Regional playoff action saw the Ness City Eagles pay a visit to the Little River Redskins. Both teams were 8-1 on the year. Little River was the champion of District 5, Ness City the runner-up in District 6.
The Ness City Eagles received the ball first and started the scoring early. A long touchdown pass from Jose Guzman to Easton Sieb put the Eagles up 6-0. A conversion by Guzman made it 8-0. The Redskins came right back with an 8-yard touchdown run by freshman Braxton Lafferty. Lafferty, who normally starts at flex-back, was filling in for injured star Graham Stephens at running back.
Ness City drove to the Little River 5, but turned the ball over on downs. Little River quickly capitalized on the opportunity when quarterback Jayden Garrison scampered 57 yards for a touchdown. After a failed conversion, the home team led 14-8.
Ness City put together an impressive drive to tie the game on a Hector Rodriguez touchdown run and took the lead on the conversion. The clock showed only 2 minutes until the half. Little River was able to make good use of those two minutes, as Garrison found Trey Rolfs on a n 11-yard touchdown pass just before the half. The halftime score showed Little River with a 22-16 advantage.
The Redskins received the ball to start the second half and found another score on a Jayden Garrison run. That made the lead 30-16. It was the first double digit lead either team had had all day. The teams traded scores for a time, and it was 38-34 Little River about halfway through the fourth.
Things got interesting as Garrison found Lafferty for a 43 yard touchdown off a screen pass on 2nd and long. This made it 44-34. Ness City kicked it into high gear and found another Hector Rodriguez touchdown with 2 minutes to go. The conversion made it 44-42 in favor of Little River.
The Eagles had all 3 of their timeouts, but Jayden Garrison took to the ground to gain first downs and run out the clock. The final score: Little River 44 Ness City 42
Easton Sibe caught 6 balls for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Eagles. Hector Rodriguez carried the ball 18 times for 147 yards and 3 scores. Jayden Harrison led the way for Little River with 32 carries for 262 yards and 3 scores. He passed for another 2 touchdowns. Braxton Lafferty had a touchdown on the ground and another receiving.
The Eagles finish their season 8-2. They have a bright future with a sophomore class (Juniors in 2020) that includes stars such as quarterback Jose Guzman and defensive end Taylor Cable.
The Little River Redskins will continue their quest for a state championship. Their Coach, Kevin Ayers, has 3 already, 2 at Jetmore and 1 and Wallace County. The next step is a sectional trip to Leoti to face Wichita County, who beat Clifton-Clyde 54-38. Little River is know 9-1.