AXTELL – It was a battle of number one and number two in 8-Man Division II, both teams unbeaten with one going to the state championship game and one going home – number two Canton/Galva was handed the heartbreak as number one Axtell held on late and scored a 36-32 win over the Eagles on Friday on the road at Axtell.
With the loss, the Eagles closed out the 2022 season with an 11-1 record while Axtell will take their 12-0 mark to Newton on Saturday with hopes of winning their second straight state championship by beating Kensington/Thunder Ridge.
Canton/Galva put themselves in an unusual spot Friday as they fell behind early with Axtell scoring three times in the first two quarters while the Eagles managed a Garrett Maltbie one-yard plunge for a score midway through the second quarter, Trailing 20-8, Jett Vincent took a pass from Maltbie and sprinted 24 yards to the end zone for the Eagles second score of the game to pull within four at 20-16 going into the halftime break.
With 9:49 to go in the third quarter, Jett Vincent broke loose for a 26-yard scoring run to give the Eagles their first lead of the game at 24-20 before Axtell scored twice more in the back half of the quarter to retake the lead at 36-24. As time ran out on the clock in the third stanza, Garrett Maltbie connected with Cason Mastre for a 40-yard touchdown followed by a two-point conversion by Maltbie, pulling Canton/Galva to within four at 36-32 going into the final 12 minutes of play.
Neither team could get into the end zone in the final quarter with the Eagles season ending at the 3:26 mark when Garrett Maltbie threw his first interception of the season after which Axtell managed to run the clock out, win the game and end the season for Canton/Galva.
As it should be for a game with the top two teams in the state for their division, plenty of offense was found as the two teams combined for 717 yards of offense on 117 plays.
Canton/Galva could not find a solution to stopping Isaac Detweiler of Axtell as he gobbled up 330 of the teams 384 yards in offense with 142 yards rushing and 188 yards passing while having a hand in all four of the teams five scores by throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for a pair.
For the Eagles, they ran 61 plays for 333 yards which included 149 yards running the ball on 36 totes and 184 yards passing on thirteen-of-twenty-five passing by Garrett Maltbie. Canton/Galva had the ball for nearly ten minutes longer in the game than Axtell, but also hampered many of their drives for being flagged for nine penalties covering a minus-68 yards.
Besides his passing, Maltbie also led the team in rushing with 70 yards on 18 carries while Jett Vincent had 42 yards on seven attempts.
Cason Mastre was the leading receiver, catching six passes for 119 yards while Vincent covered 37 yards on four receptions.
With the defense spending much of the game trying to bring down Axtell’s Detweiler, a couple of Eagles put up so solid stats with Jett Vincent leading the way with 17 tackles of which 13 were solo stops and one went for a loss of yardage. TJ Koehn recorded 10 tackles with nine being solo.
CANTON/GALVA EAGLES at Axtell
SCORING: CANTON/GALVA EAGLES – 0-16-16-0=32; Axtell – 6-14-16-0=36
Axtell (6:03): Scored on a 25-yard pass play (2-Point Conversion Failed) 0-6
Axtell (11:55): Scored on a 2-yard run (2-point Conversion Failed) 0-12
C/G EAGLES (7:07): Garrett Maltbie scored on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good – Jett Vincent Run) 8-12
Axtell (3:58): Scored on a 3-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 8-20
C/G EAGLES (00:44): Jett Vincent scored on a 24-yard pass play from Garrett Maltbie (2-Point Conversion was Good – Garrett Maltbie Run) 16-20
C/G EAGLES (9:49): Jett Vincent scored on a 26-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good – Garrett Maltbie pass to Cason Mastre) 24-20
Axtell (8:01): Scored on an 8-yard pass play (2-Point Conversion was Good) 24-28
Axtell (00:15): Scored on a 7-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 24-36
C/G EAGLES (00:00): Cason Mastre scored on a 40-yard pass play from Garrett Maltbie (2-Point Conversion was Good – Garrett Maltbie Run) 32-36
C/G EAGLES: 1st Downs – 16; Total Offense – 61 for 333; Passing – 13/25 for 184, 2 scores, 1 interception; Rushing – 36 for 149; Fumbles – 0/0; Penalties – 9/68; Time of Possession – 28:05.
Axtell: 1st Downs – 23; Total Offense – 56 for 384; Passing – 14/20 for 188, 2 scores; Rushing – 36 for 196; Fumbles – 1/1; Penalties – 3/20; Time of Possession – 19:40.
CANTON/GALVA EAGLE INDIVIDUAL STATS:
Passing: Garrett Maltbie – 13/25 for 184, 2 scores, 1 interception.
Rushing: Garrett Maltbie – 18 for 70, 1 score; Jett Vincent – 7 for 42, 1 score; Ryder Norstrom – 9 for 25; Lane McMannis – 2 for 12.
Receiving: Cason Mastre – 6 for 119, 1 score; Jett Vincent – 4 for 37, 1 score; TJ Koehn – 1 for 19; Jaden Ediger – 2 for 9.
Defense: Jett Vincent – 17, 13 solo, 1 for loss; TJ Koehn – 10, 9 solo; Lane McMannis – 7, 3 solo; Garrett Maltbie – 6, 6 solo; Nick Evans – 5, 4 solo, 1 sack, 1 for loss; Ryder Norstrom – 4, 3 solo; Cason Mastre – 4, 2 solo; Wyatt Collins – 3, 2 solo, 1 for loss.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at email@example.com)