Conway Springs, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The first two times Scott City and Conway Springs met up in the playoffs, things didn’t fare too well for the Beavers. A 6-0 loss in 2007 and a 39-21 setback just two years ago were the results the first two times. This time it was different. Scott City scored first, led 14-7 at the break, and added an insurance score in the final quarter to knock out the Cardinals 20-7 Saturday afternoon at T.K. Shinn Field.
After a fumble on the opening possession, Scott City forced a three-and-out on defense, but a Conway Springs punt went out of bounds at the one yard line. That didn’t phase the Beavers though. A 54-yard run by Wyatt Kropp and a fourth down conversion led to a nine-play, 99-yard drive for the first score of the game. Trey O’Neil ran it in from three yards out with 3:31 left in the opening quarter. Tre Stewart knocked in the extra point to give Scott City the 7-0 lead.
It would remain 7-0 until late in the second quarter when the Cardinals got on the board. Conway Springs would put together a 15-play, 61-yard drive in 7:14, as Luke Fisher plunged in from one yard out on fourth and goal with 1:16 remaining before halftime. Bryce Davis would knock in the PAT to tie the game at seven. The tie, however, would last only 45 seconds. After a 57-yard pass play to Warren Kropp to the Cardinal 14, and an intentional grounding, O’Neil would hit a leaping Sloan Baker in the end zone with 16 seconds before halftime on a 27-yard pass. The Stewart extra point pushed the Beavers back into the lead at 14-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter, both teams displayed stellar defense, and it would play out that way for a majority of the second half. With Conway Springs pinned at their own 15 with 7:36 remaining in the game, Trey O’Neil would intercept a pass at around midfield and take it to the Cardinal 33. Scott City burned up 2:23 on the final scoring drive of the game. Facing a third and nine from the Conway Springs 19, O’Neil found Chris Pounds on a 19-yard touchdown pass, as Pounds would backpedal into the end zone with 5:00 left to make it 20-7, after the missed extra point.
Conway Springs picked up one first down, and then turned the ball over on downs with 2:34 remaining. The Beavers picked up a first down and ran out the clock, as they won their second straight Sectional game.
Scott City finished with 337 yards of offense. Trey O’Neil was 7-of-14 passing for 152 yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed for one more. Warren Kropp caught three passes for 81 yards, and his brother, Wyatt, gained 129 yards on the ground on 15 carries, as the Beavers rushed for 185 yards for the game.
Conway Springs finished with only 176 yards, under half of their season average of 365, and had 182 yards of total offense. Travis Wood had 75 yards on 24 carries and Dakota Finstad was 1-of-5 passing for six yards. Alec Stanley was intercepted on his only pass thrown.
The seven points scored by Conway Springs were the fewest since week seven of the 2008 season, when they lost to rival Garden Plain 21-7. They ended their season at 11-1. Scott City improved their record to 11-1. They won their 41st playoff game in school history, which is 11th best in Kansas High School History.
The Beavers will host Beloit Saturday night at 6 at Darner Field in the Sub-State round. Beloit is 12-0 after their 66-41 shootout win against Sedgwick last Friday night.