Pirates bounced out of playoffs

Thursday, November 9, 2006
Galva-Holstein wingback Aaron Drury, left, runs the ball while teammates Tanner Gebers (33) and Bryce Dean (81), among others, block a host of Manning defenders in a Class A State Football Playoff in Manning Wednesday night. Photo by Reta Todd.

Manning handles G-H double-wing offense, 28-7

MANNING - The Galva-Holstein Pirates' feared double-wing running attack was effectively stopped by the Manning Bulldogs in a first-round Class A playoff game at Manning Wednesday night, as the Bulldogs scored an impressive 28-7 win over Coach Brad Knight's Galva-Holstein troops.

Galva-Holstein managed just two first downs and 144 yards of total offense against the undefeated Bulldogs, who in a non-district game last week beat Woodbury Central - the only team to beat the Pirates during the regular season.

Galva-Holstein coach Brad Knight comforts his team, including Austin Todd and Adrian Tracy, who understandably took the Class A Football Playoff loss at Manning to heart Wednesday night. The State Playoff qualifier trophy is in front of Todd. Photo by Reta Todd.

G-H running backs Bryce Dean (nine carries for 22 yards), Aaron Drury (seven carries for 12 yards), and Tanner Gebers (eight for 24 yards) were held far below their normal production Wednesday night. Quarterback Elijah Miller completed two of seven pass attempts and had three passes intercepted by the opportunistic Manning defense.

Fifty-eight of the Pirates' 144 yards of offense came on a single play, when Miller completed a pass to Sam Radke in the second quarter for the Pirates' lone touchdown.

Manning churned out 302 yards on the ground on 55 attempts, and attempted only three passes, completing one for nine yards.

Manning quarterback Brad Renze scored three of the four Bulldog touchdowns, on runs of six, 10, and 12 yards.

On defense, hard-working Austin Todd had 15 tackles for the Pirates, Bryce Dean 11, and Miller and Daniel Borchers eight apiece.

Pirate coach Brad Knight said his team "missed a few chances to make it a ballgame. In the playoffs against good teams, you have to take advantage of every chance you get."

Knight also said his team "played hard. I give them all the credit. We kept clawing and scratching and fighting, but we couldn't make plays when we needed to. It was a great year with a great group of kids. I enjoyed every minute we were together. I will miss these great seniors - they were tremendous leaders."

Turning his thoughts to next year, Coach Knight said "It is critical that we get stronger and faster. To get through District play and the playoffs, we need to have stronger, faster kids. It is up to (the players) to decide how good they want to be. If they decide to put the time in, the sweat, etc., we will be a very good team next fall. If not, we will be average."

For the season, Galva-Holstein finished with an 8-2 record. They outscored their opponents 334-135, and averaged 280.2 yards/game rushing (317.8 total offense). Dean was the team's leading rusher, gaining 918 yards on 133 carries and scoring 12 touchdowns; Drury had 694 yards on 106 carries, with 10 touchdowns; Gebers 422 yards on 65 carries, and Miller 49 carries for 289 yards. Miller was 16-47 passing for 362 yards, five touchdowns, and had seven passes intercepted.

On defense, Adrian Tracy intercepted seven opponent passes, and Austin Todd led the team with 100 tackles. Dean had 64, Borchers 54, Ben Andresen 37, and Adam Dreeszen 36.

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