Galileo Beat Lincoln to Advance to AAA Championship
Galileo Rallies Twice to Top Defending Champs
After Galileo’s defense forced the visiting Lincoln Mustangs to a 3-and-out to start the game, Galileo’s offense followed with two duds which left Lincoln with two possessions already in the Lions’ territory, at the 35 and the 25 respectively. The Mustangs turned those opportunities into points to take a commanding 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Galileo answered quickly with the next possession as sophomore sensation, Yarvell Smith broke a tackle in the back field and sprung loose down the sideline for 70 yards, putting the Lions in business at Lincoln’s 10 yard line as the quarter ended. Three plays later in the second quarter, senior quarterback, Adrian Poot punched it in on a 1-yard QB sneak. Poot received a hand-off from Smith for the point after to make it 14-8, giving the Lions new life. Rallying behind it’s renewed offense, Galileo’s defense held true by stopping the Mustangs on a 4th down play at Galileo’s 33 yard line. Methodically working his offense down the field, Poot eventually found Ronald Fox for an 8-yard touchdown reception at the right pylon. The failed QB sneak on the point after left the game at a dead-even 14-14 going into the half.
Galileo started the second half with a 44-yard pass from Poot to Reese Bickart to Lincoln’s 18. Unfortunately, the same combo turned out to be a Mustang’s interception in the end zone, leaving the Lions dejected. What followed was even more excruciating than the interception-Lincoln took control at their 20 and bullied the Lions with their ground game by running 17 plays for 72 yards to Galileo’s 8 yard line before pooching a field goal that bounced high off the goalpost bar and lazily falling in for 3 points. The 18-play drama ate up the entire third quarter and went 2 plays into the fourth. Down once again, 17-14, the Lions were looking for another answer. It turned out that two plays later, it was the same answer as Smith escaped and put on the after-burners for a 76 yard shocker. A lob to Bickart for the point after made it a 22-17 lead for the Lions and they knew they would have to defend if they wanted to move on. With nearly six minutes remaining, this was not easy task. Smith turned out to be quite the hero in this game with his defensive play-his move to middle linebacker allowed him to make plays and with each tackle he made, his teammates rallied behind him. Senior outside backer, Dasan King and freshman defensive tackle, Joseph Ale took turns shutting down the left side where Lincoln was most dominant with their run. It took a fourth down pass from Lincoln to a diving receiver going out of bounds to keep things going but at 4th and 15 at the Lions’ 25 and less than a minute remaining, Lincoln was forced to throw. This time around, Galileo made it’s stand-Bickart who was inserted for passing situations, picked off a desperation pass to end the game. Prior to being dog-piled at Galileo’s sideline, Bickart returned the best interception of the season for 25 yards to Galileo’s 40 to cheers of a jubilant home crowd.
Smith finished with an eye-popping 8 carries for 164 yards and 1 touchdown. Poot completed 5 of 7 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown along with an interception. He also ran the ball 4 times for 12 yards and a score.
In the end, it seemed Galileo had just enough to keep the season alive. Galileo moves on to face #1 seed, Mission on Saturday, December 2nd at Kezar with kick-off scheduled for 1pm. In their only meeting of the season, also at Kezar, Mission rallied for a 40-36 victory.
Photos by R. Schnitzer