Area preview: C-G eyes 2-1 start

By Steve Sell
September 14, 2017

It’s been a couple of years, but the Canton-Galva Eagles have a chance Friday night for a two-game football winning streak when they host Peabody.

Canton-Galva is coming off a rousing and somewhat surprisingly lopsided 62-6 victory over Rural Vista, which has energized Eagle Nation.

“We played really well as a team against Rural Vista,” said C-G coach Shelby Hoppes, who notched his first win as Eagle high school coach. “On the road for the second week in a row  against another team that was senior-heavy, we came out from the start and played our tails off.  We tackled the (Eli) Flemming kid low all night, which was a major concern going into the game and ended up keeping  him out of the end zone. On offense, our run game struggled for the second straight week, but we found a way to put points on the board through the air. We were also able to score twice with our special team units as well.  It was a great team effort all around.  Something to build off of moving forward.”

Sophomore quarterback Landon Everett is starting to turn heads as he piloted the Eagles to 40 first-quarter points and 62 in the half, which ended the game.

“Landon Everett played well again at the quarterback spot and in the kickoff return game,” Hoppes said. “He's becoming a playmaker for us, but more importantly he is becoming a leader for that offensive group.”

Everett was a pinpoint 6 of 9 for 193 yards and three scores. Dylan Wood was the perfect complement, catching four balls for 143 yards and three scores, while adding 51 yards rushing and another score. Everett ran for 72 yards and two scores and Brayden Minson had 71 yards and a score.

That offense had some big holes to go through.

“Nick Pearson played very well on both sides of the ball,” Hoppes said. “He blocked well up front for us, and defensively he was flying around making plays and getting big hits.”

The Eagles will try to move to 2-1 against a winless Peabody team that was a 26-8 winner in last year’s meeting.

“They have started off 0-2 this year, but have been in both games,” Hoppes said. “If not for turnovers I think they would have gotten one of those two contests. They have big-play potential with their speed on the outside on offense which is always a concern. We have to build off last week's game and continue to work hard.  It'll be another test for this young group to continue to grow and get better.”

Elswhere in the area:

• Hesston at Larned — For the Swathers, it’s going to feel like a playoff game for the third week in row.

The 1-1 Swathers go on the road for the first time to take on a Larned team that surprised Smoky Valley 28-14 last week.

“Larned is a hard-nosed, tough football team,” said Tyson Baurerle, who notched his first win as Hesston coach last week with a 37-22 victory over Halstead to avenge last year’s loss. “They had a tremendous second half of the season last year and will be looking to use that momentum this season. Their skill positions on offense return and their quarterback and running back run very hard. We'll need to tackle well.”

The Swathers put up more than 500 yards of offense again last week, with Parker Roth exploding for 265 yards and two scores. Cameron Cox was right behind with 179 on 19 rushes and scored three times. He also threw for 105 yards, with Reese Nebel hauling in 10 catches for 76 yards.

All-in-all, a good win.

“We had a great start to the game with a fourth-and-1 on defense, then scoring on our first drive,” Bauerle said. “We had an even better start to the third quarter with a tight 10-8 score at halftime. It was good to see us finish some scoring drives. A number of explosive plays really helped us out, too. Scoring runs of 44, 72, and 75 yards can be deflating to a defense, especially when two of them occurred in the second half with us trying to put the game away. We were very proud of how hard our guys finished, excluding Halstead's last scoring drive in the fourth quarter.”

Hesston was a 41-13 winner in last year’s game.

• Wakefield at Little River — The Redskins missed out on a 2-0 start as Bennington came into town and left with a 42-20 victory.

“We played a very good Bennington team that controlled the ground game and we came up short,” Little River coach Chad Lafferty said. “Bennington's running back (J.J. Allen) was very good and he had great vision the entire game, even when we may have had the hole plugged defensively, he was able to see cutback lanes and get yardage. We as a team need to do a better job of controlling the other teams’ rushing game, we have given up a lot of rushing yards the past two weeks and in order to be successful down the road we have step up our game defensively.”

The Redskins will try to avenge last year’s 48-36 loss to the Bombers.

“We have a 2-0 team this week in Wakefield. They have a lot of their skill players back from a year ago and they have the experience to make them successful,” Lafferty said. “Their quarterback and fullback are very big, tough runners and their running back is very quick and elusive, so the key this week will be tackling low and breaking down when making tackles. They also have a very good tight end that seals the edge for them and can also threaten you deep with his speed. In order for us to be successful we must stop their rushing attack, that has been a key this week in practice, controlling the gaps defensively and getting eight guys to the ball making tackles.”

• Haven at Smoky Valley — After a rousing victory over Halstead to open the season, the Vikings were doubled up at Larned, which avenged last year's loss with a 28-14 victory.

"We lost to a very good Larned team. Just made too many mistakes to win the game," Smoky Valley coach Tim Lambert said.

Oddly enough, the Vikings snapped the ball 70 times to just 38 for Larned. But it was a case of too much Anthony McConnell, who rushed for 177 yards and scored three times.

The Vikings were led by Kyle Anderson (19 carries, 63 yards), Riley Odell (13 for 53), Tim Lambert (13 for 41) and Cort Elliott (9 for 38). Brett Heitschmidt was 5 of 11 for 62 yards. Lambert led the defense with 4 solo tackles and 4 assists.

It's been a tough start for the Wildcats, being overwhelmed by Nickerson and Pratt. But Lambert is taking nothing for granted.

"Well coached. Play hard," Lambert said of the Wildcats. "They will be hungry for a win."

• Inman at Sterling — It doesn't get any easier for the Teutons, who have started 0-2 with losses to Trinity Catholic and Marion, both of which are 2-0 to start the season.

The Teutons were a 64-13 loser to Marion last week as the Warriors dominated in the trenches.

"Marion played a physical brand of football that we couldn't match," Inman coach Lance Sawyer said. "Up front, they are the best team that we have seen in several years. Offensively, we struggled moving the ball at times but (Payton) Froese threw the ball well.  Our receivers are starting to gel. We must improve up front to improve our run game and have more balance offensively."

Even in defeat, Sawyer saw some positives, especially Mason Thiessen.

"Mason continues to show what a great leader he is," Sawyer said. "He was a bright spot on both sides of the ball. His toughness and attitude continues to lead the team."

This week's opponent Sterling is a better matchup for the Teutons.

"Sterling is athletic," Sawyer said. "Not near the size that Marion had, but have speed all over the field.  They do throw the ball well, but the key to the game will be whether we can stop their run game."

Sterling was a 41-18 winner in last year's matchup, where the Teutons lost standout Keaton Case to a broken leg and he missed the rest of the season.    

• Moundridge at Ell-Saline –Like Inman, the Wildcats are 0-2 and have lost to Marion and Trinity Catholic.

And in Ell-Saline, they're playing another 2-0 team.

"Ell-Saline is extremely physical and well coached," Moundridge coach Jeremiah Meeks said. "They are a very good football team, they run the ball well and have a very good quarterback." 

The Wildcats have played better than their record indicates. They had an early lead against Trinity last week and were still within 16-13 until the Celtics scored the game's final two touchdowns.

Mason Dyck threw for 184 yards, but was held to 16 yards on 12 carries. MHS as a team simply couldn't get anything going on the ground against the aggressive and rugged Celtic front. To make matters worse, Dyck was banged up in the game.

Meeks, however, wasn't entirely happy with the performance as he thought his team had a shot.

"We did not play well up front. All-around team effort was down," Meeks said. "We need to bounce back this week with a good week of practice."

Ell-Saline was a 38-12 winner in last year's clash.