By William for

LITTLE RIVER – Once again, the tandem of Graham Stephens and Jayden Garrison led the way for the Little River football team to dismantle Montezuma-South Gray, 54-0, in the first round of the 8-Man Division I playoffs on Thursday.

The tandem each scored in the first quarter as Garrison dashed into the end zone from 25 yards out while Stephens barreled in from 14 yards to give the Redskins an early 14-0 advantage.

After scoring just two touchdowns in the first quarter, Little River erupted for six scores and 40 points in the second stanza, all coming on ground-oriented plays.

Stephens added three more scores to his stat sheet, running the pigskin into the end zone from 20, 9, and 3 yards out, while Garrison scored on a 12 yard scamper and the younger Stephens, Grant, also got into the scoring column with a six yard rumble into the end zone late in the half. When you added in a 25-yard return of an interception for a score by Evan Johanning, Little River totaled out 54 first half points to end the game by the point rule.

When it came to scoring, the only weak spot on the night for the Redskins was the fact that they only converted on three of eight two-point conversions on the evening.

The dynamic duo of juniors Stephens and Garrison covered 175 of the Redskins 211 total yards in offense as Graham Stephens had 107 yards of total offense with 39 coming through the air on completing two of three passes and gaining another 68 yards on the ground on just eight carries while scoring four times. Garrison completed his only pass of the game for seven yards while covering 61 yards running the ball on just six totes for a total of 68 yards of offense and two touchdowns. Freshman Braxton Lafferty only took the ball once but covered 30 yards when he did.

As a team, Little River only ran 22 offensive plays while South Gray had the ball for 41 plays, but due to a stingy Redskin defense they only picked up 102 yards on the night. Little River held South Gray to just 54 yards on the ground and another 48 through the air as they only completed three of 13 pass attempts with the Redskins picking off two of them, one by Johanning for the score and the other by Garrison.

Senior Cadence Birdsong led the Redskins defense with four tackles, including two that went for a loss of yardage. Graham Stephens, Brayden Sears and Cade Young also accounted for tackles that produced a loss of yardage.

With the victory, Little River is now 8-1 for the season and running with an eight-game win streak. Next up for the Redskins will be a tough battle against Ness City next Friday, November 8. Ness City is also 8-1 for the season after they took down Macksville 23-8 in their first-round playoff game on Thursday.



South Gray      0          0          0          0          = 0

Little River       14        40        0          0          = 54


LITTLE RIVER – Jayden Garrison on a 25-yard run (2-point conversion was good) 0-8

LITTLE RIVER – Graham Stephens on a 14-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 0-14


LITTLE RIVER – Graham Stephens on a 20-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 0-20

LITTLE RIVER – Evan Johanning on a 25-yard interception return (2-point conversion failed) 0-26

LITTLE RIVER – Jayden Garrison on a 12-yard run (2-point conversion was good) 0-34

LITTLE RIVER – Graham Stephens on a 9-yard run (2-point conversion was good) 0-42

LITTLE RIVER – Graham Stephens on a 3-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 0-48

LITTLE RIVER – Grant Stephens on a 6-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 0-54


South Gray                LITTLE RIVER

First Downs                                      7                                  11

Total Yards (Plays-Yds)                   41-102                         22-211

Passing (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds-Int)  4-13-48-0-2                 3-4-46-0-0

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds)                   24-54-0                        16-165-7

Turnovers (Fumbles-Lost-Int)      1-1-2                            1-1-0

Penalties (# – Yds)                            3-25                             6-31


Passing (Atts-Comp-Yds-Tds-Int): Graham Stephens 2-3-39-0-0; Jayden Garrison 1-1-7-0-0.

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds): Graham Stephens 8-68-4; Jayden Garrison 6-61-2; Braxton Lafferty 1-30-0; Grant Stephens 1-6-1.

Receiving (Rec-Yds-Tds): Jayden Garrison 1-28-0; Keaton Richardson 1-11-0; Braxton Lafferty 1-7-0.

Defense (Tackles-Assists-Sacks-TFL-Int): Cadence Birdsong 4-5-1-2-0; Graham Stephens 3-0-0-1-0; Brayden Sears 3-3-0-1-0; Jayden Garrison 2-1-0-0-1; Zane Kratzer 2-3-0-0-0; Braxton Lafferty 1-1-0-0-0; Grant Stephens 1-1-0-0-0; Cade Young 1-3-0-1-0; Evan Johanning 1-1-0-0-1; Kaden Schafer 1-0-0-0-0; Keaton Richardson 0-2-0-0-0; Team 1-0-0-0-0.

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