The Canton-Galva Eagles are down to the bare bones.
The Eagles scored the first victory of the Dustin Patee era last week by racing past Burrton, 56-35.
But it may have come at a price. Jonah Sargent and Clayton Sargent, standouts in that victory, may both be out this week, which would leave the Eagles with a scant nine players for Friday’s home game against Wichita Word of Life.
“If we were healthy, I would say we should have a nice win for the week,” Patee said. “With our depleted team though, their athleticism and speed pose real issues for our defense. We might have to outscore another team this week to win.”
Jonah Sargent, who took the place of the injured Travis Unruh last week, threw for five touchdowns and ran for two more. Now it may be Unruh who takes Sargent’s place as he’s back this week, though he’s not 100 percent.
Patee was pleased the Eagles were able to get a win as they were unstoppable offensively.
“I thought that last week was a must-win game for this program,” he said. “With everything that has happened so far, we needed a boost. We played far from perfect, but we made plays when needed and the boys pulled out a good win that they can feel good about.”
• Halstead at Smoky Valley — Behind Kyle Anderson’s four touchdowns, the Vikings achieved the first victory of the Tim Lambert era last week with a 40-20 win over Haven.
It was the first time the Vikings had scored this year.
“We played better and have continued to improve from week to week,” Lambert said.
But now riding into town is a Halstead team that is considered state championship material. It scored an 18-6 win over Hesston in Week 2, a Swather team that blanked the Vikings 35-0 in Week 1.
“Halstead is tough and we will need to play extremely well,” Lambert said. “We look forward to playing such a good team. Playing them will make us better.”
• Moundridge at Trinity Catholic — The 0-3 Wildcats, who had played so well the first two games as they took both Marion and Ell-Saline down to the wire, took two steps back last week with a 46-6 loss to Bennington.
“Last Friday night was just ugly, not much else to be said about it,” Moundridge coach Matt Cole said. “It is behind us and we are looking forward to playing Hutch Trinity this week. We know we have a great football team and so we will continue to work to make sure we get better. Our season goal is to win the state championship and our goal is still in place and achievable despite our early season losses.”
Trinity won its first game of the season last week 19-14 when it stopped Inman at the half-inch line on the final play of the game.
“We know Hutch Trinity is well coached, has great speed and makes very few mistakes,” Cole said. “We will have to get back to playing our best football, correct our mistakes from the past and continue to get better at the things we have done well. We are dinged up a little and still may be without some key personnel but, that will be a game-time decision. I am still as excited about this bunch as the day I took over. It is easy to play and coach when you're winning and everything is going good. It is the teams who can continue to believe in the face of adversity that our true champions. I think these guys still believe.”
• Udall at Little River — The Redskins have ripped off back-to-back wins and were impressive in defeating Peabody last week.
“We played better last week despite a number of penalties,” Little River coach Paul Dold said. “We were able to take advantage of what they were giving us and ended up with more passing yards than we normally have in five games. We also were able to improve our pass defense from the week before, but are still struggling with tackling.”
Clay Zeller and Damien Martinez hooked up six times for 162 yards passing, while Zeller also did a good job of running the ball, as did Levi Swenson. Dold said Jonah Nelson was a force on the other side of the ball as he dominated play at the noseguard spot.
The 2-1 Redskins are stepping up in competition.
“This week we play an extremely tough Udall opponent that returns several starters from last year's playoff team,” Dold said. “They have three tough running backs that are hard to tackle and a quick, tough noseguard that causes lots of blocking problems up front.”
• Lyons at Hesston — The Swathers return home after an easy 49-8 road win over Sterling last week.
Zach Esau threw for 235 yards and four scores, with Zach Vogt hauling in all the scoring passes and ending the night with 199 receiving yards.
“We've been expecting for some time that Zach Vogt was going to have a breakout game,” Hesston coach Clint Rider said. “He made some big plays and put himself in good areas for Esau to get him the ball. One of Vogt's catches was phenomenal and he's very shifty in the open field. The offensive line made great strides from Week 2 and has improved each week. Our receivers also made some great blocks in the open field that sprung big plays.”
Sterling actually jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, but it was all Hesston after that.
“After giving up a touchdown in Sterling's first drive, our defense really played well and held them scoreless the rest of the way,” Rider said. “Garrett Roth was disruptive in the backfield all night long and Trevor Koehn made some great tackles in space. Zach Anderson also blocked a punt that Trevor Koehn scooped and scored on. That was our first blocked punt in two years. Have to give a lot of credit to our defensive coordinator, Doug Broadfoot, and special teams coordinator, Phil Unruh, they do an outstanding job with our schemes and making sure players understand what we're trying to do.”
The Swathers are glad to be home against a Lyons team they should be favored against.
“Lyons' quarterback is a very good athlete and can make a defense pay if he gets in the open field,” Rider said. “They have started well in their last two games. Defensively, they like to create chaos by alignment and will force us to spend extra time to make sure our blocking assignments are sound. They are a team that has the ability to move the ball and make big plays on defense so we have to be very focused in preparation this week.”
• Inman at Remington — Somebody is going to win for the first time this week.
Inman and Remington are both 0-3 and have a common opponent in Bennington. The Teutons lost 19-8 to the Bulldogs, while Remington was a 35-6 loser.
Inman took Trinity Catholic down to the final play last week, losing 19-14 when quarterback Keaton Case was stopped at the six-inch line. The Teutons had a good night running the ball, as they were able to move up and down the field.
Inman coach Ed Ramsey was unavailable for comments for this week’s briefing.