LITTLE RIVER — It figures to be little more than a tuneup for Little River’s football team as it tries to improve to 6-1 on Friday.
The Redskins host winless St. John, which is limping to the finish line with no wins and low numbers.
Yet, as all coaches do, Little River’s Chad Lafferty is focusing on the Tigers and not looking ahead to next week’s game with Moundridge.
“St. John is a team who has struggled this season, but it's a team that shouldn't be overlooked, either,” Lafferty said. “Both offensively and defensively they are going to come after you every play. Their running back/quarterback is a very dangerous runner who can change speeds and directions very quickly and if we don't break down when tackling him he will make us miss. Offensively they like to stay in a double-tight look and typically run the ball inside allowing their back to make cuts and hit the open hole. Defensively they run a 3-2 with their monster/safety up pretty tight for run support.”
The Redskins thought they were going to have their hands full last week with Macksville, but they exploded for a 54-6 victory in an unexpected point-rule game.
“Heading into the game Friday I was not sure of what to expect from our kids because of the change in game time (due to the weather),” Lafferty said. “I told the kids to prepare for anything since on that Thursday a bunch of schools were moving their game times up and when ours got moved up on Friday you never know how your kids will respond. The game started out pretty sluggish for both teams as it was the warmest game we have had since the first game of the season and both teams were sucking wind after the first couple series.”
But the Redskins were on the game after the slow start.
“Offensively I thought our guys did a great job of managing the game in regard to they way they attacked us defensively,” Lafferty said. “They threw three or four different defensive looks our way throughout the game and our line and backs made the adjustments needed to be successful with some big plays. Once they started putting eight defenders within 3-4 yards of the line of scrimmage we were able to get behind them for some big pass plays. Defensively our guys did a great job of taking away their strengths offensively. They were prepared for the different formations Macksville ran and knew what plays were coming out of those formations. We only had one defensive breakdown early in the game, which allowed them to score but I told our guys to just learn from that mistake and they did just that by shutting them out the rest of the game.”
Graham Stephens threw for 177 yards and 3 TDs and did not miss a pass. Hunter Thomas ran for 112 yards and 3 scores, and Stephens rushed for another 88. Matt Dougherty caught a couple of TD passes.
“Hunter Thomas had his best game of the season both rushing and receiving the ball,” Lafferty said. “He was very patient when he was running the ball and once he saw an opening attacked it which allowed him to get some big runs for scores. Graham Stephens did a great job of managing the offense and reading his keys in the option game which we got some big yardage out of. I thought our defense played its overall best game of the season, guys are taking pride in doing their jobs defensively and in the 3-2 defense if guys take pride in their job and do it every snap it can be a very tough defense.”
• District Standings •
1. Central Plains, 3-0 (plus 63)
2. Little River, 2-1 (plus 21)
3. Macksville, 2-1 (plus 16)
4. Moundridge, 2-1 (plus 13)
5. Skyline, 0-3 (minus 50)
6. St. John, 0-3 (minus 63)