February 24, 2024

Scott City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–It was a cold and blustery Friday night for the Regional round of the Class 3A playoffs, as the Scott City Beavers played host to the Cheney Cardinals in what turned out to be a thriller. In perhaps one of the more dramatic games in Class 3A in the playoffs this year, the Cardinals were able to escape a nailbiter 28-27.

Scott City scored on their opening drive, taking advantage of a short Cardinal punt. A four-play, 41-yard drive was capped off by an eight-yard run by Brady Welker with 8:26 left in the first quarter to go up 7-0, with the Freddy Saenz PAT.

The game would be turned over to the defenses for a majority of the first half. The Beavers moved the ball to the Cardinal 30 late in the first quarter, but turned the ball over on downs. It wouldn’t be until late in the second quarter when the next score occurred. The teams combined for 28 points in the final 3:38 of the first half. Cheney tied the game on a four-yard pass from Josh Burdick to Jackson Voth with 3:38 left before half to tie the game at seven, with the Grady Kuehn PAT. They would block a Scott City punt, and turn that into points four plays later on a Burdick one-yard quarterback sneak with 47 seconds left before halftime to put the Cardinals up 14-7 with the Kuehn extra point.

Scott City would return the kickoff to the Cardinal 47 yard line, and on the first play of the series, Dylan Metzger connected with Jace Thomas on a 47-yard pass to tie the game with 30 seconds remaining before the break at 14. A short kick on the kickoff would bound off of a Cheney Cardinal, who was able to fall on it at his own 48 yard line. Four plays later, it was Burdick and Voth connecting on a 26 yard crossing pattern for the touchdown with seven seconds left before the break to go back up 21-14 with the Kuehn PAT.

It would be a battle of defenses in the third quarter, as bot teams went empty handed in their first tow possessions. The Beavers were able to capitalize on short field after a short Cardinal punt. A six-play, 24-yard drive saw Metzger hook up with Jackson Rumford from 10 yards out to tie the game at 21 with 2:41 left in the third quarter. Cheney would fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Scott City recovered the ball at the Cardinal 27 yard line. Unfortunately for the Beavers, they were only able to get it to the 10 yard line, and missed a 27-yard field goal late in the third quarter, as the teams would head to the fourth quarter tied at 21.

Both teams turned the ball over on downs on their first series’ of the final quarter. The Beavers moved the ball to the Cheney 25 yard line but, turned it over on downs with 4:49 left. Cheney would march down field 75 yards in six plays, capped off by a Hudson Ditgen three-yard run with 2:23 left. The PAT was kicked in by Kuehn to put the Cardinals up 28-21. 

Scott City faced fourth and three at their own 43 yard line with their season on the line. Metzger was able to scramble for 32 yards to the Cheney 25 yard line. He would find Rumford for a 25-yard pass for the score on the very next play with 1:19 left to pull the Beavers to within 28-27. Scott City would miss the extra point.

The onside kick attempt would go out of bounds, as Cheney would start their drive at their own 40. The Cardinals would convert a third and nine for 11 yards and run out the clock to pick up the 28-27 win.

Cheney finished with 329 yards of offense unofficially Josh Burdick was 19-30 passing for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Carson Middleton had 104 yards on six carries, and Jackson Voth had 98 yards on eight receptions and two touchdowns. Brayden Dibble led the ground game with 59 yards on 16 carries.

Dylan Metzger went 10-23 for 219 yards and threw three touchdowns. Jackson Rumford had five receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns, and Brady Welker led the ground game with 51 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. The Beavers finished with 355 yards of offense.

With the win, Cheney improved to 4-3 in the regional round in their 10th playoff appearance. They have now won seven straight over GWAC opponents since 2019, and are now 2-0 against Scott City. Scott City wrapped up their 27th playoff appearance with a record all-time of 54-23 in the playoffs, and are now 18-6 in the regional round. 

Cheney is 8-2 with the win, as they will head to 7-3 Clay Center next Friday night. The Tigers shut out Wichita Collegiate 35-0 on Thursday night.

Scott City doubled their win total from last year, and ended their season at 8-2.

Coach Jim Turner Postgame