By William

CANTON – Everyone was saying it would be a battle of battles for the 2020 season when defending 8-Man Division I state champion Canton/Galva and rival Little River tangled on the Eagles home field on Friday – and it was!

Between the two teams 94 total points were put on the scoreboard, the product of 114 offensive plays that ran up 704 yards before Canton/Galva was able to claim the 56-38 victory and the only reason the Eagles won by 18 was due to the Redskins failing to convert on five of six two-point conversions after touchdowns.

Canton/Galva jumped out early to take a 16-6 first quarter advantage on a 65-yard run by Garrett Maltbie and a scoring pass from Maltbie to Brayden Collins that covered 54 yards. Brandon Huff added two two-point conversion runs while the Little River squeezed in a one-yard scoring run by Graham Stephens but failed on their first two-point conversion.

Little River was the team to put two scores up in the second quarter as Jayden Garrison and Stephens both scored on runs of four and 47 yards, respectively. But with the Redskins continuing their failure to finish off two-point conversions and the Eagles adding a 29-yard scoring run by Collins and a two-point conversion run by Maltbie, Canton/Galva went into the halftime break holding 24-18 lead instead of the game being tied as he could have been.

The homestanding Eagles pulled away in the third quarter, scoring three times on 10 and three yard runs by Maltbie and Collins plus a 43-yard scoring pass from Maltbie to Tyson Struber. With Struber, Huff, and Collins all running in for two-point conversions, Canton/Galva still held a commanding 48-24 lead heading into the final quarter of play even after Little River added another score on a one-yard run by Stephens.

Canton/Galva extended their lead to 24 points when Maltbie connected once again with Struber for a 20-yard scoring pass followed by a two-point conversion pass from Maltbie to Huff.

While Little River kept plugging away, they still fell short on the final score despite adding a 37-yard scoring pass from Stephens to Braden Young and a two-yard scoring run by Young.

Little River was given every opportunity to gain a win as they had the ball for nearly 11 minutes longer than the Eagles on offense and ran 68 plays to Canton/Galva’s 46. But nine penalties for 93 yards and failing on so many two-point conversions just seemed to be the difference in the game and something the Redskins could not manage to make up for.

Individually, Little River was led by Jayden Garrison who ran for 177 yards on 25 carries while throwing for another 44 yards, and Graham Stephens who ran the ball 24 times for 97 yards as well as throwing for another 61 yards. Stephens also led the Redskin defense, recording 8.5 tackles.

For the Eagles of Canton/Galva, Garrett Maltbie threw for 149 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 89 yards on just seven carries and another two scores. Brayden Collins led the team in rushing with 95 yards and two scores while Tyson Struber covered 70 yards on four pass receptions.

Brandon Huff and Tyler Rummel had huge games on defense for the Eagles as Huff recorded 10.5 tackles, with nine being solo while also getting one quarterback sack and a tackle for loss of yardage. Rummel put 10 tackles by his name in the stat book, including nine solo stops. Struber and Conner Koehn each recorded eight tackles as well.

Canton/Galva is now 5-0 for the season as they continue to work toward defending their state championship. The Eagles will be on the road next Friday, October 9 when they travel to Herington who will come into the game 2-3 for the season after losing 28-8 on Friday to Lincoln.

The Little River Redskins fall to 3-2 for the season with the loss and will work on getting back in the win column next Friday, October 9 when they play host to Bennington who will come to town with a 2-3 mark and fresh off a Friday night, 38-20 victory over Solomon.


SCORING:                 1          2          3          4          FINAL

LITTLE RIVER               6          12        6          14        38

CANTON/GALVA         16        8          24        8          56

(Team, Player/Scoring Play, Extra Point Attempt, Score)


CANTON/GALVA = Garrett Maltbie scored on a 65-yard run (Brandon Huff ran for 2-point conversion) 0-8

LITTLE RIVER = Graham Stephens scored on a 1-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 6-8

CANTON/GALVA = Brayden Collins scored on a 54-yard pass from Garrett Maltbie (Brandon Huff ran for 2-point conversion) 6-16


LITTLE RIVER = Jayden Garrison scored on a 4-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 12-16

CANTON/GALVA = Brayden Collins scored on a 29-yard run (Garrett Maltbie ran for 2-point conversion) 12-24

LITTLE RIVER = Graham Stephens scored on a 47-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 18-24


CANTON/GALVA = Garrett Maltbie scored on a 10-yard run (Tyson Struber ran for 2-point conversion) 18-32

LITTLE RIVER = Graham Stephens scored on a 1-yard run (2-point conversion failed)

CANTON/GALVA = Tyson Struber scored on a 43-yard pass from Garrett Maltbie (Brandon Huff ran for 2-point conversion) 24-40

CANTON/GALVA = Brayden Collins scored on a 3-yard run (Brayden Collins ran for 2-point conversion) 24-48


CANTON/GALVA = Tyson Struber scored on a 20-yard pass from Garrett Maltbie (Brandon Huff caught pass from Garrett Maltbie for 2-point conversion) 24-56

LITTLE RIVER = Braden Young scored on a 37-yard pass from Graham Stephens (Braxton Lafferty caught pass from Jayden Garrison for 2-point conversion) 32-56

LITTLE RIVER = Braden Young scored on a 2-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 38-56

TEAM STATS:                                   LITTLE RIVER               CANTON/GALVA

1st Downs                                            22                                15

Total Yards (Plays-Yds)                       68-380                         46-324

Passing (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds-Int)       7-18-105-1-2               8-15-149-3-0

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds)                       50-275-5                      31-175-4

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

Penalties (#-Yds)                                 9-93                             4-30

Time of Possession                             29:09                           18:16


Passing (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds-Int): Graham Stephens 4-11-61-1-2; Jayden Garrison 3-7-44-0-0.

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds): Jayden Garrison 25-177-1; Graham Stephens 24-97-3; Braxton Lafferty 1-12-0; Braden Young 1-2-1.

Receiving (Rec-Yds-Tds): Braden Young 1-37-1; Graham Stephens 2-36-0; Braxton Lafferty 2-21-0; Ty Herzog 1-8-0; Keaton Richardson 1-3-0.  

Defense (Tackles-Solo-Assist-Sacks-TFL): Graham Stephens 8.5-8-1-0-1.0; Kaden Schafer 4.5-3-3-0-0; Braxton Lafferty 3.5-3-1-0-1.0; Trey Rolfs 3.5-3-1-0-0; Jayden Garrison 3.0-2-2-0-0; Cade Young 3.0-3-0-0-0; Grant Stephens 3.0-3-0-0-1.0; Josh Braden 3.0-3-0-0-0; Keaton Richardson 2.0-2-0-0-0; Rylan Konen 1.0-1-0-0-0.


Passing (Comp-Atts-Yds-Tds-Int): Garrett Maltbie 8-15-149-3-0.

Rushing (Atts-Yds-Tds): Brayden Collins 16-95-2; Garrett Maltbie 7-89-2; Tyson Struber 6-4-0; Brandon Huff 1-1-0; Jory Ratzlaff 1-(-14)-0.

Receiving (Rec-Yds-Tds): Tyson Struber 4-70-2; Brayden Collins 2-46-1; Brandon Huff 2-33-0.

Defense (Tackles-Solo-Assist-Sacks-TFL): Brandon Huff 10.5-9-3-1.0-1.0; Tyler Rummel 10.0-9-2-0-0; Tyson Struber 8.0-8-0-0-1.0; Conner Koehn 8.0-6-4-0-0; Keaton Littrell 6.0-6-0-0-0; Garrett Maltbie 5.5-5-1-0-0; Ryder Norstrom 5.0-5-0-0-0; Brayden Collins 2.5-2-1-0-1.0; Braison Alcala 1.0-1-0-0-0.

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