GALENA — Friday was the opening night of district play in the state of Kansas at Abbey Field in Galena that pitted two CNC league powerhouses against each other—Coach Beau Sarwinski’s Galena Bulldogs and Coach Chuck Smith’s Colgan Panthers. Going into the game, both team were 4-2 in league play. Both lost to Girard. Colgan also lost to Frontenac while Galena lost to Columbus. The CNC standings going into the game had Colgan ranked number three with Galena just behind at number four.
The game had promise to be a grudge match that saw Bulldog junior quarterback Nick Sivert fumble the ball with 10:08 left in the second quarter with the Panthers recovering in Colgan territory.
Colgan senior Connor Dayton would rush into the endzone. Panther junior kicker/punter/tight end Aaron Twarog would toe in the PAT making the score 7-0 in favor of Colgan.
In the first half, the Bulldogs rushing attach consisted of Sivert for minus-3 yards on three carries. Senior running back Jacob Helton would get the handoff four times for zero yardage. Sophomore running back Logan Johnson was for successful in his attempts on six carries for 43 yards. Senior Trenton Little had 46 yards on 14 carries.
Bulldog quarterback Sivert would go 0 for 2 passing in the first half of play.
The Panthers would rush 15 times for 125 yards.
The Colgan rushing attack rounded out with senior quarterback Dyson Dechant rushing two times for minus-2 yards. Junior tailback Drew Dawson rushed once for seven yards. Senior tailback Connor Dayton was much more successful running 11 times for a total of 117 yards and a touchdown. VJ Piccini ran one time for a pick-up of three yards.
The Panther aerial attack by Dechant was shut down as he threw incomplete seven times.
Colgan moved the ball quickly into Galena territory at the start of the second half. The drive stalled at the Galena 34-yard line when the Panthers fumbled with the Bulldogs recovering. Galena would go three and out after a 40-yard punt by Bulldog Sivert.
Colgan started their drive at their own 44-yard line. Panther Dayton would run for one yard and on first down and 20 yards on second down getting the ball to the Galena 45-yard line. Fullback Piccini ran for four yards making it second and six from the Galena 31-yard line. Dayton would rumble for 29 yards making it first and goal with two yards to hit the endzone. Dayton would get the six points on the next play as he ran into the endzone with 4:37 left in the third quarter. Twarog would knock through the PAT to bring the score to 14-0 in favor of the Panthers.
Galena would have something cooking again on offense but would fumble the snap at the 2:36 mark in the third with Colgan recovering at the Galena 20-yard line. It would be a steady dose of running from Dayton. Eventually, Piccini would get the call and rush into the endzone with 24.9 seconds left in the third quarter. Twarog tacked on the extra point bringing what would be the final score to 21-0 in favor of Colgan.
The fourth quarter would see a flurry on penalties called on the Bulldogs with a holding penalty, an offside penalty, and a delay of game penalty. The Panthers would be whistled for delay of game with seconds left to play in the fourth quarter.
The only real highlight in the fourth quarter for either team was a quarterback sack by Bulldog defensive end Mikey Seitz on Panther quarterback Dechant. Both teams mostly traded punts back and forth until time expired
“That was a tough game tonight. Colgan played hard. Our kids’ played really hard. I thought they played really hard,” Sarwinski said. “It was a real physical game, and I’m proud of our kids’ effort. We got to keep trying to improve a little bit and try to get ready for next week. I thought our kids played real hard. Hopefully, we can get ready to go next week.”
The final result was 21-0 with Colgan Panthers defeating the Galena Bulldogs.
District action continues next week as the Colgan Panthers (5-2) overall (4-2) in the CNC (1-0) take on the Riverton Rams (4-3) overall (3-3) in the CNC (0-1) at home at Hutchinson Field with a scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff
The Galena Bulldogs (4-3) overall (3-3) in the CNC and (0-1) in district play take on the Southeast Lancers (6-1) overall (5-1) in the CNC and (1-0) in district play. This is another CNC and district matchup in Galena at Abbey Field with kickoff slated for Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.