October 2, 2022

Road rally; Beavers overcome first half miscues in win over Clearwater

Clearwater, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Playing their season opener on the road for the first time since 2012, Scott City were looking to continue the streak of season-opening wins. While it’s been at least seven seasons since the Beavers have trailed in their first game of the year, Scott City dug deep and found a way to get the road win, scoring the games final 23 points to take down the Indians 30-15 on a warm Friday night. They have now won eight consecutive season openers.

Clearwater may have had the lead a majority of the first half, but it felt Scott City was winning a majority of the possessions. Both teams had their fair share of penalties in the first half, as Scott City had seven first half penalties, six coming on illegal procedures, while Clearwater had three penalties in the opening half. 

The Indians struck first, thanks in large part to long runs on their second possession of the game. A 13-play, 80-yard drive by Clearwater was capped off by a one-yard run by Collin Ellis with 2:17 left in the first quarter, with the extra point by Payton Carter gave the Indians a 7-0 lead. The drive lasted 6:43. That drive by their offense saw them convert two fourth down plays, and would be the last glimpse of success for them. 

Scott City (1-0) quickly responded. On the second play of the second quarter, Cooper Griffith found the end zone from two yards out, and Tre Stewart’s extra point tied the game at seven. The Beavers would recover a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, setting them up at the Indian 30 yard line. On a third down play, Bryce Gibbs would intercept a Bo Hess pass, and take it to the end zone on a 74-yard pick-six. Carter would run in the two-point conversion on the swinging gate to give Clearwater (0-1) a 15-7 lead. Scott City pulled to within 15-10 late in the first half on a Tre Stewart 24-yard field goal.

The second half would be totally dominated by the visitors. Scott City’s opening drive took 7:37 off the clock, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Griffith on fourth and two to give the Beavers a 16-15 lead, a lead they would take heading into the fourth period. The two point conversion failed.

Scott City would tighten the clamp on the Indians in the final 12 minutes of play. Their first score of the quarter would come on Griffith’s one-yard plunge with 10:26 left in the game. Stewart’s PAT gave the Beavers a 23-15 advantage. The drive was set up by a Justin Faurot interception at the Clearwater 15 on third down. Following a bobbled snap on a punt attempt by the Indians, Scott City closed the scoring on a 10-yard pass play from Bo Hess to Wyatt Kropp with 4:44 left in the game, and Stewart’s extra point kick made it 30-15 Beavers.

Scott City was dominant in the final half of play. Only a handful of plays by Scott City were played in their own territory the entire second half, as Clearwater did not cross midfield in the final three quarters of play, and did not collect a first down. The Beaver defense held the Indians to a total of 14 yards in the second half, and ran 21 plays from scrimmage in the final three quarters, while running 15 plays in the first quarter. Scott City’s final four drives started in Clearwater Territory.

The Beavers finished with 289 yards, 237 coming on the ground. Cooper Griffith had 19 carries for 113 yards and three scores. Bo Hess was 5-12 for 52 yards with a touchdown and interception. He connected with Wyatt Kropp and Drake McRae two times each for 19 yards. Clearwater got 79 yards on only seven carries from Aaron Thomas. Thomas’ first carry went for 51 yards in the first quarter. Trent Cotton was 1-6 for eight yards with an interception, as he connected with Kale Mills on the pass. The Indians finished with 112 yards of offense. 

Scott City will begin a stretch of five straight GWAC games, as they host Colby in their home opener next Friday. The Eagles fell to rival Oakley 13-7 at Dennon Field in Colby. Clearwater will hit the road to take on the Goddard Lions, who fell 41-34 to Maize South.

Glenn O’Neil Postgame