Bearcats prepare for battle of unbeatens at Aurora
     2012-09-21      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen Junior Bearcat Jacob Delzer (No. 39) plows through a Lexington challenger during an Aug. 24 contest against the Minutemen. With their 28-7 win against Hastings on Friday, the Bearcats remain undefeated this season.  
On Labor Day, before the Scottsbluff Bearcats played Holdrege at home, Scottsbluff coach Joe Benson took his senior leaders aside and said the Bearcats’ next two games were the most important of the season: against the Dusters at home and then last week at Hastings.
There were two reasons that was that the case. First of all, teams at any level and in any game cannot look past opponents. Second of all, the Bearcats still had plenty of improvement, despite a 2-0 start that included impressive wins over Lexington and McCook.
Scottsbluff scored 37 first-half points on their way to a 44-6 win over Holdrege on Sept. 7, and then last Friday the Bearcats took care of Hastings 28-7.

And that brings the 4-0 Bearcats — ranked No. 2 in Class B by the Omaha World-Herald — to an eagerly anticipated showdown against likewise 4-0 Aurora on Friday night on the No. 4 ranked Huskies’ home field.

“Our emphasis this week is that we talk about every play,” said Benson, whose team is allowing between just 160 and 170 yards to each opponent thus far. “The kids need to play, from the first play and all the way through the second half. And to be honest, we haven’t done that.”

The Bearcats, as has been their custom through their first four games, pounced on Hastings for 28 unanswered points by halftime. Scottsbluff has kept the opposition off the board in the first half of all four games thus far.

“Our blocking was good and our intensity was really good in the first half,” Benson said. “We lost our intensity a little bit in the second half and it showed when we didn’t score any points. We’ve done that twice so far (the first against McCook, a 17-7 Bearcat victory on Aug. 31).”

Hastings (1-3) scored in the third quarter after Bearcat turnover inside Scottsbluff’s own 5-yard line.

“We were expecting their triple-threat option, which is a different style of offense that what we usually see,” Benson said. “That we held them to 160 yards is a credit to our kids up front.”

Senior Matt T. Klein scored four touchdowns for Scottsbluff, which netted 308 yards of total offense.

Klein scored on first-quarter rushes of 4 and 8 yards and had a 39-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter. He finished the game with 178 yards on 17 carries, while senior Luke Worden added 77 yards on nine carries.

Senior Eric Moreno completed 4 of 6 passes for 65 yards, including a 19-yard toss to Klein that completed the Bearcats’ TD scoring. Klein caught two passes for 28 yards, while senior Taylor Winkler had one reception for 28 yards and Worden made two catches for 24 yards.
Senior Randy Wentz was a perfect 4-for-4 in kicking extra points.

Aurora enters Friday’s showdown having beaten McCook 26-13, Alliance on the road 28-14, Seward at home 42-14 and Sidney 41-14 in Cheyenne County.

“They have great skill players who as good as any team we will play this year,” Benson said of the Huskies. “We came back Monday with some typical bumps and bruises and we hope to have some of those players back Friday.”­

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