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November 15, 2002
Galena High School’s Ben and Matt Fry both played key roles for the Grizzlies in their Northern 4A playoff opening 7-6 victory against Douglas on a rainy night in Minden.
So what did they do to celebrate afterward? Why, of course, they let their parents — both career Marines who are currently stationed away from home — know what had happened
“Dad (Lee Fry) is in Hawaii; he has a cell phone so I called him,” Matt Fry said, flashing a wide grin. “Mom (Sarah) is in the Middle East (Middle East kingdom of Bahrain); we sent her an email so she could wake up in the morning and find out what happened.”
There was plenty of news to write home about, too.
Ben, a sophomore running back, broke scored a 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and his older brother Matt, a senior middle linebacker, led a defensive charge that made the score stand as the Grizzlies won in the opening round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
There’s not much time to celebrate, though, because Galena (7-3) must go back on the road and play High Desert League rival McQueen (10-0) for a second-round game tonight. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at John Robb Stadium.
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This will be the second meeting in three weeks for the two teams because McQueen defeated Galena 33-0 to end the regular season on Nov. 1. Obviously, getting past the Lancers will be a formidable task.
“The team that blocks better, tackles better, plays mistake-free and plays physical and sound football wins,” Fry said. “We consider ourselves to be a physical football team. They’re a physical team, too, so we’re really going to have to play a great game.”
Even though the 33-0 score is closest game the Lancers have had all season, there’s no room for moral victories now.
“There’s only four (Northern 4A) teams still playing now,” Fry said. “We’re happy to be one of them, but every game is do-or-die now. One team is going to get to keep playing, the other team has to go home. You never want to be the team that goes home.”
The 5-foot-10, 177-pound middle linebacker is one reason why the Grizzlies are still playing. An all-Northern 4A first-team selection last season, he has continued to play at the same high level throughout the current season — averaging double digit tackles per game, not to mention he’s blocked a total of seven kicks by opponents.
Younger brother Ben was promoted from the J.V. team at midseason and has made some valuable contributions. He rushed for 93 yards on 12 carries against Douglas, the most important run being his touchdown run up the middle through the mud to give the Grizzlies a 7-0 lead with 9:28 to go in the third quarter.
It’s been a tremendous season under circumstances that are far from ideal. But Fry, who maintains a 3.89 grade-point average while taking several advanced-placement classes, believes his mother’s work in the Middle East puts a different perspective on football wins and losses.
“When you look at everything, what my mom goes through with the Middle East thing makes football in Reno, Nevada seem small,” Fry said. “I think I have it pretty tough at practice, but that’s nothing compared to what she’s doing right now.”
Playoff note … Elko visits Reno tonight at 7 p.m. in the other Northern 4A playoff game. … The state 3A semifinals will be played Saturday with two games at 1 p.m.: Tahoe-Truckee visits Virgin Valley in Mesquite and Moapa Valley plays at Bishop Manogue in Reno. … Carlin plays Indian Springs in the NIAA/U.S. Bank 1A eight-man football championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. at North Valleys High School in Reno.
(Chuck Hildebrand of NevadaPrep.com contributed to this story)
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