Galena rolls against Hug
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Galena High football coach Steve Struzyk admitted he was a bit worried that his team might overlook winless Hug and be looking ahead to its conference opener at Reed next week.
He shouldn’t have been.
Thanks to four touchdown passes by Jacob Anderson, two of which went to Luke Hess, the Grizzlies rolled to an easy 32-13 non-league triumph Friday night.
The Grizzlies, the defending 4A zone champions, improved to 3-0. Hug is now 0-3.
“Now we can start focusing on league opponents,” Struzyk said. “It gets tougher and tougher. Hug had a lot of injuries. Our approach to this game was like any other. We’re out to win.
“That’s the best I’ve seen Jacob play since the playoffs last season. It takes some time for him to get into the swing (after baseball). He made some good reads, and the receivers caught the ball better.”
As is his custom, Anderson accepted the praise, but also gave kudos to the rest of his offensive teammates.
“We knew we needed to focus on this game,” said Anderson, who was 19 of 31 for 243 yards. “We couldn’t overlook anybody.
“I feel like the whole offense has matured. We wanted to come out tonight and make a statement.”
The Grizzlies did exactly on their opening drive thanks to a squib kick by Hug which was covered up at the 40.
It only took four plays to reach the end zone, as sure-handed Jason Parkinson got behind Tonio Burton on a first-and-10 play from the Hug 49. Anderson dropped the ball just barely over the outstretched arms of the 5-foot-9 Burton, and Parkinson, who had six catches for 90 yards, took care of the rest. Michael Parker’s PAT made it 7-0 with 10:16 left. “That was just a play-action with a backside post,” Anderson said. “I got a little pressure and stepped up (in the pocket). Jason made a great catch.”
A 32-yard punt by Billy Johnson pinned Hug down at its own 5-yard line, and that helped set up the Grizzlies’ next score.
Burton ripped off a 17-yard gain up to the 22, but the drive fizzled, and Hug had to punt the ball away with 3:05 left in the quarter.
Starting at their own 49, the Grizzlies used a 14-yard pass from Anderson to Parkinson and an 11-yard run by Pete Lazzari to get the ball down to Hug’s 27-yard-line.
Anderson tried to come back to Parkinson two plays later, but Burton was called for interference, giving Galena a first down at the 13. Hess caught a pass for six yards, and then the Hawks were called for roughing Anderson on the play which put the ball at the Hug 3.
Lazzari was spilled for a 3-yard loss on first down, but Anderson found Hess with a 6-yard scoring toss on the next play for a 13-0 advantage.
After Parker missed a 32-yard field goal early in the second quarter, the quickness of the Hug running backs took over.
The Hawks covered 80 yards in two plays, as Burton scored on a 28-yard run to make it 13-6. The PAT was botched because of a bad snap.
Galena started its next drive from its own 48, and didn’t waste the good field position, driving 52 yards in seven plays with Anderson throwing a 6-yard TD pass to tight end P.J. Tomaino for a 19-6 lead with 5:58 left in the half.
Armed with a two-touchdown lead, the Grizzlies, led by Jake Hess, Kyle Griffin and Lazzari, gave some ground at times, but didn’t give up any big plays.
Galena scored on its first drive of the second half, driving 62 yards, culminating in Lazzari’s 22-yard run on a fourth-and-two play. Parker’s PAT made it 26-6.