Galena picks up first win ever vs. Wooster
September 8, 2002
RENO — The Galena High football players, coaches and fans must have been thinking here we go again.
For the second straight year, quarterback Zac Bryson and Wooster had a chance to steal a win away from Galena in the identical situation. Last year, Bryson and Wooster converted a two-point conversion late in the game to pull out a 14-13 win against the Grizzlies.
With 47 seconds left, Bryson and Wooster had a chance to do it again. Down 19-18, the Colts went for two and the win. But this time the Grizzlies wouldn’t let their first win ever against Wooster slip away.
Galena held on for a 19-18 win on Saturday at Wooster in the season opener.
It was fitting that Galena’s Yellow Jackets on defense had to preserve the win, not once, but twice. After Galena stopped the two-point conversion, Wooster recovered the onside kick, but the Grizzlies again held.
Galena’s defense likes to go by the name Yellow Brick Wall, but the Grizzlies looked more like Yellow Jackets in the black and gold uniforms swarming to the ball. Still, there were several big plays made by Galena that allowed it to win.
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Matt Fry blocked two punts that led to two touchdowns. Barrett Young made up for his fumble on a kickoff to make two big plays to stop the scoring threat that his fumble set up. Warren Whitley scored two touchdowns and Todd Curtis also made an interception to stop another Wooster threat.
Bryson completed five passes on Wooster’s final drive with his final completion accounting for a 10-yard touchdown to Fernando Benitez. After missing two extra points, Wooster chose to go for two.
Bryson pitched the ball to Matt Brown on the option, but Brown had nowhere to go as several Grizzlies were there to stop them. After Benitez recovered the onside kick, David Kirn intercepted Bryson’s deep pass to seal the win.
“It came down to the end, so the team really had to come together and get it done,” Young said. “Luckily we got it, but we’re not happy.”
“It took us 10 years, but we finally did it,” Young also said about beating Wooster. “They’re a legacy team. They alway have been and they always will.”
Galena jumped out in front on Whitley’s 40-yard scoring run. Pat Flynn completed a 13-yard pass to Brandon Morales for a key third down conversion on the drive. Mike Sharonbrock added the extra point to make it 7-0.
Fry’s first blocked punt gave Galena the ball at the Wooster 43-yard line. That set up Flynn’s 13-yard screen pass to Whitley for a TD that made it 13-0. Brandon Hendrix gained two yards on fourth and one at the 15 to keep the drive alive.
Wooster came back on Bryson’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Brown. The score stayed 13-6 after Fry blocked the extra point.
Young fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving Wooster the ball at the Galena 15. But Young went on to sack Bryson for an eight-yard loss.
Then on fourth and 15, Bryson scrambled, but Young made an open field tackle, stopping Bryson four yards short of the first down at the nine and the score stayed at 13-6 at halftime.
“I definitely let the team down,” Young said. “I just tried to put it behind me.”
Sharenbrock pinned Wooster at the 10 with his punt in the third quarter and the Galena defense held. Fry blocked his second punt, giving the Grizzlies the ball at the Wooster 11.
Hunter Mullhall had a 6-yard run to get Galena closer. Fry was rewarded for his blocked punt when he scored on a 1-yard run to make it 19-6.
Wooster went to a no-huddle offense and mounted a drive, but Curtis’ interception stopped the threat. The Colts, though, mounted another drive and scored on a fourth and goal on a 1-yard pass from Bryson to Rambo Chau.
On its ensuing drive, Galena took a gamble when Fry got the first down on a 3-yard run on fourth and one at the 44, but that just temporarily stopped Wooster’s comeback.
Morales had five catches for 69 yards and Flynn completed 8-of-15 for 93 yards. Bryson went 13-for-22 for 155 yards.
“They’re a resilient bunch,” said Galena coach Greg Sakelaris about his team. “These seniors remembered what happened last year. They didn’t want that to happen again.
“It’s a little revenge for last year. It’s a program we’ve never beaten before. It’s a big win for us.”
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