COTTONWOOD FALLS – It was not pretty, in fact it was a four-quarter slugfest, but Little River still found a way to be on top at the end Friday night on the road in Cottonwood Falls where they defeated Chase County 48-40 to make the 8-Man Division I State Semifinals.
With the victory, the Redskins are now 10-1 for the season as they take their number two ranking on the road Friday to Burlingame needing one win to return to the state championship game for the third season in a row. Burlingame will bring a mark of 10-1 into the game after beating Lyndon 39-16 on Friday.
Thirty-Four points were put on the scoreboard in the first quarter with Chase County hitting paydirt first on an electrifying 62-yard run to take an early 6-0 lead over the Redskins before Rylan Konen and Grant Stephens put back-to-back touchdowns in the books on one- and seventeen-yard runs, respectively.
Chase County ran for another sixty-plus yard score to tie the game up at 14-14 after which Little River drove down and scored one more time in the first quarter on a two-yard plunge into the end zone by Braxton Lafferty, giving Little River a close 20-14 lead at the end of the busy first quarter.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter with Chase County adding a pair of 30 plus scoring runs from 35 and 32 yards while Little River’s Rylan Konen dove in from the one and then connected with Andrew Smith for a six-yard scoring pass play to give the Redskins a 36-28 advantage going into the halftime break.
In both the third and fourth quarters each team scored a touchdown with both failing on two-point conversions as well. Chase County pulled within two twice on a three-yard run in the third and a one-yard run in the fourth. Little River scored in the third on a Braxton Lafferty 28-yard pass to Braden Young while Rylan Konen found paydirt again in the fourth from one yard out to give Little River their final 48-40 win.
The two teams combined record 35 first downs and run 114 plays for 756 yards with Little River gaining 147 yards through the air and 255 on the ground.
Individually for the Redskins, Braxton Lafferty completed five of six passes for 91 yards while Rylan Konen made good on eight of twelve pass attempts for another 56 yards.
Lafferty led Little River in rushing with 147 yards on 22 carries and Konen covered 63 yards on 14 totes. Braden Young caught five passes for 40 yards, Andrew Smith had three catches for 36 and Konen caught one for 34.
Defensively, Chase County ran 49 plays for 354 yards to keep the Little River defenders busy as Grant Stephens led the defense with 10 tackles of which seven were solo stops.
LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS at Chase County
SCORING: LITTLE RIVER 20-16-6-6=48; Chase County 14-14-6-6=40
Chase County: Scored on a 62-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 0-6
LITTLE RIVER: Rylan Konen on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 8-6
LITTLE RIVER: Grant Stephens on a 17-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 14-6
Chase County: Scored on a 61-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 14-14
LITTLE RIVER: Braxton Lafferty on a 2-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 20-14
Chase County: Scored on a 35-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 20-22
LITTLE RIVER: Rylan Konen on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 28-22
Chase County: Scored on a 32-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 28-28
LITTLE RIVER: Andrew Smith on a 6-yard pass play from Rylan Konen (2-Point Conversion was Good) 36-28
Chase County: Scored on a 3-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 36-34
LITTLE RIVER: Braden Young on a 28-yard pass play from Braxton Lafferty (2-Point Conversion Failed) 42-34
Chase County: Scored on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 42-40
LITTLE RIVER: Rylan Konen on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 48-40
LITTLE RIVER: 1st Downs – 23; Total Offense – 65 for 402; Passing – 13/18 for 147, 2 scores, 1 interception; Rushing – 42 for 255, 5 scores; Fumbles – 1/0; Penalties – 4/22.
Chase County: 1st Downs – 12; Total Offense – 49 for 354; Passing – 7/10 for 71; Rushing – 36 for 283, 6 scores; Fumbles – 0/0; Penalties – 3/17.
LITTLE RIVER INDIVIDUAL STATS:
Passing: Braxton Lafferty – 5/6 for 91, 1 score; Rylan Konen – 8/12 for 56, 1 score, 1 interception.
Rushing: Braxton Lafferty – 22 for 147, 1 score; Rylan Konen – 14 for 63, 3 scores; Grant Stephens – 5 for 45, 1 score; Braden Young – 1 for 0.
Receiving: Braden Young – 5 for 40, 1 score; Andrew Smith – 3 for 36, 1 score; Rylan Konen – 1 for 34; Kayston Cox – 2 for 25; Braxton Lafferty – 2 for 12.
Defense: Grant Stephens – 10, 7 solo; Braxton Lafferty – 8, 1 solo, 1 for loss; Braden Young – 4, 1 solo; Rylan Konen – 3; Andrew Smith – 3, 1 solo; Ruxton Birdsong – 2; Carter Stansbury – 2, 1 for loss; Kayston Cox – 1; Corbin Herbst – 1; Toby Jesseph – 1; Kyler Bergkamp – 1.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at email@example.com)