GALION — Wilson Frankhouse and Hanif Donaldson hooked up on two first-half touchdown passes, helping the Tigers to a 17-13 first halff advantage Friday night.
Frankhouse then scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter as the Tigers built their lead to 24-17 and held on as Lucas tried to make a game of it in the fourth quarter.
Despite spending much of the final period in Galion territory, The Cubs were never able to get the ball into the end zone, thanks in part to a pair of fourth quarter sacks by the Tigers’ Caleb Branstetter.
With the win, the Tigers end their COVID-shortened regular-season at 3-3, and with a little momentum heading into the playoffs.
Next Saturday, Oct. 10, the Tigers start a playoff run for the second year in a row. Rocky River Lutheran West comes to town for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Donaldson, who missed the last two games, made his presence known early. Galion received the opening kick. On the first play from scrimmage, Frankhouse hit a wide-open Donaldson about 30 yards downfield, and the junior speedster outran the Lucas defense to the end zone for a 71-yard TD.
Dominic Pittman’s kick put the Tigers on top 7-0 with just 16 seconds gone in the first quarter.
Unofficially, Donaldson caught 4 passes for 130 yards and two TDs. He also was a factor on defense making one huge hit in the first half on a Lucas running back and playing tight defense in the backfield against the Cubs.
Frankhouse also had a big game. He completed 7 of 13 passes for 171 yard and two TDs, both to Donaldson. In the second half he ran 12 yards for the final score, breaking at least one tackle on his way to the end zone.
Lucas ends the regular on a two-game losing streak, having dropped games to Galion and Shelby. But the Cubs have a bye in Week 1 of the layoffs.
Still, the Cubs did not go down without a fight.
They answered Galion’s first score with an 86-yard, 15-play drive of their on, relying on their multi-faceted running game spurred by Grant Barrett’s feet and some effective interior line blocking. The drive was capped off by Barrett’s 1-yard TD run. Garrett had 46 yards on the drive, on the way to 85 yards on 18 carries for the game.
But Galion had an answer for the Lucas TD.
Garrett Vanderkooi returned the ensuing kickoff for 70 yards, giving the Tigers a first down at the Lucas 32. From there it took the Tigers 7 plays — and two costly Lucas penalties —to score. Frankhouse fired a 16-yard pass across the middle and Donaldson blocked out a Cubs’ defender with his body and fell into the end zone to put the Tigers up 14-7.
Galion would not trail during this game.
With 6:24 to go in the half, Pittman booted a 32-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 14-7 .
Also in the second quarter, the Cubs trimmed the score to 17-13 as Ethan Sauder reached the end zone on a 14-yard pass from Lucas QB Andrew Smollen with 4:28 to go. The point-after kick was blocked and Galion led 13-7
The only score in the second half was a 12-yard run by Frankhouse with 5:50 to go in the third period.