Sargent’s 313 yards not enough
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – If Galena High wants to make some noise in the playoffs, its defensive unit better start making some plays.
The Grizzlies piled up 482 yards of total offense, including 313 yards rushing by Jimmy Sargent, but it was wasted when Reed scored 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points en route to a 40-34 win Thursday night and the High Desert League championship.
Reed finished conference with a 6-0 record and a 9-1 mark overall. The Raiders will host Carson next Friday in the first round of the playoffs. Galena dropped to 4-2 overall, and as third-place finishers, will travel to North Valleys next Friday.
The gam-winning score came with 54 seconds left in the game when Tony Maldonado capped a 72-yard scoring drive with a 33-yard scoring pass to Zack Parker, who caught the ball against Jake Mansfield, who never seemed to get his head turned around on the play. Cory Whitaker’s 2-point conversion made it 40-34.
Galena drove to Reed’s 38 on its last possession, but Jacob Anderson’s last-second pass was intercepted near the end zone by Reed’s Brandon Cotter.
It’s the second straight week that Galena’s defense has been pierced for big yards and a lot of points. Manogue put up 35 against the Grizzlies last week.
Galena coach Steve Struzyk doesn’t think there is anything to fix.
“We needed to put more pressure on him (Maldonado),” he said. “The pass rush should have been better. You can’t give him (Maldonado) time like that. Reed is a very, very good team.”
Reed scored 28 points in the second half, as the Grizzlies’ defense and special teams just couldn’t get stops when they were needed. Reed scored on three of its four drives in the second half – a 71-yard run by Jerel Clark, a 1-yard run by Josh Loader and the aforementioned game-winning 33-yard scoring pass.
When Reed cut the lead to 34-32 midway through the fourth quarter, the Raiders converted four straight third downs, the final one being Loader’s 1-yard scoring run. Maldonado (245 yards passing) misfired on the PAT.
The Raiders failed to convert the extra point on four of their six extra points.
After Galena punted, Reed’s offense went to work again.
Clark ripped off a 23-yard gain for a first down at the Galena 49. Galena appeared to have Reed stopped, but on fourth-and-6, Maldonado threw a 12-yard pass to Parker for a first down at the Galena 33, and the Raiders won the game on the next play.
Galena led 20-12 at the half, as Sargent ran wild. The Grizzlies’ human pinball carried 27 times for 204 yards and three-first scores on runs of 7, 18 and 1 yards. Sargent set the first score up when he opened the game with an 80-yard kickoff return down to Reed’s 12-yard line.
The Grizzlies’ lead should have been bigger. Leading 14-6, the Grizzlies drove from their own 13, but came up empty twice from the 1-yard-line.
On third down, Anderson slipped on a quarterback and was stopped for no gain. On fourth down, Anderson fumbled the snap and Reed recovered at the 2.
“He slipped on the sneak, and I have no idea what happened on the fumble,” Struzyk said. “You can’t do that, fumbling on the 1-yard line.”
•Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281