Metamora pulls away for late win over Canton, 30-15.

A grueling week of practice translated to an old-fashioned Metamora victory.

The Redbirds rolled up 256 rushing yards en route to a 30-15 Mid-Illini Conference football win over Canton on Friday night at Ron Fahnestock Field.

Metamora (4-1, 2-1), coming off a 35-0 loss to Washington, looked determined not to repeat Week 4.

“One positive about tonight is we had to earn it by putting some drives together and moving the chains,” Metamora coach Pat Ryan said. “That’s extremely important for us.”

With 7:04 left in the game and holding a 23-15 lead, the Redbirds began possession at their own 6. Brock Modglin carried the ball on six of the drive’s 10 plays behind offensive lineman Dalton Horowitz, Kyle Barrow, Richard Shoopman, Noah Fletcher and Austin Wallace.

“All of them played great,” said Modglin, who ran for 136 yards on 29 rushes. “We just knew we had to keep pounding it and keep pounding it,”

Jacob Mitchell set the final score with a 56-yard TD at 1:26. The senior quarterback finished with 110 yards on 16 carries.

A 14 play, 77-yard opening drive was capped by a 1-yard TD run from Modglin.

Mitchell’s keeper up the middle for a two-point conversion made it 8-0 at the 6:32 mark.

That 5 minute, 28 second drive appeared to set the tone early for the Redbirds. But Canton responded on the ensuing drive.

The Little Giants (2-3, 0-3) faced fourth-and-9 from the Metamora 42, when quarterback Bradley Henseler (160 passing yards) rolled out and hit Jacob Nesbitt on a wheel route.

The 6-foot, 200-pound fullback rumbled down the right sideline for the score. Henseler then found Stephen Bitner (19 carries, 89 yards) on the conversion for an 8-8 game with 3:07 left in the opening quarter.

“I can’t fault our kid’s effort at all,” Canton coach Ryan Pearson said. “I thought we played them pretty tough.”

Kyhl Willey’s 5-yard TD run put Metamora ahead for good with 9:24 remaining in the second quarter.