Gutsy Galanti, Daniel Boone down Milton Hershey to reach District 3-AAA semifinals

HERSHEY – He was on crutches, but that didn’t stop the players from Daniel Boone to cautiously lift him up in the air, chanting ‘ Blazers’ as the team celebrated their 28-16 victory over Milton Hershey in the District 3-AAA quarterfinals Friday night.

For tonight, the yeoman effort of Paul Galanti would be praised as the senior running back rushed for 163 yards on 21 carries including a 36-yard touchdown, while also exuding his presence on defense, finishing the game with two interceptions before suffering a knee injury in the waning stages.

Still, with a bag of ice wrapped around his knee and crutches underneath his arm, Galanti couldn’t help but smile.

“My knee hurts like heck, but I’d take an injury over a loss any day,’ the senior captain said.

“This win really says something about our guys. My line stepped up big for me especially in that first half. I’ve never seen such huge holes.’

Daniel Boone (8-4), which last made it to the quarterfinals in 2011 as a member of Class AAAA before falling to Wilson, will travel to Cocalico (28-18 winner over West York) in the District 3 semifinals next Friday — all coming with the helping hand of the battered back.

The senior captain capped off the Blazers first offensive possession with a 36-yard run up the gut for the game’s initial score before coming up big on consecutive defensive series in the third quarter, picking off two Keonte Lucas’ fade patterns. His defensive prowess continued to shine as the 5-7 defensive back made a touchdown-saving tackle to keep the game at a 28-16 level.

head coach Bill Parks said. “That kid had an amazing game. He’s not looking good after the injury; I’m worried about him. We’re just praying that he’s all right.

“It was hard for the kids to be excited because they know how important this win was to him. He’s our team captain and our leader, offensively and defensively. He just had an incredible game which helped us get to the semifinals.’

Junior quarterback Nick Hughes threw for 75 yards and two scores — both to Jonathon Charles (three receptions, 38 yards) while the defense, led by sacks from AJ Spagnoletti, Solomon Ramsey and Darius Hinton, held the Spartans — who had won 10 of 11 since a season-opening loss to Central Dauphin East — to 213 yards of total offense.

Lucas finished the game with 110 passing yards and 33 rushing yards for the Spartans as the team fought back from a 7-0 deficit after the aforementioned Galanti’s 36-yard scamper but couldn’t find its rhythm after Daniel Boone scored three times in four, first-half possessions.

Milton Hershey’s (9-3) lone touchdown in the second half came in wacky fashion as Ellis Atkins found himself in the right place at the right time, hauling in a knuckled punt from Hughes before running 32 yards behind a convoy of blockers to cut the deficit to 12.

However, following a Blazers fumble deep in their own territory, the Spartans’ attempt to cut the deficit was stymied by Galanti who stuck receiver Keith Hunter dead in his tracks at the 1-yard line on fourth down, giving the Blazers the ball back with under four minutes remaining.

A Charles interception in the end zone on Milton Hershey’s next possession capped off an impressive display from the Blazers ‘ D’.

“Our defense did an amazing job,’ Parks said. “To hold them to 16 points with the talent they have on offense, I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“We told them we couldn’t miss tackles, we didn’t miss many, but we missed some and they broke it. They did a really good job defensively keeping them contained and in the pocket.’

Hughes finished the game with a touchdown run of his own, a one-yard keeper that gave the Blazers a 14-7 lead. Charles’ two touchdown receptions capped off the scoring for the Blazers as the 6-3 senior hauled in a 19-yard strike late in the second quarter before bailing out a scrambling Hughes with a 6-yard catch midway through the third.

“The pieces just fell together this year for us,’ Parks said. “We’ve felt confident against our opponents, our kids did a great job preparing and they really want it. They really want to keep playing football. We have a lot of talented players and they’re excited to be moving on.

“They don’t want this season to end.’


Ramsey finished the game with 61 yards rushing on six carries. Jonathan Passifione finished the game with two receptions for 23 yards. Tyeair Diggs finished the game with 45 yards receiving and 36 yards rushing, stemming from a wide-receiver reverse in the fourth quarter. Daniel Boone picked up 17 first downs to Milton Hershey’s eight.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply