By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

CANTON – The Canton/Galva football team has not forgotten what happened last season and that is keeping their focus on the next game which is on the road Friday at Madison in their 8-Man Division I matchup.

Yes, we all know how a year ago the Eagles stumbled in the state semi-finals in losing to Solomon 28-12 after beating them just five weeks earlier.

Now the Eagles have another shot at making the state championship game, only this year they have to go through Madison, a team that much like Canton/Galva, is unbeaten at 11-0 with a schedule filled with four shutout victories and only one with a team that game within 10 points of them.

Even when it comes to common opponents, the two teams have been similar in outcomes as the Eagles have beaten Chase County twice by the same score of 46-0 while the Bulldogs defeated Chase County 62-18. Both teams scored shutout victories over Solomon with Canton/Galva winning 60-0 while Madison won 57-0, and against Lebo, the Bulldogs took a 56-0 victory while the Eagles won 58-8.

Canton/Galva averages 54.5 points per game while Madison runs an average of 60.25 points per battle.

The Bulldogs have a several players that help the offense roll with Ryan Wolgram being the key as he has completed 37 of 55 passes for 614 yards and 11 touchdowns while running for another 702 yards on 62 rushes for another 14 scores. When Wolgram doesn’t have the ball, the Eagles will have to keep an eye on Nasson Wasson who ran the ball just 42 times but covered 727 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, including a season high 243 yards in one game while going over 100 yards in three other contests. Colton Fife, Brome Rayburn and Hunter Engle will also see action running the ball for Madison and have combined for another 1,363 yards and 32 scores.

When the Eagles have the ball, they will face a very quick, agile Madison defense that is led by Drew Stutsman who has 59 total tackles on the season with 45 of those being solo stops while also getting 11.5 stops for a loss of yardage and seven interceptions. Rayburn is also a force on defense for the Bulldogs as he has 41 total tackles with 32 solo, seven for a loss of yardage and four interceptions as well. Isaac Miser has recorded 32 tackles with eight for a loss of yardage.

For the Eagles, Head Coach Shelby Hoppes will once again run it through reliable quarterback Landon Everett who had almost 2,200 yards in total offense as he has thrown for 1,162 yards and 26 touchdowns without an interception while running for another 1,031 yards on 94 carries for 20 more scores. Brayden Collins is his counterpart in the backfield and has 979 yards and 16 touchdowns when toting the ball while Tyson Struber is one of Everett’s favorite passing targets and has 22 receptions for 448 yards and 12 scores. Kinser Colgin has 28 receptions for 418 yards and another 14 touchdowns.

Brandon Huff will lead the Eagle defense against the powerful Bulldogs and will come into the game with 61 total tackles which includes 42 solo stops, nine stops for a loss of yards and a pair of interceptions. Four other Eagles have recorded over 30 tackles on the season including Colgin (30 tackles, 26 solo, 7 for loss of yards and 2 interceptions), Mason Reedy (32 tackles, 20 solo with 12.5 for a loss of yards), Nick Pearson (31 tackles, 21 being solo and a dozen for a loss of yardage), plus Collins (30 tackles with 23 being solo). Helping out on the Eagle defensive side is Everett and Struber who have three and four interceptions.

One thing Canton/Galva may not be able to afford to do is have a slow start to the game like they did a week ago against South Central when they trailed 16-10 well into the second half before scoring 32 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away at 42-16.

As the Eagles look to reach the state championship game for just the third time in school history and the first since 1991, they will have to bring their best offense and defense of the season to get there.

Which ever team wins on Friday, the winner will then move on to the state championship game in Newton on Saturday, November 30 where they will tangle with the winner of the other 8-Man Division I semifinal between once beaten Leoti/Wichita County (10-1) and unbeaten St. Francis (11-0).

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)