By William for

LEOTI – After playing unstoppable football for nine straight weeks, the Little River football team found their match on Friday in the 8-Man Division I sectional (state quarterfinals) championship game at Leoti and returned home with a 74-38 season ending loss to Wichita County.

The Redskins had not lost since the first game of the season when they were humbled by currently unbeaten and playoff semi-finalist Canton/Galva.

With the loss to Wichita County, Little River finishes the 2019 season 9-2 while Wichita County will take their 10-1 record into a state semi-final battle with unbeaten (11-0) St. Francis. Canton/Galva (11-0) will matchup with Madison (also unbeaten at 11-0) in the other semi-final.

Little River began the scoring extravaganza early when Jayden Garrison rambled 48 yards into the end zone early in the first quarter and Cadence Birdsong ran for the two-point conversion to give the Redskins a brief 8-0 lead. Wichita County bounced back and score two times in the first quarter to end the opening stanza holding a 16-8 advantage on the scoreboard.

While the Indians put two more scores in the books in the second quarter, the Redskins were able to get another score on a 39-yard pass from Trey Rolfs to Keaton Richardson and stay within two scores at 32-16 going into the halftime break.

Coming out of the halftime break, Little River’s Jayden Garrison quickly put two scores on the board with a 38-yard scoring pass from Trey Rolfs and then running another in from 50 yards out. If the Redskins hadn’t missed one of their two-point conversions they would have tied the game, but were still able to pull within two points at 32-30 before the Indians went on a scoring explosion and scored four times in what time was left in the third quarter, giving them a commanding 60-30 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes of playing time.

While Wichita County added two more scores on the board in the fourth quarter, Little River was able to squeeze another touchdown in as well on a seven-yard pass from Jayden Garrison to Brayden Sears.

When you look at the stat sheet you understand the constant motion in the game as the two teams combined to run 157 offensive plays in the game, with Wichita County taking a snap 91 times while gaining 578 total yards in offense compared to the Redskins covering 432 yards on 66 snaps. It was a wonder that many plays were run considering the two teams combined for 21 penalties totaling 190 yards.

Even though Little River gained exactly 300 yards on the ground, Wichita County out did them by running the ball 61 times and picking up 408 yards with Kayde Rietzke and Jesse Gardner gaining 379 of those yards. Rietzke broke the Little River defense for 197 yards on 34 carries while Gardner covered 182 on just 16 totes of the ball. Rietzke also had a solid night throwing against the Redskins as he completed 11 of 18 passes for another 170 yards, giving him a total of 367 yards in total offense.

Little River quarterbacks, Trey Rolfs and Jayden Garrison, combined to only complete 12 of 28 passes for 132 yards, while Garrison made up for much of that by being the game leader in rushing with 227 yards on 18 carries. Braxton Lafferty ran for another 73 yards on 10 carries.

Evan Johanning closed out his Redskin career by having a monster game on defense as had 13 tackles with six assisted while Jayden Garrison was in on 10 while assisting on three others. Brayden Sears also closed out his Little River career by getting six tackles along with three assisted, a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss of yardage to go along with two pass receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown.

While the Redskins will be losing four key contributors to the successful 2019 season by graduation in Johanning, Sears, Zane Kratzer and Cadence Birdsong, one must also remember the team was stacked with 10 freshman, five sophomores and six juniors that will return next fall including Garrison, both Graham and Grant Stephens, Rolfs, Richardson, and Lafferty.


(Stats from


LITTLE RIVER               8          8          14        8          = 38

Wichita County            16        16        28        14        = 74


LITTLE RIVER – Jayden Garrison on a 48-yard run (Cadence Birdsong ran for the 2-point conversion) 8 – 0

Wichita County – Scored on a 4-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 8 – 8

Wichita County – Scored on a 30-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 8 – 16


Wichita County – Scored on a 4-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 8 – 24

Wichita County – Scored on a 5-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 8 – 32

LITTLE RIVER – Keaton Richardson on a 39-yard pass from Trey Rolfs (Jayden Garrison ran for the 2-point conversion) 16 – 32


LITTLE RIVER – Jayden Garrison on a 38-yard pass from Trey Rolfs (Braxton Lafferty ran for the 2-point conversion) 24 – 32

LITTLE RIVER – Jayden Garrison on a 50-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 30 – 32

Wichita County – Scored on a 64-yard pass play (2-point conversion failed) 30 – 38

Wichita County – Scored on a 10-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 30 – 46

Wichita County – Scored on a 30-yard run (Ran for 2-point conversion) 30 – 54

Wichita County – Scored on a 61-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 30 – 60


Wichita County – Scored on an 11-yard pass play (Ran for 2-point conversion) 30 – 68

LITTLE RIVER – Brayden Sears on a 7-yard pass from Jayden Garrison (Braxton Lafferty ran for the 2-point conversion) 38 – 68

Wichita County – Scored on a 36-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 38 – 74


LITTLE RIVER               Wichita County

First Downs                             18                                26

Total Offense (Plays-Yds)        66-432                         91-578

Passing (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds)  12-28-132-3                11-18-170-2

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds)            30-300-2                      61-408-8

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

Penalties (#-Yds)                     9-98                             12-92


REDSKIN PASSING (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds-Int): Trey Rolfs 3-7-80-2-0; Jayden Garrison 9-20-52-1-1; Braxton Lafferty 0-1-0-0-0.

REDSKIN RUSHING (Atts-Yds-Tds): Jayden Garrison 18-227-2; Braxton Lafferty 10-73-0; Team 2-0-0.

REDSKIN RECEIVING (Rec-Yds-Tds): Keaton Richardson 1-39-1; Jayden Garrison 1-38-1; Braxton Lafferty 5-17-0; Brayden Sears 2-14-1; Trey Rolfs 1-4-0; Cadence Birdsong 1-3-0; Team 1-17-0.

REDSKIN DEFENSE (Tackles-Assist-Sack-TFL): Evan Johanning 13-6-0-0; Jayden Garrison 10-3-0-0; Brayden Sears 6-3-1-1; Braxton Lafferty 5-6-0-1; Zane Kratzer 4-2-1-1; Cadence Birdsong 3-2-0-0; Kaden Schafer 2-5-0-1; Trey Rolfs 1-0-0-0; Keaton Richardson 1-2-0-1; Cade Young 1-1-0-0; Grant Stephens 1-0-0-0.

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