GALION — It was a tale of two halves on Friday night as Galion welcomed Carey to Unckrich Stadium. After trailing by two touchdowns at halftime, Carey put together a huge second-half run to head home with a 35-21 win.
“Their O-line and D-line in that second half shut us down,” Galion Coach Matt Dick said. “Getting Hanif (Donaldson) the ball is always going to be a part of our offense. Their D-line kiboshed a lot of things. Our O-line has some good film to watch. We have two sophomores on the O-line. Plenty of young guys that can grow.”
Carey (1-1) piled up 287 yards rushing and finished with 345 total yards. Quarterback Derek Lonsway and fullback Jordan Vallejo were the workhorses. Lonsway finished with 160 yards rushing and a touchdown. Vallejo rushed for 135 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Tigers quarterback Hanif Donaldson led Galion in rushing for the second straight game, finishing with 90 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. The senior was better behind center this week where he went 8-for-12 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown. Donaldson also caught two passes for 35 yards.
Sophomore Cooper Kent also saw time at quarterback and completed 5-of-12 passes for 56 yards.
“I just think that’s going to grow,” Dick said of Kent’s role in the offense. “Having some balance and moving Hanif around, even if Hanif isn’t getting the ball he attracts a lot and opens other people up.”
Landon Campbell caught 2 passes for 29 yards and a score. Jackson Hart made 2 receptions for 20 yards. Carson Teynor made 2 catches for 14 yards. Kyle Foust had 2 receptions for 10 yards. Gabe Ivy finished with 2 receptions for 7 yards.
The weather played a role in the opening quarter. Each team fumbled the ball, with the slippery conditions being a factor.
Lonsway hit Bryce Conti for a long reception that put the Blue Devils in business off the turnover. Vallejo ran hard for a 3-yard touchdown — the first of his four on the night — on fourth down to get Carey on the board first, giving the visitors a 7-0 edge at the 1:16 mark of the first quarter.
Donaldson took matters into his own hands to start the second quarter. After looking like he was tackled in the backfield, Donaldson broke it outside for a 61-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-all with 11:48 remaining.
Galion’s special teams got in on the action, recovering a fumbled snap on a punt and taking it a short way into the end zone for six points with 4:38 left in the half to grab a 13-7 lead.
Galion (1-1) then forced a turnover on downs with 2:09 remaining in the half at their own 43-yard line. Donaldson hit Campbell on a pass play to move the ball to the Carey 25-yard line. Campbell then caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Donaldson with 16 seconds remaining in the period to extend the Tigers lead to 21-7 at halftime.
Carey (1-1) broke its offensive silence in the second half when Vallejo carried it in from nine yards out to pull to the Blue Devils to within eight points with 1:30 left in the third period. The Tigers still led 21-13 heading into the final quarter.
The Blue Devils would keep the momentum as the running game really wore down the Tigers. Vallejo capped off a second straight scoring drive for Carey with a 4-yard carry into the end zone at the 8:18 mark of the fourth period. A two-point conversion attempt was good to make it 21-all.
On the very first pass of the following drive, Conti picked off Galion’s Donaldson to put Carey in business once again.
Carey was unable to convert the turnover into points as Galion’s Kyle Foust picked off Lonsway on the ensuing play. Nothing would come of that turnover, though, as the Carey defense hung tough. The Blue Devils regained possession at the 32-yard line in Galion territory following a short punt by the Tigers.
Carey did take advantage of the short field, however, as Lonsway broke outside for a 29-yard carry. Vallejo finished off the short drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Vallejo then bulled into the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt to make the score 29-21 Carey halfway through the fourth period.
On the following drive, Galion faced a fourth and 13 when Cooper Kent hit Donaldson up the middle for a big gain. The Tigers again faced a fourth and three yards, but Carey stood tough and forced the turnover, ending the Galion threat.
Lonsway then scored on a 57-yard run with 1:22 left in the game to seal the win and cap off a string of 28 straight points for the Blue Devils.
Dick said Galion contributed somewhat to the momentum swing that allowed Carey to take over the game in the second half.
“Early on we could run the ball, then there would be a holding penalty. Moving our feet and better technique (is key). This is a very good Carey D-line that would provide very good film for us,” Dick said.
Galion finished with 209 yards of total offense — 111 passing and 98 rushing. The Tigers cut down on penalties against Carey, but were still flagged five times for 40 yards.
Next week Galion will try to get back in the win column against Upper Sandusky. Dick hopes to see his team grow in the lead-up to that game.
“Developing our offense will be a work in progress as we add little wrinkles and still have a balance and be good at something,” Dick said.
Upper Sandusky (1-1) recovered from a 33-22 loss to River Valley in Week 1 to pick up a 48-14 victory over Mount Gilead in Week 2.
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