Week 1: Galena vs EPC
Heading into this spring season there were a lot of questions to be answered. One of those questions were answered Saturday night in Freeport as the Galena Pirates walked out with a 28-6 win over the EPC Wildcatz for the first time since the 2015 season. Both teams featured seasoned returners and newcomers, but the skill returning for Galena outweighed that of EPC.
The game started as a slugfest as EPC opened the game at the Galena 40 yard line after a big opening kick return, but the drive stalled out 10 yards later on a turnover on downs. Galena wouldn't favor much better as they were forced to punt on their first series. Then the scoring began.
The Wildcatz struck first blood after first year quarterback Kellen Henze would connect on passes to Kamden Baber, Logan Krell, and Jaxson Sturtevant to move the ball down the field and deep into Galena territory. Henze would add a couple scrambles in there, to help move the ball, and his final run was for 3 yards and the score to put EPC on the board with just 12 seconds remaining in the 1st quarter. The extra point try failed as EPC had a 6-0 lead headed to the 2nd quarter.
The Pirates would respond on the very next drive, covering 65 yards in just over 4 minutes as Peyton Bauer would punch it in from a yard out to tie the score at 6 with 8:53 to play before half.
The Pirates were back in business as Ethan Hefel would intercept a Henze pass and just over a minute later Hefel would connect with Brady Schemehorn for a 33 yard touchdown to put Galena in front for good 12-6 with 5:43 to go before half.
The Wildcatz had some opportunities as Kamden Baber would force two fumbles in consecutive series that were recovered by teammate Tyson Clark and Christian Fischer, but those opportunities would end in turnovers as well as Spencer Crawford would recover a fumble for Galena and Joey Heller would get an interception on the next series to end the half.
The second half was owned by Galena, as they would score on every series except the last one, which was the time chewing drive to run out the clock. Galena would add a 25 yard field goal by Kevin Trinidad, Bauer would get another rushing touchdown, and Hefel would connect again with Schemehorn from 27 yards out to pull away and get the win for Galena.
The Pirates were led by Peyton Bauer who finished with 137 yards rushing on 23 attempts and 2 TD's. Ethan Hefel would go 5-11 passing for 111 yards and 2 TD's with is main target in Brady Schemehorn haulingin 3 passes for 73 yards and 2 TD's.
EPC was led by Kellen Henze who went 11-18 for 86 yards and rushed for 30 yards and 1 TD in his debut. Logan Krell was held to 22 yards rushing on 10 attempts, while Wyatt Baber led the Catz rushing attack with 32 yards on 2 attempts. Jaxson Sturtevant hauled in 3 passes for 33 yards to lead EPC in receiving.
Galena (1-0) will play host to West Carroll (0-0) next Saturday at Southwestern High School in Hazel Green, WI. The Wildcatz (0-1) will return to action next Friday against Amboy (0-0), with that game to be played either at The Pasture in Pearl City, or at Pretzel Stadium for another week.