WELLSVILLE - The Galena fans were well traveled as they watched the Bulldogs MVP: It was the Bulldog's offensive and defensive lines in the class 3A regional playoffs. Galena traveled to Wellsville and came home with a 28-6 victory. The offensive line allowed Galena to run 28 plays for over 200 yards in the first half, and pick up 11 first downs. Wellsville was limited to 19 offensive plays and only 49 yards.
The Eagles received 30 yards of penalties on the their opening drive, while getting down to Galena’s 16, but eventually turned the ball over on downs. With runs by Joseph and Michael Helton, and Kooper Lawson, the Bulldogs moved up to the Eagle's 27. Garrett Hall, at 6’ 4”, leaped up and over his defender with a great catch to get Galena on the scoreboard early.
Galena had an impressive drive at the end of the first period and at the start of the second. Again, the Heltons, Lawson, and quarterback J.C. Shelton moved 64 yards to the Bulldog 7-yard line. Lawson got stopped just six inches away for scoring. Shelton crossed the goal line on a keeper. Hall’s two PAT kicks put Galena up 14-0.
After three Bulldog penalties early in the third quarter, the Eagles took over on downs. Wellsville went from their own 23 down to Galena’s 31. After a shuttle pass, and a Bulldog personal foul, the moved up to the 15. A pass from Zach Vance to Chase Farley put the Eagles on the scoreboard down 14-6 for their only points of the game.
After the kick off Joseph Helton scored from three yards out. Galena added their fourth touchdown in the fourth quarter. The TD was set up by Shelton running to the 35, then to the 30, and with a spin move to the 25. Joseph Helton added a yard. Next Shelton hurdled one player, then two to get across the goal line. A penalty negated the run. Shelton pitched to Joseph Helton. A targeting infraction on Helton put the Bulldogs at the 15, and a new set of downs. Shelton bunny hops a defender and gets to the seven. Shelton then got to the corner to again cross the goal line. Lawson ran the 2-point conversion.
With two minutes left in the game, and leading 28-6, Coach Sarwinski’s young men did a classy move. The Bulldogs drove 65 yards down inside the Eagles 10, with Shelton kneeling with the ball they didn’t add insult to injury.
Shelton only passed for 89 yards, but Hall was on the receiving end for 76 of them on his three catches. Galena amassed 342 yards on the ground. Joseph Helton led the ground game with 18 carries running for 125 yards. Michael Helton ran seven times for 53, and Lawson went 11 times for 66. Wellsville going into the game had averaged over 350 yards per game. They were held to 143 total in their final 2017 game.
As the regional champions, the Bulldogs will host perennial powerhouse Silver Lake this weekend. Both Galena and Silver Lake are undefeated at 11-0 for the season. It’s been six years since the Bulldogs has advanced this far into the playoffs, so this game should be something to attend.