The 1971 edition of Chuck Shuffs Little Giants opened the season with a home contest against the Rams of Toledo Rogers. Rogers had knocked off the purple and white in the opening game of the 1970 season 29-13. The Little Giants and their fans knew that Ross was a stronger team going into the '71 campaign that what they saw in 1970 when the season record was 5-4-1. In a preseason scrimmage Ross knocked off Warren Harding, the team that would go on to claim the 1971 title.
The Rams held the Little Giants at bay in the first quarter as neither team crossed the goal line. The Rams were the first team to hit paydirt, taking a 6-0 lead on a one yard TD run by junior back Rich Garmon. That appeared to wake up the Little Giants as they did not allow the Rams past the midfield strip the rest of the night.
Ross meantime shook off the first game sluggishness and roared up and down the field led by a 160 yard performance by senior back Tommy Liggins. Led by Liggins, Rob Lytle and Chuck Lindsey, the Ross offense blew threw the Rams for a total of 440 yards on the night, 348 of them on the ground.
Liggins who had a sore ankle going into the contest carried the ball 16 times in gaining his 160 yards. Lytle carried the ball 9 times for 71 yards, while Lindsey carried the ball five times for a total of 65 yards.
Liggins was replaced by Tom Pitts in the third quarter and kept the offense moving. The powerful Ross offensive machine was aided by a tremendous defensive effort led by Don Moore and Bob Brudzinski.
The win was the first opening season victor for the Little Giants since the 1967 season.