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2022 Class 8-Man Division I State Football Championship Recap (Presented by Salina Regional Sports Medicine)

Little River head coach Kevin Ayers never thought the game was over after his team jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead, but he felt confident because the Redskins stuck to who they were: a physical team that did the punching, rather than being punched.

But to credit Wichita County, it bounced back and never let the moment get away.

The Indians proceeded to outscore Little River 36-12 over the next two quarters en route to the 8-Man Division I championship.

“We scored on our first play from scrimmage and then forced a punt and were able to punch it in,” Ayers said. “We were just sticking to who we are. Pretty run-heavy but throwing in a pass now and again to keep them honest. Give them a lot of credit for hanging in there and battling back.”

Those middle two quarters were sloppy for Little River, as it turned the ball over twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown. While the Redskins cut their deficit to six points in the fourth quarter, it was too much to overcome.

“We still felt like we had a chance,” Ayers said. “We hadn’t punted all game so felt the we could score. As time ticked away we really had to press and I made some poor calls that put our kids in tough situations.”

This senior class had experienced so much over their four years at Little River and Ayers put their accomplishments into proper prospective.

“This senior class is leaving a legacy both on and off the field,” Ayers said. “The way they went about business both on and off the field has set a standard for teams to come. They were so much fun to coach. I’m proud of the way they played the game, played it the way it’s supposed to be played. They were committed to doing the little things and willing to put in the work. In their four years we have not lost a game on our home field, played in three state championship games, and most importantly created memories that will last a lifetime. I love these guys and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”  

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