in games," Struzyk said. "We moved the ball well between the 20s, but we couldn't get into the end zone. The bottom line is we're not making plays.

"Whether you're on offense or defense, you have to finish plays. That's the mental part of the game. This is a different situation for us."

Galena opened the scoring on its first series when Jarrod Faust, who ran for 135 yards on 17 carries, broke loose for a 50-yard run on the Grizzlies' second play from scrimmage. He followed that with gains of 12 and 5 yards, respectively, down to the Panthers' 4.

After a loss on second down and an incomplete pass by quarterback Beau Bickel (48 yards rushing, 84 passing), Nick Dufur came on to kick a 21-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 7:37 left in the first quarter.

Faust blocked Brennan Whitworth's field-goal attempt on the ensuing possession, and the Panthers fell on it at the Galena 11, thus turning the ball over on downs.

An 11-yard run by Faust and a 28-yard romp by Taylor Tatro gave the Grizzlies a first down at the NV 40. However Zach White picked off a Bickel pass at the NV 28 and brought it back to the Galena 43.

It took the Panthers 10 plays to reach the end zone, as Ryan Mathes scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 3-yard run. Whitworth's PAT made it 7-3 with 11:02 left in the opening half.

The Panthers converted two fourth-down plays on the drive.

On fourth-and-5 from the Galena 38, quarterback Witt Bell tossed an 11-yard pass to Zach Kovich for a first down at the 27. On fourth down from the Galena 23, Bell completed an 18-yard pass to tight end Zach Brown for a first down at the 10. Mathes carried the next two plays, scoring on his second attempt.

Galena managed two first downs on its next drive, but an 18-yard punt gave the Panthers nice field position at their 38, and they didn't waste it.

A 24-yard run by Dylan Calinog and a dead-ball personal foul gave North Valleys a first down at the Galena 5. Mathes scored three plays later from the 1. Whitworth's kick made it 14-3 with 3:42 left.

The Grizzlies were still in the game at that point, but after an exchange of punts, Faust fumbled at the 27 and Joel Perkins recovered for the Panthers.

A 17-yard pass from Bell to Kovich gave NV a first down at the Galena 4. After the Panthers were hit with a 5-yard penalty, Bell threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Nolan Marvin for a 20-3 lead.

At that point, Galena was done. It lacks the firepower of the past two years, and there weren't going to be enough possessions to get back into the contest.

Especially after Faust, who opened the second half with two nice runs, fumbled on his third carry.

The Panthers drove 64 yards with Mathes completing the scoring with a 4-yard run.

North Valleys coach Jason Ehlen was obviously pleased with the effort.

"I was pleased with the whole team effort," Ehlen said. "Last week the defense outplayed the offense. The offense, defense and special teams played a complete game. I was just glad we were able to finish drives. We didn't do that last week."

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