|Bearcats outplayed by Omaha Skutt, end winning season|
|November 20, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Photos by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Scottsbluff senior running back Ty Benson (No. 21) finds a hole in the offensive line for rushing room, thanks to blocking by teammates including senior AndyVan Amburg (No. 58) against Omaha Skutt Catholic and Sean McDermott (No. 80) in the teams’ Class B state semifinal playoff game Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Scottsbluff. Benson had 72 rushing yards for the Bearcats in his final game for Scottsbluff, which fell to defending Class B state champion Skutt 28-7.
It was a cold Friday night at Bearcat Stadium as the Scottsbluff football team hosted the Class B state champs Omaha Skutt Catholic Skyhawks – and the visitors came away with a chance to defend their title.
The 28-7 loss ended an impressive season for the Bearcats, who finished with a 10-2 season record. It was also the first time Scottsbluff has made it to the state semifinal game since 2001.
“The cold weather wasn’t a factor at all,” said head coach Joe Benson. “Skutt was the better team and we got beat fair and square.”
Skutt was quick to put to rest any question whether they would be affected by the 500-mile trip across Nebraska. Although the Skyhawks were forced to punt in their opening possession, Scottsbluff fumbled the reception on their own 20 and Skutt’s Greg Vankat jumped on the ball.
It only took one play for the Skyhawks to get on the board when quarterback Isaiah Ramsey connected with Sean McCormick in the end zone. The extra point by Adam Gottschalk put Skutt up 7-0 just 10 minutes into the first quarter.
The first three possessions by the Bearcats went three-and-out because of a strong effort by the Skyhawk defense.
Another turnover plagued the Scottsbluff offense in the second quarter when Skyhawk linebacker Paul Semin picked off a Jackson Hinze pass and ran it back to the Scottsbluff two-yard line. Ramsey called his own number on the next play, running it in for 6 more points. The extra point was good and Skutt was up 14-0.
The Bearcats had the chance to put some points on the board before the half ended when Eseah Ingram picked off a Skutt pass at midfield. But the Skyhawk defense came alive again, forcing Scottsbluff into a punting situation. This time, Skutt got the block and took over on downs.
Skutt marched the ball down to the 1-yard-line, but fumbled and Scottsbluff’s Brad Johnson recovered. That ended the first half with Skutt in the lead 14-0.
“You’re going to make mistakes here and there,” Coach Benson said. “We made them at critical times and it hurt us a bit.”
The Skyhawk defense didn’t let up in the second half as they got another quarterback sack and recovered a bad Bearcat snap deep in their own territory. It took three plays for Ramsey to get a second Skutt touchdown. With the extra point, the Skyhawks increased their lead to 21-0 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
The Bearcats used the next possession to put together their best drive of the game. From their own 22, they made 14 plays to move the ball down to the Skutt 6. That’s where the defense held again and got the ball back on downs.
Skutt took good advantage of the next possession, covering 94 yards in nine plays. The points came from Ian Urban on a 39-yard touchdown run. With an extra point, the Skyhawks were up 28-0.
Scottsbluff didn’t get on the board until there were about three minutes left in the game. Ty Benson took it up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown. Jackson Hinze added the extra point to make the final score 28-7 for the Omaha Skutt Catholic win.
“Their front four on defense is the best we’ve seen all year,” Coach Benson said.
“Overall they had great team speed. They were just a really good football team.”
With the win, Skutt now has a 10-2 record and will face neighboring Elkhorn for the Class B championship on Nov. 25 in Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium. The Skyhawks beat Elkhorn 24-21 on Oct. 24 in the regular season finale for both teams.
Ian Urban was the leading rusher for Skutt, generating 66 yards on five carries. Thomas Pivovar was close behind with 57 yards on 10 carries. And Hunter Smith added another 48 yards on 11 carries. Ramsey, their quarterback, had 34 yards of rushing and two completed passes for 33 yards.
Scottsbluff’s leading rusher was Ty Benson, carrying 19 times for 72 yards. Hinze added 54 yards on seven carries and Johnson carried 11 times for 41 yards.
“We’re really proud of the kids,” Coach Benson said. “They gave a great effort the whole season and exceeded our expectations. We were a team that just got better continually. We’re real happy with how things worked out.”
Benson said he has about 12 starters returning for next year. “Like every year, we plan to be the best football team we can be and see how far we can go in the playoffs.”
Scottsbluff senior quarterback Jackson Hinze (No. 12) hands off the ball to Bearcat junior rusher Brad Johnston, looking for a gain in Scottsbluff’s Class B semifinal playoff game against Omaha Skutt Catholic on Friday at Bearcat Stadium.
Scottsbluff junior running back Brad Johnston (No. 21) looks to shake an Omaha Skutt Catholic defender during the teams’ Class B state semifinal playoff game Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Scottsbluff. Johnston had 41 yards on the ground for the Bearcats, whose season ended with the 28-7 loss to the defending Class B state champion Skyhawks.