Holcomb, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–When Holcomb and Scott City battle, it’s usually a physical, drag out game that has been well-contested throughout. For the first 44 minutes, it was that. The Longhorns scored 30 unanswered points, with 24 coming in the second half, as they snapped a three-game losing streak to the Beavers in a 30-13 win on Friday night at Holcomb High School.
Scott City took the ball and converted three third downs on their opening drive of the night. Sawyer Stevens capped off the 13-play drive with a one-yard rush with 6:11 left in the first quarter to go up 7-0 after the Brady Welker PAT kick. That would remain the score until the middle of the second quarter.
Holcomb got on the board, taking advantage of a Beaver turnover. A 63-yard run by Levi Knoll on the jet sweep on third down put the Longhorns on the board with 6:41 left before halftime to pull them to within 7-6. Their two-point attempt failed. Scott City would put together a 16-play drive that took just over six minutes. However on fourth and a yard from the Longhorn 10, a Cooper Henson interception ended the scoring threat late in the first half, and it would a 7-6 halftime lead in favor of the Beavers.
The turnover late in the first half looked to be the turning point of the game.
Holcomb’s Damon Mesa would take the opening kickoff to the Scott City 49 yard line to begin the second half. A drive that saw the Longhorns convert at fourth and 12 was capped off on a five yard touchdown pass from Kaden Johnson to Race Ardery nine yards deep in the end zone to put Holcomb up 12-7 with 6:01 left in the third quarter. Kolby Johnson would run in the two-point conversion to go up 14-7.
After both teams traded possessions, the Longhorns would take advantage of a bad punt snap and use the short field for their third score of the game in the fourth period.
A drive that went 31-yards on five plays saw Holcomb go up 20-7 on a fourth down pass from Kaden Johnson to Chris Harris with 9:39 remaining. Johnson would hit Cooper Henson for the two-point conversion to go up 22-7. The Longhorns would force a punt and would have their first snap in the second half in their own territory at the 6:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Scott City forced another punt and had their third sustained drive of the evening end deep in Longhorn territory. Khai Kosner would intercept Harrison King off a tipped ball near the goal line and take it to his own nine yard line. Kosner had a 57 yard run, and helped put the dagger in with a 34-yard touchdown run with 3:15 left. Kaden Johnson connected with Damon Mesa for the two-point conversion to put the Horns up 30-7. Scott City battled back and scored with 58 seconds left on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Harrison King to Isaac Tarango. They would miss the two-point conversion, and the final would be 30-13.
For Holcomb, Kaden Johnson was 6-12 passing for 56 yards with two touchdowns. Damon Mesa’s lone reception was the longest pass at 14 yards. Khai Kosner rushed for 118 yards on seven attempts and a touchdown. The Longhorns finished with 303 yards of offense, with 247 coming on the ground. They had 11 first downs and were penalized five times for 40 yards.
For Scott City, Harrison King went 16-27 for 213 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Blaine Culp had 80 yards on five catches. Culp would also be the leading rusher, with 31 yards on eight carries. The Beavers had 67 rushing yards and had 280 yards of offense total. They ended up with 17 first downs as well and had six penalties for 39 yards.
With the win, Holcomb is 2-0 for the first time since 2016. Scott City still leads the all-time series 17-5. It was the 17th consecutive season that the Beavers and Longhorns met up on the field. The last time that Scott City was 1-1 to begin a season was in 2007. They had previously started 2-0 in 12 of the past 13 years. The other time was an 0-2 start in 2006.
Up next for Holcomb is a road game at Southwestern Heights to close out non-district play next Friday. The Mustangs dropped to 1-1, as they were shut out by Texoma, OK 57-0 on Friday. Scott City visits 0-2 Cimarron to wrap up pre-district play next Friday. the Bluejays fell to Colby 21-8 in the first-ever match up between the schools.