Hutchinson, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Going in to Saturday’s Class 3A State Championship game at Gowan Stadium, many believed that this state title game would be the best game of all the finals played that day. In an evenly-matched championship game, Rossville’s Tucker Horak scored from five yards out with 28 seconds remaining to lead the Bulldawgs to a 21-14 come from behind win over Scott City to claim their first football championship in school history.
Both defenses won the first half. Scott City (13-1) looked to be driving down the field for the first score of the game, when Rossville would recover a Beaver fumble at the Dawg 18 yard line. After having the ball for almost three minutes of the first quarter, Rossville would burn over four minutes of the second quarter clock on a 14-play drive, that resulted in a Tucker Horak three yard touchdown run. Paul Steinke’s PAT would make it 7-0 Bulldawgs, which would be the score at the half.
Following one first down and Rossville punt, Scott City continued with their ball control. Their opening drive of the second half took 13 plays, 84 yards, and 6:28 off the clock. After the Beavers were run-dominant for a majority of the drive, Trey O’Neil found Chantz Yager in the middle of the field open for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 3:59 left in the third quarter. Pierre Portes’ extra point kick tied the game at seven, which would be the score after three quarters.
Rossville (14-0) moved the ball down the field on their ensuing drive, when Horak fumbled on third down at the Beaver 17 yard line. Scott City recovered and put together another 13-play drive. With 8:46 remaining in the game, the Beavers took their first lead, as O’Neil found Sloan Baker wide open behind the Rossville safeties for a 34-yard touchdown connection, and Portes’ extra point gave Scott City a 14-7 lead. The Bulldawgs wasted little time in tying the game. A quick eight play, 70-yard drive tied the game at 14 with 7:14 left in regulation, as Nick Reesor found paydirt from two yards out, followed by the Steinke PAT. Scott City would burn nearly four minutes on their ensuing drive, but were forced to punt, which allowed Rossville to march down the field for the game winning drive.
Burning nearly four minutes off the clock, and drawing Scott City offsides on fourth and one with under a minute left, Tucker Horak capped off the 79-yard, 12-play drive with his five yard run with 28 seconds remaining. Steinke’s kick make it 21-14 Bulldawgs.
The Beavers had one more shot. After Brett Meyer hit Yager on a 21-yard pass play, and a spiked ball to stop the clock, Lake-Schultz-Pruner would intercept O’Neil, ending a comeback attempt by Scott City.
For Rossville, Tucker Horak was only four-of-14 passing for 54 yards, but he gained 202 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns on the ground. Christian Roduner caught two passes for 33 yards for the Bulldawgs.
Rossville outgained Scott City 337-331 in total yardage, but the Beavers led the overall time of possession 29:16 to 18:44.
Trey O’Neil was 16-of-21 passing for 179 yards with two touchdowns and one interception Sloan Baker had seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown, while O’Neil led Scott City on the ground with 41 yards on 11 carries.
Rossville is now 1-1 in state championship games, and now have 47 playoff wins in school history, which ranks seventh in state history, and have a record of 47-24 in 25 playoff appearances. Scott City is right behind with 46 playoff wins, and is eighth best in Kansas. They lost just their second state championship game in six appearances. The Beavers are now 46-16 all time in 20 playoff appearances.
Approximately 3,500 fans were in attendance for Saturday’s 3A title game in Hutchinson. The temperature a kickoff was at 56 degrees.
Glenn O’Neil postgame interview