Galva-Holstein holds off Manson NW Webster
Nothing comes easy in the world of prep playoff football.
Galva-Holstein found that out in its first-round playoff game on Wednesday night.
The Pirates, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, needed an interception late in the game to seal a 21-14 verdict over unranked Manson Northwest Webster and advance to the quarterfinal round.
Galva-Holstein, now 10-0 overall, will play second-ranked Akron-Westfield (10-0) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Holstein.
"We dodged a bullet," said Pirates coach Brad Knight. "Manson Northwest Webster is a terrific football team. We didn't play our best game, but we played well enough to win and this time of year that is what counts."
It looked like it was going to be easy for the Pirates as they scored on their first two offensive possessions of the game.
Galva-Holstein drove 51 yards in its first drive, which was capped off by a 17-yard TD run by Evan Platt at the 6:03 mark.
Manson, however, answered on its next possession. The Cougars drove 80 yards in 13 plays and finished it with a 25-yard TD pass from Jason Zehr to Luke Feuster. The PAT made it 7-7.
Galva-Holstein's first drive of the second quarter resulted in another touchdown. The Pirates drove 79 yards in seven plays, and it ended when Matt Egger threw a 15-yard TD pass to Chad Hustedt with 9:38 left in the first hald. David Cronin's PAT made it 14-7.
Manson again tried to answer, driving all the way down to the Pirates' 15-yard line, but a Zehr pass was intercepted by Keith Hustedt inside the 5-yard line.
Galva-Holstein had a golden opportunity to extend its lead in the third quarter, taking over possession on the Manson 35-yard line, but the Pirates could not capitalize.
Galva-Holstein extended its lead to 21-7 with 5:12 left in the game when Egger scored on a 1-yard run.
The play was actually a handoff to Platt, who was stopped at the line of scrimmage and alertly pitched the ball to the quarterback Egger who ran it in from a yard out.
Manson, however, answered the Pirates' score right away. Eric Miller took the ensuing kickoff and raced 80 yards for a touchdown to make it a 21-14 game.
Galva-Holstein took possession of the ball, but was forced to punt.
Manson took possession of the ball with 2:04 left to play, but a fourth-down pass was intercepted by Brian Borchers to seal the victory.
Galva-Holstein rushed for 261 yards in the game, including 122 by Daniel Lichter and 109 by Platt. Hustedt was held to 44 yards. The Pirates threw for 36 yards for a total of 297 in offense.
Manson rushed for 171 yards and passed for 47 for a total of 218 in offense.
Elijah Kastner led the Pirates on defense with 12 tackles. Keith Hustedt had 11 stops, Tyler Gebers 10, and Brett Friedrichsen and Borchers nine apiece.
"We made it through the first round jinx we've had and that monkey is off our back," Knight said. "Now, we'll get back to work and try to figure out how to give Akron-Westfield a run for their money."