Galanti’s royal performance leads Daniel Boone past Reading, 35-12

Union — At just 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, Paul Galanti hardly looks like high school football royalty.

Friday night, however, the Daniel Boone senior turned Brazinsky Stadium into his own virtual kingdom.

Galanti rushed for a carer-best 226 yards and two touchdowns — including a game-changing 80-yard TD burst late in the third quarter — as the Blazers rallied for the game’s final 28 points en route to a 35-12 Berks League Section 1 victory over Reading.

And for good measure, Galanti was also named Homecoming king to top off a memorable evening.

KEVIN HOFFMAN - THE MERCURY Daniel Booneâ  s Darius Hinton brings down Readingâ  s Jai Whitlock during Fridayâ  s Berks League Section 1 football game.

“He’s a workhorse for us,’ Boone quarterback Nick Hughes said of Galanti, who also plays cornerback. “We call him ‘ Mighty Mouse.’ He’s relentless out there.”

Galanti, an energetic sort, provided a much-needed spark that helped the Blazers shrug off a sluggish first 33 minutes with a furious final 15-minute, four-TD explosion.

Largely due to three turnovers, the Blazers (3-1 Section 1, 4-2 overall) found themselves down 12-7 after Reading’s Khary Morris scored on a 7-yard run with 9:47 left in the third quarter.

What’s more, they had to deal with the sobering sight of starting center Jared Gaspari stretchered off the field with an apparent back injury. Gaspari, was transported by ambulance to Reading Hospital, according to the Boone training staff, and his condition was not available late Friday.

“It was tough, losing Jared,’ Galanti said. “In the huddle, we just said we were going to do it for Jared.’

“Jared’s been our most dedicated player for three years with his attendance; he just lives and dies Boone football,’ said Blazers coach Bill Parks. “To see him carried off the field like that really shocked all of our team, but they kept their composure and fought back all game long. We talked about, ‘ Let’s do this for Jared.”

With Reading (2-2, 3-3) perilously close to putting Boone down double digits after driving to the 15, a delay of game penalty on the Red Knights followed by Adam Carr’s stop of London Whitfield for a 1-yard loss set up a fourth-and 11 from the 21. Hughes then intercepted Elisiah Bayne’s heave to the end zone to blunt the threat.

On the next play, Galanti swept to his right and found an opening before turning the corner and out-racing the Red Knights secondary to put the Blazers up to stay at 14-12 with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

“Great blocking, that’s all I can say,’ Galanti said. “Jabree (Stradford) made a great block and (wide receiver) Shayne Bookwalter led me right down the field. My whole team blocked. I didn’t get touched.’

But Galanti wasn’t quite finished.

On the next series (after Hughes hit Bookwalter for a key 16-yard connection on a third-and-7 play), Galanti broke loose for a 12-yard gain, and three plays later he delivered a 20-yard gain while simply refusing to be brought down as the pile moved the final 10 yards. Galanti then plowed ahead for a 3-yard score to put Boone up 21-12 with 9:45 left and basically settle matters.

“He’s just a smart football player,’ Parks said of Galanti. “He has very keen knowledge of spacing on the football field, he does a great job, and he knows what he’s looking for. He ran track last spring to get his speed up, so he has quickness and speed, and then he kind of hides behind our linemen and reads his blocks. He’s a very knowledgeable football player.’

“I just try to keep the team excited, try to keep them focused and play the next play,’ Galanti said.

With linebacker Jon Passifione and tackle Darius Hinton spearheading the defense, Boone locked down Reading’s dangerous attack over the late going, holding the Red Knights to 26 total yards over their last 16 plays.

Hughes ran for a 1-yard TD with 6:13 left and hooked up with Johnathon Charles for a 37-yard scoring strike with 3:55 remaining for the final margin.

“We were more mentally tough than they were tonight,’ Galanti said. “I think we’re the most mentally tough team in the county.’

Charles had three receptions for 63 yards for Boone, which has won four of its past five games and has already matched last season’s victory total.

“We knew we were going to be in for a dogfight,’ Parks said. “They (the Red Knights) are a tough, fast and physical team. Coach (Rob) Flowers does a great job with them. They’ve gotten better every year, and they’re more disciplined than I’ve ever seen them.

“We knew we had to match their intensity for four quarters, and I think our kids’ conditioning helped carry us through.’

As did a royal performance from Galanti — in more ways than one.

“I was as surprised as anybody,’ he said of his halftime selection. “It’s good to be king.’


Reading High star senior running back/receiver Dontae Owens did not play due to undisclosed reasons, while two-way Boone threat Cinque Ramsey sat out the contest while serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from last week’s 21-7 win over Muhlenberg. … Jai Whitlock ran for a team-high 55 yards for Reading, including a 16-yard TD in the second quarter. … Kohran Williams had an interception for the Red Knights. … Boone’s first score was on a 1-yard run by Hughes with 1:06 left in the first quarter. Hughes threw for 149 yards as Boone amassed 419 total yards. … Austin Haring had a fumble recovery for the Blazers.


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