MOAC Week 6
Heise Park - Galion
Galion stops Lucas in regular-season finale
GALION -- Galion and Lucas were both where they wanted to be Friday night after the Tigers' 24-13 win against the Cubs at Unckrich Stadium.
The Tigers evened their record at 3-3 and have momentum going into next Saturday night's Division IV home playoff game against Rocky River Lutheran West (2-4).
Lucas (4-2) -- which finished a rugged march through a six-week regular season all on the road against largely larger schools -- has a bye in the first round of the Division VII playoffs and will play at home on Oct. 16 against the winner of the Mapleton-Cuyahoga Heights game.
Galion coach Matt Dick, whose team has missed some key components due to suspension and injury the last two weeks (losses to Shelby and Ontario), had all of his weapons back against the Cubs.
-- Senior quarterback Wilson Frankhouse completed seven of 13 passes for 168 yards and two TDS. He also had a 12-yard scoring run.
-- Senior wide receiver Hanif Donaldson had four catches for 130 yards and two TDs, including a 71-yard bomb on a deep post on the game's first play from scrimmage. He also carried the ball seven times for 28 yards.
-- Senior kicker Dominic Pittman continued to be a weapon for the Tigers, kicking a 31-yard field goal and nailing all three PAT attempts.
HUNGRY FOR PLAYOFF SUCCESS: Galion has not won a playoff game since the Tigers won the state title in 1985. Dick said that has motivated his team.
"It was nice to have a good week of practice. We've been really struggling, especially our young offensive lineman, to block our good defensive line in practice all season," Dick said.
"For whatever reason, those freshmen and sophomores started to click and it was way, way better. I thought we could take a step and we saw it in practice. And hopefully we're gonna have another big week of practice this week and take another step next week," Dick said.
"I felt when the season started, we were as good as anyone in our (Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference). When we have all the bullets and we stay healthy, I thought we could play with anybody. And then we had some adversity and we had to struggle through it," Dick said.
Galion's defense quieted the normally strong Lucas ground game, holding the Cubs to 165 rushing yards, including just 29 in the second half.
"Our defense has been pretty good all season, especially when we're healthy up front. Sometimes we're a little spotty and give up big plays, but we have pretty good on defense the last two seasons," Dick said.
PLAYOFF TESTED: Lucas coach Scott Spitler, who led his Cubs to the Division VII state title game last year, was not happy with the loss, even to the larger-school Tigers.
Lucas played only one school its own size this season and administered a 42-0 beating against Troy Christian. It played four Division IV teams and one Division V team, all MOAC schools in the COVID-19 affected season.
Lucas started the season 4-0 before losing at unbeaten Shelby last week.
"We want to win. That's our mindset. That's why I saw a lot of disappointed faces after the game. The good thing about it is our kids care. We had six regular-season games and they expected to go 6-0," Spitler said.
"We want to win every time we take the football field, but in the last couple of weeks, we just didn't get it done. The regular season is over and it's time to get ready for our first playoff game.
"We made too many mistakes tonight against a very good football team, but I'll tell you what, (Donaldson) being on there on the field for them makes huge difference in their offense. He wasn't on any of the films we saw.
"Frankhouse is unbelievable, but when you have (Donaldson) with him ... he is just a tremendous playmaker that hit us a couple of times early," Spitler said.
"We will watch this film, clean some things up, and then get back to work to make sure Lucas is firing on all cylinders in two weeks when we play at home," Spitler said.
Sophomore Grant Barrett led Lucas with 19 carries for 74 yards, the bulk of which came in the first quarter. He had a one-yard TD run in the first quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Smollen completed nine of 22 passes for 109 yards. Senior Ethan Sauder caught five of those passes for 70 yards. Sauder also had a 14-yard TD run in the second