Holcomb, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–In the first 13 games of the series, history has been on the side of Scott City. Friday night at Holcomb High School was a different story. The Longhorns turned three Beaver turnovers into 18 points, as they pulled away from a 6-6 halftime score to win 32-13.
Scott City saw three turnovers turn into 21 points in the second half last week in their loss to Hays. The turnover bug bit the Beavers right away. A Scott City fumble on the opening kickoff of the game was recovered by the Holcomb at the Beaver six yard line. Two plays later, Trey Gilbert found the end zone from two yards out to give the Longhorns a 6-0 lead, just 50 seconds into the game. That would be the score after the opening eight minutes.
The Beavers would force Holcomb (2-0, 1-0 GWAC) into their second straight turnover in as many possessions at the Longhorn 27. On fourth down from the six, Wyatt Hayes tied the game at 6 with a six-yard run with 5:09 left before the break. The extra point attempt by Gustavo Gonzalez was blocked.
After a tied game at the break, turnovers and ball control would be in the Longhorns favor. It started with a Michael Roth interception that took the ball to the Scott City 31 after a holding call forced it back to that spot. On third down from the 20, Gilbert found Roth wide open to give Holcomb the lead at 12-6 with 6:37 remaining in the third period, as the two-point conversion failed. Two plays later, the Beavers fumbled, giving the Longhorns the ball at the Scott City 31. A seven-play drive was capped off by a Brandon Stegman one-yard dive with 1:04 left in the third quarter, giving Holcomb an 18-6 lead after the missed two-point conversion.
When it looked like the Longhorns had put the dagger in early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run, a holding brought the play back, and Holcomb was forced into a turnover on downs. Scott City (0-2, 0-1) got momentum back in their favor. A five-play, 83-yard drive was finished off by a nine-yard quarterback bootleg by Bo Hess with 8:38 left. Gustavo Gonzalez booted home the PAT to cut the deficit to 18-13. Whatever momentum the Beavers had evaporated in less than a minute. With 7:45 remaining, Dillon Williams broke at least six tackles, en route to a 75-yard touchdown run that gave Holcomb a 25-13 lead, that included the Chance Rodriguez PAT. The Longhorns scored one final time with 2:03 remaining, as Kaden Tichenor found the end zone from 11 yards out, and the Rodriguez extra point made it 32-13 Holcomb.
Scott City saw Bo Hess go 5-15 passing for 79 yards with one interception. Kevin Aguilera had four catches for 77 yards, including a long of 51 yards. Wyatt Hayes carried the ball 18 times for 119 yards and a touchdown. The Beavers had 167 yards on the ground and 246 yards of total offense.
Trey Gilbert was 13-18 passing for 157 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Brandon Stegman was the leading receiver with two grabs for 49 yards. On the ground, Dillon Williams had 92 yards on only seven carries and a touchdown. Holcomb finished with 195 yards on the ground and 352 yards of total offense.
Holcomb has now won 11 straight games, dating back to last season. Their last loss came to Scott City on September 25, 2015. With the win, the Longhorns snap a 10-game losing streak to the Beavers, a streak that started in 2008. Scott City has lost their first two games to open a season for the first time since 1998. They lost to Great Bend 13-11 and 24-0 to Pratt, before falling to Pratt in the first round of the playoffs 12-6.
Scott City returns home next Friday to take on Cimarron, a 54-0 winner at Stanton County on Friday to improve to 1-1 on the season. Holcomb will host Ulysses, who is 1-1 after a 15-14 loss to Hugoton Friday night. Hugoton scored with 31 seconds left in the game and converted the two-point conversion for the win.
Other GWAC scores on Friday night saw Colby go to 2-0 on the year with a 55-26 road win at LaCrosse, and Goodland drilled Wray, CO at home 55-6 to improve to 1-1.
Coach Jim Turner Postgame