Chapter 112: Tigers to tangle with Redmen
By JON KLEINKNECHT
inquirer Sports Editor
The mid-way point of the regular season has the Tigers taking on a long-time foe in the Bucyrus Redmen this Friday at Unckrich Stadium.
It will be the 112th gridiron meetings between the two programs. One of the five oldest rivalries in Ohio, the series began in 1898. Galion has a record of 57–47-7 against the Redmen, including victories in each of the past three seasons.
The Orange-and-Blue put a three-game winning streak on the line, including a 1–0 North Central Conference mark. Bucyrus is 2–2 overall and 0–1 in the conference. The Redmen fell 47–25 to Ontario last week in their conference-opener.
The Tigers will be without the services of standout junior Dareian Watkins for at least two weeks. He had knee surgery on Monday to repair a torn meniscus.
That being the case, the quarterbacking duties will be handled by senior Austin Prosser. Prosser has played several series at the position this season and has performed quite well.
“I have the utmost confidence in him,” said Galion head coach Chris Hawkins. “He’d be the starter for a lot of teams in the area. I’m excited for him.”
Offensively, Prosser has spent the majority of the time as a wide receiver. He leads the Tigers with 4 touchdown receptions. Prosser has also rushed for a touchdown and thrown a scoring pass.
Bucyrus comes to Tigertown averaging 29 points a game and allowing 35.5. Sophomore quarterback Cole Murtiff and the versatile Micheal Purcell are a productive two-headed monster for the Redmen. Murtiff is second in the conference in passing having completed 65-of-101 passes for 797 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s been intercepted 5 times. Murtiff also leads the Redmen in rushing with 353 yards on 80 carries and a trio of six-pointers.
Purcell is tops in the NCC in receiving with 35 catches for 421 yards. He also has 6 rushing touchdowns, and is the second-leading ground-gainer for Bucyrus with 158 stripes courtesy of 36 attempts. He has returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
“He is their go-to player,” Hawkins said of Purcell. “They want to give him the ball. Defensively, we need to take away their big guns.”
And speaking of defense, the Orange-and-Blue recorded 10 sacks in a 28–0 blasting of Upper Sandusky five days ago. Senior nose tackle Mikey Hollis racked up 3 1/2, giving him a conference-best 8. The Tigers yield an average of 12.3 points per Friday, and have held two opponents to 7 points or less.
Galion senior runningback David Nay has broken the school career rushing record. With 471 yards in the first 4 weeks, he has 2,866 in his career. 1986 GHS graduate and All-Ohioan Rob Monnett held the previous standard of 2,758.
Kickoff Friday is at 7 p.m.