|Scottsbluff wins first playoff round|
|November 06, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
After seven first-round Class B playoff losses in a row, the Scottsbluff Bearcats football team posted a win last Friday night with a 41-33 home win over Aurora.
The win puts Scottsbluff in the quarterfinal game this Friday on the road against Beatrice, who upset Elkhorn South by a 43-35 score for their first playoff win.
“It was critical we won that game,” said head coach Joe Benson. “We had a chance in the last three or four years when we could have won a game and finally got over the top.”
The Bearcats have already had some experience against Aurora. They were on the road Oct. 3 to hand the Huskies a 37-29 loss. But this past Friday’s win was decided by two entirely different halves.
Scottsbluff marched down the field in the opening drive for their first score with a 10-yard touchdown run by Brad Johnson. He added another 1-yard run in the second quarter to go up 14-0. Then teammate Ty Benson got into the end zone from 10 yards out to extend the Scottsbluff lead to 21-0 at halftime.
The second half opened with an onside kick by Cooper Buchhammer, which the Bearcats recovered. That set up a drive that ended with a 4-yard run by Johnson to go up 28-0.
Then the Huskies came alive, scoring 13 straight points to narrow the Scottsbluff lead to 28-13. But Bearcat quarterback Jackson Hinze pitched a 50-yard touchdown pass to Johnson and the score was 34-13 in favor of Scottsbluff.
Aurora battled back again in the final quarter when Preston Dibbern put up six points, running in from the 5. Husky quarterback Jake Kittle marched the team down the field for another touchdown run from the 2. Kittle then saw Dibbern in the end zone and made the two-point conversion. Aurora was then within 34-27.
But Scottsbluff wasn’t finished. Max Mason jumped on an onside kick in Aurora territory and the Bearcats only needed two plays to get another score on a 35-yard touchdown run from Benson.
Aurora’s Dibbern made another 3-yard touchdown run late in the final quarter, but the extra point failed and the final score was 41-33.
“We didn’t play very good defense in the second half,” Coach Benson said. “If we’re going to advance in the playoffs, we need to tighten up and play defense for four quarters.”
Benson said in the first half, the team played about as well as they have all year. And he wasn’t surprised that Beatrice beat Elkhorn South. “We knew that was a 50-50 game. Beatrice has a great team and I think they were ranked number one in the preseason.”
With the win, Scottsbluff is 9-1 on the season with seven wins in a row. Benson ran for 181 years and two touchdowns against Aurora. Johnson added 140 yards and three scores. Hinze passed for 73 yards.
Aurora, finishing the season at 5-5, had 167 yards on the ground and 170 passing yards against the Bearcats.