Week 5: Le-Win vs Galena
Football made its way back to the Le-Win Athletic Bowl in this shortened spring season as the #1 ranked Panthers played host to the 8th ranked Galena Pirates.
The sparks went off just 13 seconds into the game as Ethan Hefel connected with Khalid Newton for an 80 yard TD pass. Kevin Trinidad added the PAT to put Galena in front 7-0.
Things looked bleak for the Panthers as Evan England fumbled the ball and Galena's Isaac Somers jumped on it giving the Pirates the ball back at the Le-Win 30 yard line.
The Panther defense would hold as Zach White picked off a Hefel pass intended for Newton in the end zone.
Le-Win would then March 80 yards in 5:16 as Ethan Fye would take the ball off right end for 6. The 2 point run by Fye failed as Galena held a 7-6 lead they carried into the 2nd quarter.
After exchanging possessions, Le-Win forced Galena into a quick 3 and out to start the 2nd quarter. The Panthers would fight and grind for every yard on an 85 yard drive that spanned 8:47 as Jack Setterstrom capped the drive with an emphatic, leg pumping, bulldozing 9 yard dive up the gut to put the Panthers in front. Luke Benson connected with Brody Mahon for the 2 point conversion to give Le-Win a 14-7 lead they would take to halftime.
Early in the 3rd quarter on Le-Win's first possession Ethan Fye would get a 16 yard off right end after a flag was thrown for holding, but he fumbled the ball at the Pirate 19 yard line. Will Nack would pick it up and run it back for an apparent score. After much debate and controversy between both sidelines with the officials, the refs ruled Galena recovered a fumble but an inadvertent whistle stopped the play. The end result was Galena getting the ball at their own 19 yard line.
The Le-Win defense would shut down the Pirates, forcing a punt. The following 2 possessions saw the Panthers start in Galena territory, but the Pirates would hold.
Galena would take over at their own 29 yard line with 1:41 left in the 3rd still trailing 14-7. A big end reverse run by Newton would put Galena into Le-Win territory as the game moved into the 4th quarter. Hefel would connect on passes to Newton and Sam Hesselbacher and Galena was knocking on the door.
The Pirates appeared to score as Hefel scrambled left and shuffled the ball forward to Brady Schemehorn in the end zone. As Hefel let go he was hit hard at the 2 yard line and there was a flag, but it wasn't for a late hit. Hefel's pass was thrown from the 3 yard line and the line of scrimmage was at the 5 yard line, according to the official. After viewing replay, this was a missed call by the line judge as Hefel was behind the 5 yard line when he pitched the ball forward, but his progression after release carried him to the 3 yard line where he was then hit. However, a loss of down with a 5 yard penalty backed the Pirates up to the 10 for a 4th and goal.
On the ensuing play Hefel again was flushed from the pocket to his left, but he found Schemehorn in the back left corner of the end zone. Schemehorn went up and grabbed the ball with his right hand, and when he came down to the ground he had possession of the ball as his back side hit the grass, then when his elbow hit the ground the ball came out of his hand ruling for an incomplete pass. NFHS rules don't have a continuation of a catch rule like the NFL, therefore once possession is established in the end zone it is a touchdown. However, the line judge ruled it incomplete and Galena turned the ball over on downs.
The Pirates would get one more opportunity with 5:32 left in the game at their own 33 yard line. After 2 incompletions and a sack on Hefel, Galena was forced to punt with just over 4 minutes remaining and the Panthers would never give the ball back.
Le-Win would churn out a couple first downs and head to victory formation after a very physical, hard hitting game that brought back memories of yesteryear.
Le-Win was led on the ground by Ethan Fye, who finished the night with 150 yards rushing on 26 attempts and 1 TD. Jack Setterstrom added 90 yards rushing on 14 attempts and the game winning TD. Evan England chipped in 42 yards rushing. On defense, linebacker Cole Gerber was all over creating havoc in the backfield and in special teams.
Galena was led by Ethan Hefel's 124 yards passing and 1 TD. Khalid Newton pulled in 3 passes for 101 yards and 1 TD. Sam Hesselbacher added 23 yards receiving and Peyton Bauer finished with 33 yards rushing.
Le-Win (3-1) will play host to Du-Pec (3-1) in an NUIC North battle for the conference crown next week.
Galena (4-1) will finish the season at home in a rivalry game with East Dubuque (1-4).