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Class 1A State Finals
Galena10-3 vs. LeRoy 13-0

By all accounts of past performances of 6-3 playoff teams, the Pirates should not be in the 1A State Finals, But as they say "that's why they play the games".

The Pirates, under Head Coach Chuck Korte & Ed Freed (co-Head Coaches) are by no means strangers to the State Finals. With appearances in the '97 & 99 Finals along with semi finals games in '96 & 2000, going deep into the playoffs is nothing new in Galena. Last year a 2nd round meeting with eventual state champs South Beloit sent them home early, but the repeat of last years regular season 8-1 record disappeared quick as they ended up going 6-3.

But this Galena team is much like the Little Engine that could. After fighting through the first round game withFreeport (Aquin). They avenged one of their 3 regular seaosn losses by beatingStockton13-10 in three overtime. That victory, may have lit a fire under the Pirates considering they lost 41-3 to Stockton in week 6.

The Pirates motto may not be "breaking even", but a look at their season team stats suggest otherwise. Among key stats such as first downs, rushing & passing attempts & total yards the Pirates come out just on top in all except total yards. The do however stand out big in one category, interceptions. The Pirates have been absolutely brutal on defense when it comes to passing against them. They are averaging one interception every 6 passes.

While the Pirates defense has been getting them though the later half of the season, they yet to allow more than 14 points since their week 7 loss to Lena (L.-Winslow), they do have an offense.

Senior running back Alex DuPlessis, 5'11 196 lbs. (287 carries for 1454 yards 18 TDs and a 5.0 average) has put most of the Pirates yards & a lot of their points. Matt Randecker 5'11 177 lbs, has added a nice chunk of yards himself though gaining 547 on the ground while scoring 7 TDs, two through the air. Not to take anything away from either of the two back, but they stand the most likely to thank their offensive line at the end of a victory seeing as how they average out to be one of the bigger lines in all 8 classes stepping on the scales at an average of 6'2 223lbs.

While quarterback Justin Carter hasn't been that busy on the offensive side of the ball, he and Chad Wienen certainly make their presence felt on the defensive side. They lead the team in tackles, combining for 235 total take downs.

Galena Roster

Also no stranger to the state finals as of at either. This 1A match up will be their third since '96 as well.

LeRoy had a challenge in defending it's title last year that most other school never have to worry about. They didn't just lose students to graduation, they lost students to another school. Downs (Tri-Valley) split from the coop with LeRoy and in turn may have shaken things up a bit. Regardless, the Panthers are back and now they are in 1A.

Offensively the Panthers score on the back of Justin Hubbart. With 25 TDs, all on the ground this 5'10 170lbs senior is lethally speedy. With an average of 8.3 yards a carry, it's no wonder he doesn't have more than 2047 yards. Don't just focus on Hubbart though, 6'1 190 junior QB, Kyle Koerner holds onto the ball about a third of the time on rushing plays. This has helped him rack up 626 yards on the ground. Add another 790 yards in the air with 10 TDs & only 4 interception and you could see how a defense might bite on the play action or other run fakes this offense has.

If the offense may be dangerous, then the defense has to be down right deadly. They're not the largest defense, as a matter of fact there are only 3 starters that are over 200 pounds, but they don't need to be, They are fast & skilled. While this team sports 7 guys who go both ways, the defense is made up of all seniors who are returning starters from last year. Like skilled college players these kids know where they are suppose to be on "D" and if you need the proof, the fact that they've shutout 6 teams and have yet to allow more than 8 points should do it.

LeRoy Roster

by Vincent Johnson







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