Bearcats pick Holdrege apart for 44-6 win Worden's pair of interceptions for TDs fuel Scottsbluff
     2012-09-14      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Bearcat senior Matt T. Klein (No. 9) fends off Holdrege senior defender Brian Sunblade (No. 21) at Bearcat Stadium on Friday. Scottsbluff enjoyed a comfortable win 44-6.
 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Scottsbluff senior Luke Worden was scheduled to make an official recruiting visit Saturday to Fort Collins, Colo., to see two teams whose programs are seeking his future services: the host Colorado State University Rams and the visiting North Dakota State University Bison.

Worden got to take some defensive success along with him on that trip from Friday night’s 44-6 victory for the 3-0 Bearcats over Holdrege, in which he scored Scottsbluff’s first two touchdowns on long interception returns.

Worden combined his scores with senior Randy Wentz’s second-drive, 37-yard field goal in giving the Bearcats a 16-0 lead not even 10 minutes into the game.

Wentz’s field goal ended a drive that had begun at the Holdrege 38 but stalled at the Dusters’ 20-yard line.

On third down and four from his team’s own 24, Holdrege junior quarterback Dakota Fulk threw to his left toward senior tight end Marcus VanEperen.

“They just throw a lot of those bubble screens and slip screens, so I knew those were possible plays out of that set,” Worden said. “He would turn to the wide side of the field to throw, and that’s a 15- to 20-yard throw, so that ball takes a while to get there. so I was just able to jump onto the set.”

The play became unraveled for the Dusters, Worden zeroed in on pulling in the ball himself at the 34 and rode a block by Bearcat junior Bo Lofing into the end zone for a 9-0 Scottsbluff lead with 5:18 left in the opening quarter.

“I think the tight end ran a curl and it was just overthrown,” Worden said. “I was just trying to read the quarterback because I had my man, and it just went untouched, right to me. Bo made a great block that got me into the end zone.”

Scottsbluff held Holdrege to a three-and-out series afterward, but the Dusters got the ball back when Bearcat senior Taylor Winkler had a 10-yard completion from senior Eric Moreno knocked loose and recovered by junior Brian Sunblade.

But four plays later, at the Scottsbluff 30, Worden snake-bit Fulk again on a left screen play. He pulled in the interception while running against the pass and ran 69 yards unabated to the end zone. Wentz’s kick was good and the Bearcats led 16-0 with still 2:19 left in the first quarter.

“That was more from film breakdown and just knowing what we wanted to do,” said Worden, whose defensive unit allowed the Dusters just 73 total offensive yards in the first half.

Holdrege’s 180-yard total for the game — the most Scottsbluff has allowed in its first three games, was amassed with 79 yards in the final quarter when both teams’ reserves were on the field after starters came off midway through the third period.

“We played really well,” said Scottsbluff coach Joe Benson, whose team had 223 rushing yards and 52 from Moreno through the air for 275 total yards — 143 of which came in the second quarter.
“I am thankful for Luke Worden, because I didn’t think we played that well for eight or nine minutes, and thank goodness he scores twice on defense. I think it gave us great confidence. We were pretty sluggish the first two series, and I think it got everybody going.”

The Bearcats’ 21-point, second-quarter assault began with a 4-yard run by senior Matt T. Klein, whose 23-yard gain to the 14 opened the second period. Klein finished the game with 105 yards on 12 carries.
After the Scottsbluff defense allowed Holdrege just its second first down but stopped the Dusters cold three plays later, the Bearcats used a Worden 4-yard run plus a facemask penalty, and a 27-yard dash by Klein to the Dusters’ 13.

Those plays set up a 7-yard rush by Worden who was led into the end zone by senior fullback Tim Magdaleno. Wentz’s third straight extra-point kick gave Scottsbluff a 30-0 advantage with 6:21 left in the first half.

Another short Holdrege series ended on a Bearcat fumble recovery at the Scottsbluff 20, but Magdaleno dashed 35 yards to get SHS into Duster territory quickly.

Four plays later, Moreno and Winkler connected on a 20-yard touchdown play with 2:04 left, and Wentz’s PAT kick increased the Bearcats’ margin for halftime to 37-0 — enough to implement the 25-point running clock rule starting after the break.

Holdrege (1-2) began the second half with the ball but found not only the Scottsbluff defense as an enemy but the running clock as a second adversary. After going three and out and Fulk getting sacked at his own 20, a short punt gave the Bearcats nice possession at their own 48.

On an unusually long drive for the night, Scottsbluff chewed up 4:49 of running clock time on nine plays, with Bearcat junior Jacob Delzer running the final 17 yards for the final touchdown. Wentz’s fourth PAT kick completed the SHS scoring and a 44-0 advantage with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

The running clock and mass substitutions paced the balance of the game quickly, although Holdrege chewed up 97 yards in the final 10:28 over 21 plays.

The Dusters dodged the shutout on the last play when third-team quarterback Ben Berreckman connected with sophomore Ryan Huston for a 13-yard scoring play.

Benson said he met with his senior leaders early last week and called the game against Holdrege and this week’s contest, Friday at Hastings, the Bearcats’ two most important games of the season.

“If we can take care of business these two weeks, we have a chance to be a good team,” Benson said. “We’ll know where we are in about five weeks, but any games beyond these two weeks should not even be on these kids’ radar.”

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