Galena explodes in second half, washes away Greenwave
By STEVE RANSON
Nevada Appeal News Service
FALLON ” Galena rose to the challenge in the second half of its Sierra League football game with Fallon Friday night.
Unfortunately, Fallon didn’t respond as the Grizzlies broke open a close game and breezed to a 42-14 win at the Ed Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Jarrod Faust rushed for 159 yards ” including a 62-yard on a draw play early in the third quarter ” to give Galena (1-4 overall 1-2 league) the needed desire to pull away from Fallon (1-5, 0-3).
“We had a desire for the win,” Faust said after the game and before heading into the locker room on a cold, breezy autumn homecoming night in Fallon. “We couldn’t handle another loss.”
Momentum swung like a pendulum in the first half between the two long-time rivals, but Faust’s TD run on the first play of Galena’s second drive set the tone.
“Our line was unbelievable,” said the hard-running Galena back. “They were so pumped up they didn’t want to give it away.”
Fallon safety Trent de Braga said Galena executed the play effectively.
“They had a perfect play on us and scored on it,” he said. “It went downhill from there.”
Galena coach Steve Struzyk said the win was big for Galena, especially since both teams are fighting for postseason play.
“We’re both fighting for our playoff lives,” Struzyk said. “It’s a huge win for us. The kids earned it.’
Fallon coach Ray Holladay showed his frustration after the game.
“This is two weeks in a row (that Fallon lost in the second half),” Holladay said. “We just didn’t execute.”
Both teams could sustain any momentum until the end of the first quarter when a lucky break gave the Grizzlies good field position.
Andy Fisk punted for Fallon, but the wind caught the ball in midair and pushed it back for a gain of only 6 yards.
Galena took over on the Fallon 24-yard line, and two plays later, quarterback Beau Bickel found tight end Luke Hess streaking to the left side of the end zone. Hess reached over Jake Johnston for the catch to give the visitors their first score.
Bickel completed 4-of-10 passes for 82 yards, all to Hess.
Nicholas Dufur connected on the extra point for that touchdown and five others.
The Wave tried to move the ball on Galena in the first quarter, but offensive penalties slowed Fallon’s game plan.
“We couldn’t go on two,” Holladay said. “Their blitzes were easy to run because they knew the snap count. Every offensive lineman and the tight end jumped at least once tonight. That’s a lack of focus.”
Fallon self-destructed early in the second quarter on its ensuing series. On third and eight from the 32, Fallon quarterback Dexter Daum threw an incomplete pass behind his receiver. As the ball bounced on the turf, Garrett Shutt picked up the ball and scurried 27 yards for Galena’s second touchdown.
The Wave put together its best drive of the night in the second quarter. Starting on its own 23, Fallon marched down the field in 10 plays, capped by Daum’s 21-yard pass play to de Braga with 6:34 left in the first half. Once de Braga caught a short pass, he spun around and slipped into the end zone.
Fallon tied the game on its next possession when Daum executed a bootleg to the left side for a 16-yard touchdown run. Garrett Adams ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion.
The Wave’s defense couldn’t hold Galena with 2:14 left in the first half when the Grizzlies mounted their final drive of the second quarter. After guiding Galena down the field in 10 plays, Bickel kept the ball for a 4-yard run and appeared to have fumbled the ball before crossing the end zone, but officlals indicated he had control. The PAT gave Galena a 21-14 lead going into the locker room.
“That was a huge break for Galena to fumble out of bounds before the end zone,” said de Braga. “We didn’t get the break when we needed it.”
After Faust’s long run gave Galena a two-touchdown lead early in the second half, the Grizzlies tacked on two more scores.
Struzyk said the offensive line adjusted to pick up the blitzes.
Bickel hooked up with Hess for their second touchdown together, a 24-yard pass in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Taylor Tatro came in for Faust and punched the ball in from the 3-yard line with 9:31 left in the game.
Galena’s defense also played better in the second half, sacking Daum seven times for minus 42 yards. With Galena’s defense putting the pressure on Daum, he completed 10 of 20 passes for 124 yards and no interceptions.
“Defensively, we missed the intensity and gave up too many yards (in the first half),” Struzyk said. “Our defensive ends did a better job of staying home (in the second half).”