The Galion Tigers and Wynford Royal football teams demonstrated grit and determination to keep their footing on Thursday night as the schools opened the season at Wynford High School in what turned out to be a close contest.

This was the first meeting of the two schools in 11 years, and took place after rain ended just before the game began. As the contest wore on, patches of the field became muddy, creating its own dynamic for teams to overcome.

Special teams became one of the starts of the game for GHS, as Linkon Tyrrel blocked a punt for a touchdown and Elijah Chaffin returned a kickoff for 70 yards. Puter Landon Campbell added a booming punt late in the game that resulted in the Tigers pinning the Royals deep in their own territory.

Wynford outgained Galion in total offensive yardage, with 376 yards to the Tigers’ 205. Again, big plays turned the tide for the Tigers.

The Tigers host the Carey Blue Devils next Friday night at Unckrich Stadium in Heise Park.