Galena beats Carson in overtime thriller | NevadaAppeal.com
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Galena beats Carson in overtime thriller

Mike Houser
Nevada Appeal Sports Editor

RENO ” With the door to the upcoming Northern 4A regional playoffs wide open, the Carson Senators decided to go for the kill early instead of playing it safe in overtime against the Galena Grizzlies.

Rather than going for an extra point to tie, the Senators went for two points, but the football got through the hands of backup quarterback Josh Peacock and Carson came up on the wrong end of a 21-20 overtime loss to the Grizzlies Friday at Galena High School.

Neither coach ” Carson’s Blair Roman nor Galena’s Steve Struzyk ” had a definitive answer whether the snap was high or Peacock mishandled it.

“It hit him right in the hands. I don’t know,” said Roman, whose Senators are now 2-4 in Sierra League play, 2-6 overall and on the outside looking in at the postseason with two games remaining against Fallon and co-first-place Douglas.

“I didn’t even look,” said Struzyk, whose Grizzlies are now 3-3 in league, 3-5 overall and play Wooster and co-first-place Bishop Manogue to finish the season. “I was yelling at a kid to run onto the field. We only had 10 guys on. I didn’t see if it was a bad snap.”

Bad snap or no, it was a bad break for the Senators, whose defense rang up six sacks of Galena quarterback Beau Bickel. Justin Barlow and Taylor Silva each recorded two sacks and David Laumea and Luke Carter each added one and Carter had a 21-yard fumble recovery and return that got Carson back into a game it was seemingly out of going into the fourth quarter.

“The first half, to be honest with you, we had a hard time getting the defense off the field,” Roman said. “We had only (11) plays. That was the key to the game. We didn’t have opportunities to run plays in the first half.”

Galena took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter, courtesy of a 1-yard run in the first quarter by Taylor Tatro, who saw most of the backfield action with 1,000-yard rusher Jarrod Faust leaving with a leg injury in the first quarter.

“We were frustrated. They played great defense,” Struzyk said. “It didn’t help getting (Faust) hurt. They weren’t giving us anything offensively.”

The same could be said of the Galena defense, which held the Senators to 38 first-half yards.

But the Senators would not go away and junior running back Mark Sinnott, who rushed for a game-high 166 yards on 31 carries, took it in from the 1-yard line to tie it 7-7 with 6 minutes, 35 seconds to go in the game.

On the following possession, Carter scooped up a fumble by Galena’s Luke Hess (who dropped the ball trying for extra yardage on a reception) and returned it 21 yards to the Grizzlies 10. Two plays later, Sinnott broke two tackles for a 10-yard score and Carson was looking pretty with a 14-7 lead and 4:25 left on the clock.

The Grizz proved impossible to finish off, though, and on a third-and-24 from the Carson 49, Hess connected with Faust on a flea-flicker play and Galena had a first down on the Senators 21.

Two plays later, Bickel found a wide-open Hess and the game was ties 14-14 with 1:37 to go.

“We had a good drive to put us into overtime,” Struzyk said. “We were searching for things to do all game long. We were drawing plays up in the dirt and as a coach, it’s not a good thing when you have to do that.”

Carson couldn’t get within field goal range and the game went into OT, where the Senators won the toss and deferred to defense.

In high school ball, each team gets possession at its opponent’s 10-yard line and Galena made the most of its opportunity. The Grizzlies got into the end zone on two plays, capped off by Faust’s 4-yard effort and Nick Dufur’s point after try made it 21-14.

Carson needed three plays to score ” starting quarterback Blake Plattsmier took it in from 1-yard out — but the Senators unsuccessfully went for the win rather than the tie.

Carson outgained Galena 237-217 offensively. Plattsmier completed 7-of-14 passes for 57 yards and Bickel was 14-of-21 for 124 yards and a score.

Faust picked up 45 yards on 14 carries, but in the end the only numbers that mattered were 21 points for the Grizz and 20 for the Senators.

“We’re taking it one week at a time like we’ve done all year,” said Struzyk, whose Grizzlies have won three games in a row after starting out with five consecutive losses. “(On) Friday we have Wooster and we’ll try to extend our season to zone. That’s our goal every year ” the playoffs.”

Galena won the Northern 4A regional championship in 2006.

“The thing about this game,” said Roman, “is that both teams played their hearts out. Our kids left everything out there. They have nothing to be ashamed of. It came down to one play. It didn’t go our way.

“That’s a pretty good high school game when it comes down to one play. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top.”

To make the playoffs, Carson has to win both remaining games and hope that Galena loses both of its games.

Carson will next host Fallon on Thursday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Carson High School.

“It’s Senior Night (against Fallon),” Roman said. “I’m proud of these seniors. They bought into what I’ve tried to establish as a program. I hope to send them out on a good note next week.”