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Cougars crush Grizzlies
by Dan Eckles
Sep 16, 2011 | 965 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars senior running back Conrad Tanyi keeps the football secured and close to his body on a first-quarter carry Friday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Cougars senior running back Conrad Tanyi keeps the football secured and close to his body on a first-quarter carry Friday.
The Spanish Springs Cougars offense looked potent and it did more than enough to make up for a few defensive shortcomings on its way to a 46-26 home win over Galena in Northern 4A League football action Friday night.

Spanish Springs scored seven touchdowns and racked up 471 yards of total offense while rolling over, around and through the Galena defense.

“We could not stop them,” Galena coach Steve Struzyk said. “Their offense had its way. We had our hands full tonight.”

Despite its defensive struggles, Galena (0-4) got within two scores on two occasions. The second of which came with 7:09 to go in the league tilt. Galena quarterback Brock Raggio found Zane Copenhaver for an 11-yard touchdown reception that helped the Grizzlies pull within 13 points, 39-26, with 7:09 to go in the game.

Unfortunately for the south Reno school, that’s as good as it got. It could not score again to get any closer and Spanish Springs tacked on a late score to account for the final margin.

SSHS senior running back Conrad Tanyi had the game’s final touchdown, a 7-yard rumble with 2:50 remaining on the game clock. Tanyi had a solid night, rushing for 133 yards on 23 carries.

“I’m really pleased,” Spanish Springs coach Scott Hare said. “I think we’re progressing well, every single week. I thought we had a really good offensive rhythm. We mixed it up with the run and the pass.”

Spanish Springs looked well in control of the contest in the waning seconds of the first half, but a defensive coverage blunder helped Galena hang around. Leading 26-7, Spanish Springs fell victim to a Galena hook-and-ladder trick play. The Cougars’ defensive backfield pinched up too tight in its prevent defense and that helped allow Galena’s Logan Harger to run through two tackles on his way to the end zone en route to a 44-yard touchdown on the final play of the first half.

Galena missed the extra-point kick, but found itself down just 26-13 at the intermission rather than three scores, or more.

The Grizzlies did grab the momentum early. They scored on the first play from scrimmage when Grizz defensive tackle Will Hawkins scooped up a loose ball after a fumbled Cougars snap. He than rambled 29 yards to the end zone as the GHS squad jumped on top 7-0 only 15 seconds into the conference clash.

Galena’s momentum was short-lived. The Spanish Springs offense quickly made up for the early miscue. The Cougars marched 73 yards to pay dirt and scored on a 1-yard Hunter Fralick quarterback sneak. However, Spanish Springs missed the extra-point kick and still trailed 7-6.

“That was great to get the lead, but then we gave it right back,” Struzyk said. “We have to learn how to take advantage of that. We didn’t respond at all.”

The missed kick did not faze the hosts. They forced a Galena punt on the ensuing possession and went right back to work. On their second play of the drive, Fralick hooked up with Vance Lively for a 44-yard pass-and-catch scoring combination. The Cougars went on top 14-7 after Fralick hit Lively on a two-point conversion with 5:43 to go in the initial quarter.

Fralick finished the night 10-11 passing for 289 yards and five touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing), a new single game school passing yardage record. Lively had 5 receptions for 177 yards.

The SSHS offense kept its rhythm following another Galena punt. A 56-yard scoring drive was capped by a 10-yard Tanyi touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.

Spanish Springs tacked on another touchdown before halftime. It came when Fralick and Lively, connected for a 68-yard touchdown. Lively caught a slant 10 yards off the line of scrimmage and out-ran the Galena defense to end zone. Another missed PAT kick gave the Cougars their 26-7 lead with 2:18 remaining before halftime.

In the second half, Spanish Springs scored first, a 9-yard pass over the middle from Fralick to Vinny Agliolo went for a score that forged the hosts ahead 32-13 with 4:51 showing on the third-quarter clock.

After Galena got within 32-19, Fralick threw another touchdown pass this time to Troy Weller, a 69-yard scoring play. Weller, who caught two balls for 74 yards, had to make a tough catch, stopping in a full sprint and jumping to reach back across his body before running away from Galena defenders for the score.

“I’m in a mode during the game,” Weller said. “Fralick threw the ball a little bit behind me because the defender was to the outside and then Vance (Lively) made a great block … Hunter is the best quarterback this program has ever had. He’s going to shatter a lot of records. And he just works so hard in practice.”

Spanish Springs returns to action Friday when it plays at Damonte Ranch. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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