BY NICK CORN
Coming off a 21-9 loss last week to Riverton, Girard was handled by a physical Galena team. It may have been the wrong time to face the Bulldogs; as they were edged out by Colgan 12-16 a week ago, adding a little extra motivation to the talented group.
The fields were dry this week, but both teams had trouble holding on to the ball. Galena lost four fumbles on the night, and Girard lost possession five times with four fumbles and an interception. The Trojans were unable to capitalize on any of the Bulldog turnovers. Galena on the other hand turned two Girard giveaways into touchdowns. Girard was forced to punt on their first possession, and the home team Bulldogs quickly went 49 yards for a score to take a 6-0 lead. After a Girard turnover and a Galena punt, junior running back Trey Eaton broke off a 44-yard run to the Galena one yard line, setting the Trojans up for a touchdown. Senior quarterback Tucker Johnston then took it in to tie the game with 3:58 left to go in the first quarter. The next four possessions went as follows: Galena fumble; Girard turnover on downs; Galena fumble; Girard fumble. A 38-yard completion from Galena’s Kyler Cook to Zach Bankson set up a Bulldog touchdown, giving them a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter. The Trojans were able to pick up a first down before being forced to punt it away. The Bulldogs then went 54 yards and capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cook to Logan Johnson to take a 22-6 lead. Johnson had a huge night for the Bulldogs, racking up 111 yards on the ground along with three scores and 46 yards through the air with another touchdown. Cook passed for 105 yards and a score.
After the Bulldogs extended their lead, the Trojans had a couple of shots to score before half but couldn’t punch it in. Galena led by 16 at intermission. On the first drive of the second half, the Bulldogs ate nearly four minutes and thirty second off the clock while taking the pigskin 69 yards on 12 plays and extending their lead to 30-6. After a Girard fumble on the ensuing drive, Galena started at the Trojan’s nine yard line and ran one in from five yards out to take a 36-6 lead. The fourth quarter would go scoreless, and Galena would earn the win 36-6, improving their record to 1-1; the Trojans are 0-2 on the young season. Eaton carried the load for Girard on the night, racking up 70 yards on 13 carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Trojans gained 109 rushing yards as a team on 34 carries, and Johnston added another 20 through the air on five completions.
The Bulldogs carried the ball 51 times for 231 yards and completed five passes for 105 yards. Galena will face Columbus (2-0) next week in what will likely be the game of the week in the CNC, and Girard will face Baxter Springs (0-2) at home. The Trojans will look to right the ship against a struggling league opponent.