MADISON – Kevin Ayers certainly remembers the last time Little River played for a state football championship.
It was 2001 when the Redskins went up against Jetmore, which was coached by none other than Ayers, whose team was a 35-30 winner on that day.
But now Ayers is in his second year at Little River and in just a short time, has guided the school back to the 8-Man Division I state title game next Saturday in Newton after a 48-24 doubling of previously undefeated Madison on Friday.
The 10-2 Redskins will play 12-0 Wichita County-Leoti, which routed Hoxie 58-6 in the other semifinal. Game time at Fischer Field will be 3:30 p.m.
It was the defense that set the tone for Little River, as it did not permit a point in the first half in racing to a 20-0 lead. The second half was much more closely contested, but the early deficit was too much to overcome.
It was another amazing night for LR’s Jayden Garrison, who rushed for 228 yards and 5 scores, while Graham Stephens added 44 yards and a touchdown. Garrison also threw for 121 yards and a TD, which was caught by Lafferty.
Garrison also led the team in tackles with 10, one more than Stephens.
Little River totaled 400 yards on 50 plays, while the Bulldogs – who had upset defending state champion Canton-Galva last week – ran 60 plays for 315 yards.
Little River is seeking its first state title since 1999.