The Seccaium Park Trophy is staying in Galion for yet another year.
The 2015 edition of the football Tigers made sure of that Friday, handing arch-rival Bucyrus a 55-0 defeat at the BHS Athletic Complex in the season opener for both ballclubs.
It marked the seventh consecutive season the Tigers have knocked off their oldest foe, and the eighth time in the last 10 seasons Galion has beaten Bucyrus. The Tigers now lead the series 61-47-7.
“They’ve worked hard all summer for this one game, and they came out tonight and they executed on both sides of the ball,” said Galion acting head coach Todd Roston. Roston stood in for Galion head coach Chris Hawkins who was serving a one-game suspension mandated by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for violation of regulations regarding recruiting of student athletes.
“Coach (Dick) Predmore said before the game that we had to execute in all three phases, and we did that tonight. Special teams was great. Defense was outstanding and the offense came through,” Roston added.
Drake Barnett rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. He scored on runs of nine and 39 yards in the first quarter and bolted 25 yards for his final TD in the third period.
Quarterback Jacob Fryer rushed for 103 yards and one score on just five touches. He scored on a 51-yard sprint in the opening period, but left the game with a lower leg injury in the second quarter and did not return. His status is unknown.
Kevin Bowshier and Ryan Talbott came off the bench and each runner contributed a touchdown. Bowshier carried eight times for 70 yards and Talbott had five carries for 36 yards. Backup quarterback Caleb Ivy added 11 yards to the Tigers’ total of 377 rushing yards.
Ivy connected on 4-of-9 passing attempts for 35 yards. Colton Moore caught three balls for 30 yards and Tyler Castline made one catch for five yards.
Galion rolled up 412 total yards of offense.
“Those offensive linemen did an outstanding job,” Roston said. “They were opening up holes all night. It didn’t matter who the back was, they were giving them holes to run in. You can’t say enough about what the offensive line did tonight.”
Moore was a direct beneficiary of the intense pressure the Galion front four applied to Bucyrus quarterback Gavin Lewis all game long. Moore returned an interception 21 yards for a defensive touchdown with 5:42 to play in the third quarter.
Dominick Monk recorded two of the Tigers’ four sacks. Galion’s defense also came up with a fumble recovery and forced the Bucyrus offense to turn the ball over on downs twice.
“Coach Predmore and the coaches really did a great job on the defensive side, getting a game plan together to shut them down,” Roston said. “And they did that. I mean, there were times when we were getting the ball back on offense and I wasn’t even ready because we got the ball back so fast. It was an outstanding job by our whole defensive unit.”
Placekicker Conner Moreton helped complete Galion’s three-phase dominance of the game, connecting on 2-of-3 field goal attempts and all seven extra point attempts. Moreton hit kicks of 21 and 32 yards. His lone miss was a 31-yard attempt, which he pushed just wide right of the goal post.
Isaiah Davis had a scoop and score called back on a muffed punt in the fourth quarter or the special teams would’ve added to the scoring. The kickoff team forced and recovered a fumble.
Tough night for Bucyrus
“Galion’s a really good ballclub,” said Bucyrus head coach Aaron Eckert. “Galion’s got the complete package. We got beat in every facet of the game; special teams, on the offensive line and defensive line. We couldn’t win the match-ups on the outside. It was a complete and utter game that we just got blown out in.”
Galion held Eckert’s Redmen to just 40 total yards — 25 passing and 15 rushing. Quarterback Gavin Lewis was 6-for-13 with one interception. Kade Slagle was the top ball carrier, rushing for 14 yards on six carries.
Despite the blowout loss, Eckert said he was pleased with the attitude and heart the Redmen displayed.
“But going forward, we gave great effort, and we’re going to work to get better each and every week,” Eckert said.
Galion (1-0) plays its home opener for 2015 next Friday against the Columbus Crusaders. The Crusaders open their season Saturday against Noblesville (Ind.) at Otterbein University.
Bucyrus (0-1) plays at Crestline in Week 2.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.
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