The Pleasant Spartans faced the Galion Tigers in the final regular season game of high school football Friday night, Oct. 31, 2014, at Galion.
GALION – Pleasant fought back Galion on Friday night to maintain its undefeated season and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 with a 40-21 decision.
Cold rain and gusts of wind kept Spartan quarterback Ryan Maniaci and Tiger quarterback Jacob Fryer from connecting consistently with their receivers. Kyle Galyk rumbled through the Galion defense to pick up three rushing touchdowns and one receiving for Pleasant.
Fumbles and missed passes spooked both offenses a bit; Pleasant scored directly after a Galion mistake.
“Both teams turned it over,” Spartans coach Aaron Cook said. “But, I felt like our kids responded and we definitely capitalized on their mistakes.”
The Tigers (6-4 overall, 4-3 Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference) ran with Pleasant in the first half, taking a 14-7 lead in the beginning of the second quarter before Pleasant scored twice. The teams went in to the locker rooms with the Spartans up 21-14.
Pleasant scored twice in the third quarter on two Galion turnovers before Fryer got loose for the Tigers and scored with 5:38 to go in the quarter. The Spartans found the end zone at the beginning of the final quarter and saw themselves through to their first playoff trip since 2011.
“We’re excited,” Cook said. “We’re proud of these kids, they’ve worked hard for this.”
Cade Lawrence ran offense for the Spartans, but put some big hits on Galion in the second half. Kevin Taylor and Clay Chaney also stood out on defense.
“To contain an offense like Galion’s, I thought our kids did really well,” said Cook, who is 43-10 in five seasons as Pleasant’s head coach.
Fryer and Arby Thompson led the Tiger offense, with Zach Throckmorton contributing on defense. Fryer had a 14-yard run and a 55-yard run; Cario Davison had a 78-yard kickoff return for Galion in the first quarter.
Maniaci and Lawrence added rushing TDs for the black and red.