Riley, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Friday night’s Class 3A Regional Playoff game between Riley County and Scott City was the first matchup of teams that have played a lot of playoff games over the years. On a 60-degree night at Hal Prichard Field, the Falcons would use explosive plays to pull away from the Beavers in a 43-14 triumph to advance to the Sectional round.
Riley County scored on their opening series, going on an 83-yard drive in eight plays in just under four minutes. On third down, quarterback Connor Holle connected with Trey Harmison on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 4:41 left in the first quarter to take the early 6-0 lead, after the missed two-point conversion.
Two plays following a punt return to the Beaver 27, the Falcons would add to their lead. On the first play of the second quarter, Nic Allen took the direct snap 13 yards for a touchdown, and ran in the two-point conversion to push their lead to 14-0 with 11:52 left before halftime. Scott City answered back with a 13-play, 60-yard drive, and burned up over five and a half minutes. Jace Thomas got the Beavers on the board with a five-yard run with 6:19 remaining before the break to pull them to within 14-7, that included the Brady Welker PAT. After Riley County was forced to punt on a three and out, Scott City would march right back down the field. Unfortunately on fourth down at the Falcon 18, the Beavers turned the ball over on downs with 1:15 left in the half. It would leave enough time for the Falcons to score and flip the momentum right before the break. Two plays after Allen’s 74-yard run, Trey Harmison scored from a yard out, and would run in the two-point conversion to give Riley County the 22-7 lead with 11 seconds left before halftime.
The Falcons scored on their opening drive of the second half. A six-play, 65-yard drive saw Nic Allen score his second touchdown, this one from 36 yards out, with 9:27 remaining in the third frame to push the lead to 28-7, following the missed two-point conversion.
In the fourth quarter, Riley County would take advantage of two interceptions. Their first score of the fourth quarter came on a Nic Allen 14-yard run with 11:24 left to go up 36-7, with the Connor Holle to Avery Holle two-point conversion. The second score came immediately after a Beaver turnover, as Trey Harmison scored from 40 yards out to go up 43-7 with 10:53 left, with the Alosha Abernathy PAT.
Scott City would take on one final score with 1:09 left, as Jace Thomas scored from 15 yards out, and the Welker extra point made the final 43-14. That would be a 90-yard drive that burned up nearly six minutes of the fourth period.
Riley County finished with 379 yards of offense, with 309 coming on the ground. Nic Allen had 233 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns, while Trey Harmison had 75 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. Connor Holle was 3-8 passing for 70 yards with a touchdown pass to Harmison, who led the Falcons with 53 yards on two catches. They were 2-6 on third down.
Scott City saw Jace Thomas run for 111 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns, as the Beavers finished with 162 yards and had 247 yards of offense. Harrison King was 14-26 passing for 85 yards, with two interceptions. Isaac Tarango had three catches for 31 yards to lead the receiving. The Beavers were 2-3 on fourth down and 4-11 on third down.
With the loss, Scott City ends their season at 6-4. They wrapped up their 26th playoff run with a record of 53-22. It was the 17th straight playoff run that Scott City has made it at least to the Regional round of the playoffs. The Beavers are now 18-5 in the regional round, and dropped to 18-9 on the road in the playoffs. Scott City has now scored in 153 straight games.
Riley County improved to 28-29 in their 30th playoff appearance, and have won their third consecutive regional game. The Falcons improved to 8-1 on the season, and will host 9-0 Andale next week, as the Indians shut out the Clearwater Indians 53-0 on Friday.
Coach Landon Frank Postgame