LITTLE RIVER, Kan. The Little River jumped into the driver's seat for a district title with a 48-0 win over reigning champion Central Plains - the Oilers' first mercy-rule loss since 2011. In week five the Redskins dumped previously unbeaten Skyline. Friday night, Little River all but secured that district crown with a 48-0 win against Macksville.
"We have two more," said Little River coach Kevin Ayers. "It's one game at a time. We knew they were bringing in a good team to town and we were just hoping to coming out and execute and get better. We were hoping to get a 'W' here and we're in the driver's seat. Now we have to drive the bus."
As impressive as the Redskin offense was all night, the defense may have been better. The defense, which has allowed just six points since a week-one loss to top-ranked Canton-Galva, escaped two first-and-goal situations and kept the field short for the offense.
Junior quarterbacks Graham Stephens and Jayden Garrison did their jobs. Stephens capped the first Little River drive with a 7-yard touchdown run on fourth down. Garrison added touchdown runs of 5 and 36 yards in the first quarter.
The duo continued to make highlight plays, first with a 62-yard completion from Stephens to Garrison. That set up Garrison's 3-yard touchdown run a play later. Stephens ran in from 13 yards out near the end of the first half to push the lead to 36-0.
Garrison took the opening kickoff of the second half 71 yards to the house. Following a big defensive stop, Stephens broke free for a 69-yard run to end the game with 7:18 still to play in the third.
"They're special," Ayers said of his quarterbacks. "They're so dynamic, both of them. They bring a little something different to the table. It's fun to be a play caller when you have two weapons like that."
With his big finish, Stephens rushed for 127 yards and three scores on his nine attempts. Garrison added 63 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. Stephens also had the big pass to Garrison, and the duo threw for 63 yards on 2-of-4 passing.
Michael Seward ran the ball 17 times for 35 yards to lead Macksville. Freshman quarterback Ryan Kuckelman threw for 66 yards on 8-of-18 passing.
Little River moves to 5-1 overall, 3-0 in district play with all three district wins coming by 21-plus points. The Redskins have remaining games against St. John and Moundridge, teams with a combined 2-8 record through the first five weeks of the season.