Galena is stunned by Manogue
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Galena High fell victim to Northern Nevada weather and a tough Bishop Manogue defense Friday night.
Vince Rossi scored on a 10-yard run with 48 seconds left to snap a scoreless tie and give the Miners a 7-0 win over the previously unbeaten Grizzlies, whose passing-oriented offense was stymied by a strong wind.
Now, instead of being the chased, the Grizzlies will be chasers when they visit McQueen next Thursday with the league’s top seeding and a share of the High Desert League title at stake.
“I don’t think we were looking past them (Manogue),” Galena coach Steve Struzyk said. “We shouldn’t have been. They are a good team.
“Everytime we got something going and would get close, we’d have a penalty, a turnover, a dropped ball. The bottom line is we didn’t get into the end zone, and we put our defense in some tough spots.”
Especially on the game-winning drive, which was helped by Laroy Hutchinson’s punt that pinned the Grizzlies back at their own 9. The Grizzlies went three and out, and Tanner Golliglee’s punt into the heavy wind went just 19 yards.
As they had most of the game, the Miners started pounding away behind their big physical line, and the weary Galena defense, despite an 18-tackle effort by Jake Hess, was unable to get the job done.
Chase Annand, who led Manogue’s offense with 78 rushing yards, carried twice for 14 yards down to the Galena 22. Rossi went for three and Nate Lytle picked up another first down with a seven-yard run down to the 12.
Then it was all Rossi. He gained two and then busted up the middle for the go-ahead score. Craig Batory’s PAT made it 7-0.
“We knew we were going to take it in,” Rossi said. “Our offensive line did a great job.”
Manogue coach Paul Mills used good strategy on the game-winning drive. If anything, he might have scored too early.
“We had great field position, and we were able to shove it in there,” Mills said. “This was a big game, and the kids stepped up and played their hearts out.”
The Grizzlies, who had to go into the wind in the final quarter, made it interesting.
On second-and-10 from the Galena 20, Jacob Anderson (14 of 31 for 181 yards) found Steve Blackhart along the left sideline. Blackhart made a couple of defenders miss and scampered down to the Manogue 34. That’s where the drive ended, as Anderson threw four straight incomplete passes, turning the ball back over to the Miners.
Mills conceded that the wind may have hurt Galena more than Manogue, and he was correct. Manogue isn’t a passing team, so Mills turned the game over to his defense, led by Joey White, Joe Bartlett and Hutchinson, and the offensive line.
“The wind was a major factor,” Mills said. “Every game they have thrown more passes than we have. Anderson has a strong arm. They were going to throw the ball no matter what.”
Struzyk said he was trying to take advantage of the wind in the first and third quarters, and it was the third quarter where the Grizzlies came up empty on two different occasions.
Manogue was going into the wind to start the second half, and instead of punting into the wind on fourth down, elected to go for a first down on fourth-and-seven from its own 27. Cale Carson’s pass fell incomplete, and the Grizzlies seemed poised to break the tie.
However, Rossi intercepted Anderson’s pass at the Manogue 7, killing Galena’s best offensive threat.
Manogue chewed up approximately seven minutes off the clock on its next drive before punting the ball away, giving the Grizzlies one last shot with the wind in their favor.
Galena drove from its own 37 to the Manogue 15. Facing a fourth-and-2, Pete Lazzari took a pitch and tried to go around the right side, but was thrown for a yard loss.
The Grizzlies let two good opportunities slip away on their first two drives of the fourth quarter.
Thanks to a 22-yard pass to Kyle Griffin and 11-yard runs by Lazzari and Ryan Howsley, the Grizzlies pushed the ball to the Manogue 36. On second down, Anderson had his pass tipped, and Manogue’s Keith Fuetsch intercepted the ball and returned it 12 yards.
Galena’s defense held on the ensuing possession, but a Howsley fumble gave the ball right back to the Miners.
The teams exchanged punts before the Miners put together their game-winning drive.