RENO — The 2019 football year may go down as the year of the Galena Grizzlies.
Galena is 2-0 in Sierra League play after defeating Douglas, 25-24, on Friday night. Last week Galena topped Carson, 6-3. Two wins by a total of 4 points.
Last week, Carson jumped offside two times on 4th-and-6th to allow Galena to pick up the game-clinching first down.
On Friday night, Galena scored the go-ahead touchdown with 12.6 to play to steal the game from Douglas.
The tide turned for Galena as the Tigers were marching to what looked like a game-sealing score. But it changed when Douglas quarterback Isaac Shaver threw a short pass to Race Coman on a 3rd-and-5 deep in Galena territory. The officials ruled Coman fumbled the ball, but in the NFL the play would be reviewed to see if Coman had completed the catch before the fumble. Galena took over after the catch and fumble at its own 19-yard line with less than 2 minutes to play.
Galena threw a long pass to get the ball up to the 49-yard line with 57 seconds to play.
The Grizzlies then tried a double pass that resulted in an intentional grounding play and 2nd-and-26. An incomplete pass with about 40 seconds to go and the Tigers were smelling victory.
However, Galena didn’t give up. The Grizzlies threw a deep pass that was hauled in by Tyler Rowan at the 5-yard line to set up a first-and-goal.
After two more plays and using their remaining timeouts, Galena threw a 5-yard pass for the aforementioned game winner and improved to 2-0 in the Sierra League.
It was a game that Douglas looked to be in control of for the better part.
Douglas struck first with 11:10 to play in the second quarter when Shaver hit Isaiah Geilenfeldt on a 48-yard touchdown strike.
Galena returned the ensuing kickoff to cut the lead to 7-6, but missed the extra point.
The Tigers marched right down the field and kicked a 22-yard field goal to take a 10-6 lead with 8:30 to play in the half.
After the Tiger defense forced a turnover on downs, Shaver hit Cameron Swain for a 39-yard gain down to the 5. Shaver converted on a keeper to give Douglas a 18-6 lead after the 2-point conversion.
Douglas tried to add to its lead but fumbled giving the ball to Galena at its 42 with just over a minute to play in the opening half.
Galena’s pass attack cut the lead to 18-13 with 33 seconds to play, as Galena quarterback Alex Laird hooked up with Bobby Hartley-Brown for a 49-yard pass play and a 9-yard touchdown.
Galena went up 19-18 early in the 4th quarter, but Douglas put together a great drive to take the lead with 8:14 to play.
The Tigers went to their workhorse, Trevor Kruger. The junior running back picked up a first down before the Tigers went back to the air. Geilenfeldt caught a 13-yard pass from Shaver to give the Tigers the ball at the 28. Shaver connected with Swain to put the ball on the 23 before taking a sack and setting up a 4th-and-7 from the 25.
Coach Ernie Monfiletto called Geilenfeldt over to the sideline, the pair had a conversation that lead to a 25-yard strike from Shaver to Geilenfeldt. Geilenfeldt faked toward the middle of the field before breaking to the sideline and getting wide open; a perfect throw from Shaver and Douglas had a 24-19 lead, after a failed 2-point attempt.
The Tigers looked to have sealed the game after Kody Gray came up an interception for the Tigers, but Galena got the last word after recovering the fumble.
The Tigers (1-1 in Sierra League, 3-4 overall) play at Bishop Manogue on Friday. The Miners were 45-7 winners over Carson. Galena (2-0 in Sierra League, 3-3 overall) plays at Wooster on Friday.