LITTLE RIVER — With a district championship already in hand, it appeared Little River High School had little to play for Friday night against a Moundridge team trying to keep its season alive.
Quite the opposite.
From the opening whistle Little River made it clear they wanted to win the game.
Little River dropped 52 points on Moundridge in the first quarter. The first-team offense scored on every possession, and the defense kept Moundridge off the board all night. With Friday’s 54-0 win over Moundridge, Little River concludes the regular season winners of seven straight.
“We preach one step at a time,” Little River head coach Kevin Ayers said. “We really wanted some momentum heading into the playoffs.”
Moundridge went into Friday’s game needing a win or a Central Plains loss to advance to the playoffs. Moundridge head coach Jeremiah Meeks did not know at the end of his game whether or not his team would play next week.
Macksville defeated Central Plains 68-22 which sends Moundridge to the playoffs as the four seed.
“I told the kids I was proud of them,” Meeks said. “I told the younger kids that they worked hard and I was proud of them. We have to keep getting better and hopefully give the seniors one more game and see where it goes from there.”
On offense, Little River scored two touchdowns on its first three plays of the game. The next Little River drive took only three plays before Jayden Garrison found Graham Stephens for a touchdown.
Little River intercepted three passes in the first quarter, and turned them all into points, including a pick-six from Keaton Richardson.
After three total touchdowns from Garrison and Stephens a piece, Little River led 52-0 entering the second quarter. Moundridge snapped the ball into the end zone on a punt and fell on the ball, resulting in a safety.
Little River put in the junior varsity team in the second quarter and played to a scoreless draw.
Little River hasn’t lost or been tested since its Week 1 defeat at top-ranked Canton-Galva.
“The culture and the chemistry that these boys are starting to figure out is the biggest difference [since Week 1],” Ayers said. “They’re starting to figure out that this game is a lot of fun to play when you play it with a lot of emotion and you play it for each other. That’s fun as a coach to see the steps we’ve made.”