RENO - This Yellow Swarm, otherwise known as the Galena High football team, comes at you in every which way.
Offense, defense, special teams. With the complete package, Galena is on the verge of clinching its first home playoff game in school history.
The Grizzlies used all aspects of their attack for a 49-28 win over Bishop Manogue on Friday night at Galena to take over second place in the High Desert League.
Galena (6-2, 4-1) can clinch a home game in the first round in the Northern 4A playoffs with a win on Thursday at Reed.
"We talked about this early on," said Galena coach Steve Struzyk about earning a home playoff game. "Our goal is to get that home playoff game the first round."
The Grizzlies needed all their arsenal and the running attack of Ryan Krueger and Jimmy Sargent to overcome Cody Manguso's passing for Manogue. Krueger gained 167 yards on 21 carries and electrified the crowd with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that effectively put the game away. Sargent added 59 yards on 10 carries.
Struzyk would like to see a more balanced attack, but on this night, Galena needed Jacob Anderson to complete only 3-of-4 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Sixty-six of the yards came thanks to the effort of Sargent, who ran for a score on a screen pass.
"We got the running game going, but that's not going to last us," Struzyk said. "But if it's working, you might as well not fix it I guess. I tell you what, Ryan Krueger and Jimmy Sargent run the ball awfully hard."
Manguso completed 22-of-37 for 366 yards, with his leading receivers being Patrick O'Neil, Cameron Bozarth and Christopher Gurries. But Galena was able to hold Manogue's talented running back Andrew Lujan in check, holding him to 51 yards on 14 carries.
Still, with Manguso, Struzyk never felt comfortable. "You never feel safe, you never feel safe," he said.
But thanks to two blocked punts by Jake Hess, the Grizzlies kept the momentum. One set up a score and another was returned by Tony Fritsche for another score.
Manogue scored on its opening series on Jeff Cercek's 2-yard run to take a 6-0 lead. Galena looked like it had its opening drive stalled when a 13-yard pass from Anderson to Cole Dowty was called back by a penalty. But on the next play, Anderson hit Sargent on a screen, who made a beautiful move to the outside and ran 66 yards for the score. Travis Gibson, who was 7-of-7 on extra points, made the PAT to give Galena a 7-6 lead.
The Miners came right back on Manguso's 58-yard scoring pass to Gurries. Cercek ran it in for the two-point to make it 14-7.
Galena answered on Krueger's 68-yard run to tie it 14-14. Joey Milegich recovered a fumble on Manogue's next drive and returned it to the Miner 46-yard line. That set up Anderson's 17-yard scoring strike to Fritsche to make it 21-14 still with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
Hess' first blocked punt gave Galena the ball at the Manogue 22, setting up Krueger's 3-yard scoring run. Fritsche stopped Manogue's next threat when he intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it 88 yards to the Manogue 12. The play was called back by a penalty, giving the Grizzlies the ball at the Galena 32.
Cole Dowty's sack of Manguso stopped Manogue's last threat of the half. Hess went on to block his second punt and Fritsche picked up the ball and ran 46 yards for the score to make it 35-14 at halftime.
The Grizzlies scored on their opening drive of the second half, thanks to a heads up play when Casey Ernst recovered a Krueger fumble inside the Manogue 10. Krueger scored on an 8-yard run. Manogue cut the lead to 42-22 on Cercek's 2-yard run and Manguso's pass to Bozarth for the two-pointer.
Manogue cut it to 42-28 on Cercek's 4-yard run. But on the ensuing kickoff, Krueger returned the ball 89 yards to finish the scoring. Justin Gates and Ernst each also had a sack and Jesse Snodgrass added an interception.
n Contact Charles Whisnand at email@example.com or 881-1214.