Clay Center, Kan. (westernkasnasnews.com)–Scott City found themselves in fairly unfamiliar territory on Friday night for the first time in recent weeks. Their last two games saw them down two touchdowns, only to rally for the win. This time at Clay Center, it was the complete opposite. After building a 21-0 lead after three quarters, the Beavers saw their lead dwindling. The Tigers rallied for 15 fourth quarter points at Nickerson the previous week. This time, Scott City ended the game with the ball, as they advanced to the sub-state round of the Class 4A, Division II playoffs with a 21-13 win at Otto D. Unruh Stadium in Clay Center on a cold Friday night.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Scott City would play ball control. On their second series, the Beavers converted two fourth downs, and finished the drive off with a six-yard Jarret Jurgens run with 7:53 left in the second quarter. Moses Hinojos added the extra point to give them the 7-0 lead. On the drive, Scott City went 16 plays, 63 yards in seven minutes and 43 seconds. That would be the score at the break.
The Beavers controlled the ball in the third quarter, scoring twice and using almost 10 minutes of clock on a combined 19 plays. Their opening drive of the second half went over four and a half minutes and nine plays, capped off by a Jarret Jurgens 30-yard run with 7:29 left in the third frame to go up 14-0 with the Hinojos PAT. On their next drive, it was a 10-play, 84-yard drive that took just over five minutes of the clock. Scott City converted a long third down pass play of 20 yards to keep the drive. Wyatt Hayes would finish it with a two-yard touchdown run with eight seconds left in the third period to go up 21-0 with the Hinojos PAT.
In the fourth quarter, the Beavers were controlling the game, but a fourth down stop by Clay Center at the Scott City 44 yard line changed the momentum in the game. On the next play, the dormant Tiger passing game came to life, as Peyton Lane connected with Connor Last on a 44-yard touchdown pass with 6:25 to go. Lane hit the extra point kick to cut the deficit to 21-7. Scott City on their next series would convert a third down, but ended up punting with 3:46 left. The Tigers would move the ball down the field in just four plays for their next score. On third down, Lane once again connected with Last from 19 yards out with 2:38 left. The extra point was blocked as the Beavers led 21-13.
Scott City’s Nick Nowak would recover his second Clay Center onside kick at their own 49 yard line. The Beavers would convert two first downs, take a knee, and escape with a win. Parker Gooden was 4-8 passing for 45 yards. Marshal Faurot had a 20-yard reception and Parker Vulgamore had a 19-yard catch. Jarret Jurgens had 120 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns, while Wyatt Hayes had 22 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. The Beavers finished with 221 yards rushing and a total of 265 yards.
Clay Center was held in check on the ground, with just 56 rushing yards. Levi Pfizenmaier led the ground attack with 37 yards on six carries. Peyton Lane was 4-8 passing for 102 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Connor Last had all four receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
With the win, Scott City improves to 5-5 in the sectional round, and have won their last four sectional games. They are also 48-18 all-time in 23 playoff appearances. The Beavers are now 3-0 against Clay Center in the series, and 11-1 against teams from the North Central Kansas League. The Tigers dropped their first-ever sectional game, have lost seven games in the round of eight, and are 7-22 in 22 playoff appearances.
Scott City improves to 11-0 on the year, and will travel to Holcomb next Friday night in the sub-state round of the playoffs. The Longhorns knocked off Smoky Valley 26-6 in Lindsborg Friday night to improve to 10-1. Clay Center finished their year at 7-4, their most wins since 2006.
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