By Rick Dunaway
The Joplin Globe
GALENA, Kan. —
Girard’s Anthony Scholes picked up the opening kickoff on the bounce at the 24-yard line, streaked down the sideline and handed stunned Galena a deficit just 11 seconds into their CNC League game.
It didn’t get much better for Galena after that, as the Trojans pounded the Bulldogs 41-12 Friday night.
A plethora of mistakes by starting quarterback Nick Sivert sent him packing from the offensive unit and handed Girard scoring opportunities twice in a row.
Girard’s Nathan George intercepted Sivert at his own 18-yard line to spawn a 13-play scoring drive capped by Brayden Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown leap. Just seconds later, Devin Vail recovered Sivert’s fumbled snap at the Bulldogs’ 29-yard line. That gave Scholes the opportunity for an 8-yard touchdown run just four plays later.
Galena coach Beau Sarwinski substituted Kyler Cook for Sivert on offense, but Cook also struggled early in his stint before settling down.
Sarwinski hinted the quarterback change might be permanent.
“That’s something we’ll be talking about next week,” Sarwinski said.
Girard had a quarterback change forced on it, as well, as officials ejected Brayden Johnson on a second-quarter personal foul. But by then, the Trojans had built a 26-0 lead. In fact, Girard scored the game’s first 34 points before Cook found Logan Johnson on a 10-yard scoring pass with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Girard coach Leon Miller said the touchdown on the opening kickoff played a significant role in the lopsided contest.
“I think that put them back on their heels,” Miller said of Galena. “We got up early and that kind of played into our hands, as far as being able to do what we wanted to do. I think it took them out of their game plan, too, as far as forcing them to throw the football a lot more than they wanted.”
Scholes rushed for 152 yards on 18 carries, including a 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter. His other rushing touchdowns came from 8 and 31 yards out.
Tayler Lewis added 99 yards on 12 carries for the Trojans (5-1, 5-0 league).
Sivert helped atone for his offensive woes with a defensive and special teams performance that included an 85-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
Galena (4-2, 3-2) got 104 rushing yards from Jacob Helton, but his second-half opportunities were few, as the Bulldogs were forced to throw the football in an attempt to get back into the game.
“Take nothing away from Girard,” Sawinski said. “They are a good football team, Scholes is an outstanding athlete, and we wish them the best of luck. We just didn’t have an answer for them.”