Scott City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–One year after playing for a state title game berth in Beloit, Scott City and Beloit faced off for a second consecutive year Saturday night at Darner Field in Scott City. On a night that saw the temperature in the mid 20’s the whole night, the Trojans would clinch their first state championship game appearance since 1996 with a 36-13 victory over the Beavers.
Beloit would have the first possession of the game. As they were moving the football down the field, the Trojans fumbled at midfield, and Scott City recovered. The Beavers took advantage of short field and scored on third and goal from the four yard line, as Trey O’Neil found Chris Pounds from four yards out with 7:41 remaining in the first quarter. Tre Stewart tacked on the PAT go give Scott City the early 7-0 lead. Beloit would respond on the ensuing drive. A seven play, 71-yard drive saw quarterback Payton Vetter score from six yards out with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter. Vetter would run in the two-point conversion to give the Trojans an 8-7 lead, and that would be the score heading into the second quarter.
The Trojans would score on their next possession. Two fourth down conversions, one at their own 17 yard line, would highlight a 16-play, 93-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes. With eight minutes remaining before halftime, Vetter would run it in from 13 yards away, and it was 14-7 Beloit after the failed two-point conversion. Scott City would pull to within one two plays later. Brayden Strine caught an O’Neil pass on a screen play, and took it downfield 67 yards away with 7:35 left before the half. The extra point was blocked, as the Trojans maintained the lead at 14-13. Beloit would score once more before halftime. At the 4:58 mark of the second period, Bowe Behymer scored from four yards out, and Vetter hooked up with RJ Jackson seven yards deep in the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 22-13. Following a Cooper Griffith interception, Scott City drove down the field to the Trojan 20, but two costly penalties backed them out of field goal range at the end of the first half.
The Beavers would put together a good drive to begin the second half, only to see a turnover change the course of the game for the rest of the night. On second down from the Beloit 10, Wyatt Kropp was drilled by Bryce Black on a busted play. Kropp fumbled, and Behymer picked up the loose ball, and returned it 89 yards for a Trojan touchdown with 9:47 to go in the third quarter. Vetter found Dustin Reiter for the two-point conversion to push Beloit’s lead to 30-13.
In the fourth quarter, the Trojans put the final touches on the game. On a third down play, Payton Vetter found RJ Jackson for a 55-yard touchdown pass with 5:02 left in the game, and the score would go to 36-13 after the two point conversion. Despite trailing by three scores, Scott City did not give up, and found themselves into Beloit territory on every second half possession, but were unable to finish off their drives.
For the game, Scott City would finish with 387 yards, as Trey O’Neil finished 15-of-33 passing for 245 yards passing, with two touchdowns and one interception. Brayden Strine caught six passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. Wyatt Kropp finished with 62 yards on 14 carries for the Beavers (11-2).
Beloit had two players rush for over 100 yards in the game. Bowe Behymer carried the ball 27 times for 149 yards and a touchdown, while Payton Vetter added 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He also threw for 89 yards on 5-of-10 passing with a touchdown and two picks. His leading receiver was RJ Jackson, who finished with 82 yards and a touchdown. Beloit (13-0) finished with just under 450 yards of total offense. Head Coach Greg Koenig won his 100th game in his career Satruday night.
Beloit will face Silver Lake at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. Silver Lake defeated rival Rossville 27-13 Friday night to make it to their 10th state title game in the last 11 seasons.