GALION — The football season for the Galion Tigers ended on Friday night in a 63-39 loss to the visiting Marion Pleasant Spartans. Galion finishes the 2016 campaign with a 2-8 overall record and 1-6 in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Divsion. Pleasant wrapped up their season at 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the MOAC.
Pleasant started the scoring on the night punching in on a two-yard rushing touchdown and tacked on the extra point to take a very early 7-0 lead. Galion was able to get some points on the board with their first possession as well. Thanks in large part to a “flea flicker” play that ended with a 61-yard completion from quarterback Chase Cooke to wideout Tanner Crisman. Connor Moreton was called on to attempt the field goal and knocked the 36-yard kick through the uprights, making the score 7-3 in favor of the visitors. Pleasant would add three more rushing touchdowns and respective extra points in the first quarter to put them up by a score of 28-3.
The Tigers would strike first in the second period on a five-yard touchdown pass from Cooke to freshman Charles Reuer. Moreton would add the PAT to make the score 28-10. Pleasant would soon add another short rushing TD and the extra point to increase their lead to 35-10. Caleb Ivy would return the ensuing kickoff 73 yards, which would eventually lead to a 22-yard touchdown through the air from Cooke to Harrison Ivy. With the extra point, Galion trailed by 18, 35-17. Moreton would add the next three Galion points with a 44-yard field goal after a Reuer interception got the ball back in the hands of the Tigers. Already trailing 35-20, Galion allowed another rushing TD from the Spartans, this one from 10 yards out and with the PAT, Pleasant lead 42-20. Moreton would add a 37-yard FG before the end of the first half, sending Galion to the locker room down 42-23.
The Spartans and Tigers continued to trade off scoring drives in the second half. Pleasant would score first, this time an eight-yard TD run and extra point would put them up 49-23. On their next drive, Galion moved the ball down the field, with the drive ending in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Cooke to Reuer again. The addition of the extra point and the score sat at 49-30 in the Spartans’ favor. A three-yard rushing TD from Pleasant put them up 56-30 to end the third.
Pleasant needed just 47 seconds to score their first touchdown of the final quarter. It came on yet another short run of three yards and the score was 63-30. Caleb Ivy would add the final Galion touchdown on a 20-yard run and Moreton would miss the extra point to make the score 63-36. The Tigers proceeded to pull off the onside kick to give them another scoring chance with just 1:31 left in the final game. The most exciting moment of the evening for the Tigers came on their last play from scrimmage. Moreton, who already owns the Galion field goal record of 47-yards would come out on to the field to attempt a 52-yarder. The kick had just enough distance to clear the uprights, adding three more points to the Galion score and putting Moreton’s record that much more difficult to reach.
The Tigers’ offense was able to pick up a total of 352 yards on the night. Galion ran 26 rushing plays equating to 126 yards and a score and 226 yards through the air on 11/25 passing from Cooke for three touchdowns. Garrett Kuns was the leading rusher for the Tigers, picking up 93 yards on eight attempts. Caleb Ivy had just the one rush for the 20-yard touchdown. Reuer was the top reciver for head coach Matt Dick, grabbing six passes for 94 yards and the two touchdowns. Harrison Ivy had three grabs for 70 yards and a score and Tanner Crisman had 61 yards on the one grab.
Defensively, the Tigers were unable to handled the strong Spartans’ running game. Pleasant ran the ball 49 times against Galion for 358 yards and nine touchdowns. The Spartans attempted just eight passes on the night, completing four for just 85 yards. In total, the Spartans made their way to a victory with 57 total plays, gaining 443 yards.