Norton, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Scott City is no stranger to big games. There was no doubt Saturday afternoon at Travis Field in Norton was a big game, as two undefeated teams took the field in hopes to advancing to the Sectional round. The Beavers used a 26-point second quarter, to go along with two defensive scores, to knock off the Norton Bluejays 55-20 to win their eighth Regional title in the last nine years.
Scott City got the lone score in the first quarter. On their opening drive, Trey O’Neil connected with Chantz Yager on a 42-yard touchdown pass, as Yager weaved his way through traffic with 9:16 left in the first quarter. The extra point missed and the Beavers led 6-0 after the opening period.
In the second frame, Scott City (11-0) added to their total, as O’Neil threw his second touchdown pass of the half, on a 39-yard pass to Brett Meyer. The two point conversion failed, and the Beavers extended their lead to 12-0 with 8:56 left in the first half. Norton got back into the game immediately. After a long kickoff by the Bluejays, quarterback Jordan Dole went up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown run with 8:41 left in the first half to cut the deficit to 12-7, after the Jay Mulder kick. Scott City would close the half with 21 unanswered points in the final seven minutes. Their first score came from Brett Meyer, who connected with Wyatt Kropp on a 71-yard pass play with 7:01 before halftime. O’Neil ran in the two-point conversion to make it 20-7. The Beavers also scored on a 15-yard run by Kropp with 3:35 before halftime time to make it 26-7, following the missed two-point conversion. When Norton (10-1) looked to close the gap late in the first half, Scott City took the momentum. As running back Gavin Lively was trying to push forward, Marshal Hutchins stripped the ball and ran 63 yards to the end zone with just over a minute before halftime. Tre Stewart booted in the PAT to make it 33-7 Scott City at the break.
Norton would not go down without a fight, however. It took them only four plays to score to begin the second half. Two minutes in, Dole found the end zone from two yards out, and it was 33-14 Beavers after the Mulder PAT. Scott City would respond in under three minutes. Kropp would find paydirt from 25 yards out with 7:11 to go in the third quarter to make it 41-14, after the O’Neil two-point conversion.
The Bluejays would make one final push. With 10:16 left, Dole kept it and entered the end zone from a yard out to make it 41-20. They would miss the two point conversion. Scott City would go down the field on their next drive, and eat almost five minutes off the clock. A seven-play drive would end in a one-yard Cooper Griffith plunge with 5:27 left. Stewart’s extra-point kick would push the lead to 48-20. The Beavers scored once more, this one off another Norton turnover. Meyer took his first interception of the afternoon and raced down the Scott City sideline 66 yards to put a bow on the game with 2:38 remaining in the game. Stewart’s extra point kick made the final 55-20.
Scott City forced four turnovers, three were in the final period on interceptions. Two were by Meyer and the other by O’Neil. Trey O’Neil was 12-of-18 for 239 yards and two touchdown passes. Wyatt Kropp was the leading rusher and receiver. He finished with 75 yards on 12 carries and two scores, and had 142 yards on five catches and one score. Scott City ended with 310 passing yards and 170 hard earned yards on the ground for a total of 480 yards.
For Norton, Jordan Dole was nine-of 16 for 98 yards with three interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns, as the Bluejays gained 252 on the ground. Dole had 179 rushing yards unofficially. Gavin Lively caught four passes for 72 yards.
With the win, Scott City has won at least 11 games seven out of the last nine seasons.
The Beavers will host Wichita Collegiate in the Sectional round of the Class 3A playoffs on Saturday, with a time yet to be determined. The Spartans are 10-1, after they blew past previously-unbeaten Hesston 61-35.
Scott City Coach Glenn O’Neil Postgame