Royals coming to Tigertown for showdown
By JON KLEINKNECHT
Inquirer Sports Editor
It’s Showdown Week!
On Friday night, the Galion Tigers entertain the Wynford Royals at Un-ckrich Stadium in a game that has the North Central Conference championship on the line.
A win by Galion — the only undefeated team in NCC play — gives the locals at least a share of the conference title.
Wynford goes into the battle with just one loss in the NCC and is looking to win its eighth consecutive conference crown.
Both teams are 7–1 overall. Galion lost a non-conference season-opener to Mansfield Senior (7–1) 14–7 at Heise Park.
The Royals had a 66-games regular-season winning streak snapped — the longest active one in Ohio at the time — in the sixth week by Ontario, 26–7. The Warriors are also 4–1 in the NCC (5–3 overall) entering this week’s action.
A year ago, the Tigers were in the same position they are currently in going into the ninth week. A defeat at the hands of Mansfield Senior was followed by seven victories in a row.
However, they fell to Wynford in Bucyrus by a 22–20 count. A week later, they bested Ontario to finish the campaign at 8–2, missing the playoffs and being denied at least a share of the NCC crown as the Royals went 10–0 and followed with a deep tournament run.
“It’s not a revenge type thing,” said Galion sixth-year head coach Chris Hawkins about Friday’s monster game. “We didn’t achieve our goals last year (NCC title and a berth in the playoffs) and this is the week we slipped up. We lost in week nine and it left a bitter taste in our mouth. I told the kids I wanted them to remember how it felt to lose that game and miss our goals.”
He continued, “On the other hand, I want our kids to enjoy the excitement of this moment and soak up the sights and sounds of the journey. We are still in pursuit of our goals. It’s up to us.”
If numbers are an indication, it should be an epic match-up on the local gridiron.
The Tigers have the highest scoring offense in the NCC, averaging 41.1 points a game.
On the other side of the ball, the Royals possess the stingiest defense, yielding just 9 points an outing.
Galion has the second best defense in the loop, giving up 13.1 tallies per Friday night.
Wynford is the third highest scoring NCC squad averaging 33.4 points a contest.
The second half of this story is available in PRINTED editions of the Galion Inquirer.