Scott City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Friday night’s game would be the fifth meeting between Holcomb and Scott City in the playoffs since 2008, including the third time in the last four seasons. The teams have split the first four meetings, and were 1-1 at each other’s places, so something had to give. Scott City would jump out to a 14-0 lead, only to see the Longhorns provide a scare early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Beavers score the games final 15 points in a 15-18 win in the Week 9 Playoff game at Darner Field.
For the majority of the first quarter, the teams would play on the Longhorn side of the 50 yard line. On their second series of the game, Scott City would draw first blood. With 3:23 left in the opening quarter, Hunter Yager would score from one yard out on fourth and goal to give the Beavers the early 7-0 lead with the Alexis Reyes kick. One play after the Scott City defense forced Holcomb to punt, Parker Gooden would take the snap and score from 66 yards out with 1:24 left in the first quarter to put the Beavers up 14-0 after the Reyes PAT.
Holcomb would score late in the second quarter, taking advantage of short field. A Beaver penalty would set up the Longhorns at the Scott City 27, and on the second play of the series, Kaden Johnson connected with Trey Cox on a 25-yard pass with 1:52 left in the first half pull to within 13-6. They would miss the extra point kick. The Beavers drove down the field, but were intercepted at the goal line late in the first half.
Scott City would respond in the third quarter and go back up two scores. A six-play, 68 yard drive in three minutes was capped off by a Cale Goodman one-yard plunge with nine minutes left in the third frame to go up 21-6 after the Reyes kick. Holcomb would force the Beavers to punt with 2:49 left in the third quarter, setting up their series at their own 26. On the first play of the drive, Kaden Johnson connected with Edgar Ramirez wide open down the seam for a 74-yard touchdown to pull to within 21-12. Their two-point conversion would fail.
With under a minute left in the third quarter, Holcomb would block Scott City’s punt setting them up with first and goal at the Beaver four yard line. On third and goal from the three, Johnson would find Cox open on the left side for a three yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to get to within 21-18 with 11:55 left. The extra point would hit off the right upright and miss. The Beavers would settle down and push their lead back to a two-possession game. A 12-play, 63-yard drive that took off just over half of the fourth quarter clock saw Parker Gooden score from five yards out with 5:54 left to go up 28-16 with the Reyes PAT. Scott City would get a second interception of the game from Jackson Lewis to set up their final score. A five-play, 57 yard drive with 2:31 off the clock would put the final nail in the coffin, as Hunter Yager scored from 44 yards out to extend the lead to 35-18 after the Reyes kick.
Holcomb would get to their own 29 yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 46.8 seconds left. The Beavers would have two kneel-downs and escape with the win.
Scott City finished with 394 yards of offense, with 290 coming on the ground and 104 through the air. Parker Gooden was 8-12 passing for 104 yards with an interception. He added 70 yards on 18 carries and two rushing scores. Hunter Yager had a career-high 174 rushing yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, while catching four passes for 45 yards.
For Holcomb, Kaden Johnson was 13-24 passing for 189 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Edgar Ramirez had two catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, and Trey Cox had 41 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. Drew Hill had nine carries for 20 yards, as the Longhorns finished with 24 yards rushing and 213 yards of offense.
Scott City improved to 51-20 all time in the playoffs, including a 27-10 record at home. This is their 25th playoff appearance. Holcomb dropped to 19-18 all time in the playoffs, in their 20th playoff appearance.
In the series, the Beavers have won three straight for the first time since the 2013-15 seasons, and now lead the all-time series over the Longhorns 17-4. It was the most points Scott City had scored in the series, since their 49-6 win in 2014.
Holcomb finishes their season at 4-5 for a second straight year. It’s the first time they have finished with sub-.500 records in back to back seasons since the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Scott City improves to 7-2 and will have their second consecutive rematch at home in the Regional round of the Class 3A Playoffs next Friday. The Beavers will host Concordia, who defeated Hugoton 43-18 on Friday night in Hugoton. Hugoton finishes their season at 4-5, while Concordia improves to 5-4. Scott City and the Panthers match up for the second time in three weeks at Darner Field.
Assistant Coach Landon Frank Postgame