Bearcats outrush Bulldogs to win offensive slugfest: Speedy Alliance attack leaves Scottsbluff defense vulnerable
     2012-10-19      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Bearcat junior Andrew Aratani (No. 62), and teammate, senior Matt Klein (No. 9), work together to take down Holdrege junior Dakota Fulk (No. 8) during a Sept. 7 battle against the Dusters at Bearcat Stadium. The Bearcats remain undefeated after last week’s 49-33 road battle against the Alliance Bulldogs.
 
While a highly potent offensive attack has been a consistent factor in the Scottsbluff football team’s winning its first eight games this season, the Bearcats’ stellar defense has been equally rock solid.

But the Alliance Bulldogs provided quite a challenge to Scottsbluff’s defense, compiling more than double the yardage the Bearcats had allowed per game in their first seven contests.

Nearly 800 total offensive yards and another 211 return yards later, the Bearcats added to their undefeated record and finally broke loose from the explosive Bulldogs in the fourth quarter for a 49-33 victory at Bulldog Stadium.

“I thought we played great on offense,” Scottsbluff coach Joe Benson said Monday of the Bearcats’ 381 yards from scrimmage, anchored by senior Matt T. Klein’s 227 yards and three touchdowns.

“And we played great on special teams,” he added of his team’s 186 return yards that included a 48-yard punt return by senior Klein and a 79-yard kickoff return by senior Luke Worden for touchdowns in the third quarter.

Worden had four kick returns for 121 yards, and senior Randy Wentz was perfect on seven point-after-TD kicks while averaging nearly 50 yards per kickoff and forcing numerous touchbacks.

“Our defense,” Benson bluntly said after the Bearcats allowed Alliance 487 total offensive yards, although Wentz had an interception, “must improve.”

Scottsbluff entered the District B-8 game averaging 216 yards allowed per game, but Benson said the Bearcats may have not seen the team speed with which the Bulldogs behind senior quarterback Isaac Burnham and senior tailback Mitch Pancost attacked the SHS defense.

“Mostly, Alliance has great team speed,” Benson said. “They are one of the fastest teams we have seen, if not the fastest we will see all season.”

Scottsbluff outgained Alliance on the ground, 309 rushing yards to 214, but the Bulldogs’ total was nearly double that which the Bearcats’ defense had allowed in their first seven games.

And the 33 points Alliance scored was about one-third of the Bearcats’ scoring total of 96 points allowed this season.

Pancost led Alliance’s ground charge with 134 yards on 28 carries, while Burnham had 46 yards on 10 rushes. Burnam had 13 completions for 283 passing yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring play by Pancost off a screen pass that gave the Bulldogs a 21-14, second-quarter lead.

Klein scored on Scottsbluff’s next series with a 59-yard rush that knotted the score at 21-all at halftime.

Klein and Worden’s touchdown returns helped give the Bearcats a 35-33 lead after three periods, and Scottsbluff sealed the hard-fought victory with two more scores in the fourth quarter.

Following Klein in rushing for the Bearcats was senior Tim Magdaleno, who added 40 yards on four carries. Worden had 23 yards on six rushes.

Senior quarterback Eric Moreno had 4 of 9 completions for 72 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown connection with Taylor Winkler that pulled Scottsbluff even with Alliance at 14-all in the second quarter.

Sidney is riding its first victory of the season into Bearcat Stadium on Friday night on the heels of a 257-yard, three-TD rushing attack by Logan Lewis in the Red Raiders’ 44-24 home rout of Gering.

Benson said plenty of defensive focus on stopping the rush in the teams’ regular-season finale was to be a key focus in practice this week.

“We need to stop Sidney’s running game to have a chance to win,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Despite their two district victories over Gering (4-4, 1-1 district) and Alliance (5-3, 1-1 district), the Bearcats are playoff bound but still have not clinched the District B-8 title. “The district is up for grabs,” Benson said.

Sidney (1-7, 1-1 district) has a chance to steal the district title if the Red Raiders can pull off the surprise against Scottsbluff on Friday at Bearcat Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Afternoon friend!
Recently Read Sports
594Bearcats outrush Bulldogs to win offensive slugfest: Speedy Alliance attack leaves Scottsbluff defense vulnerable
665WNCC soccer teams opened up practice Monday with talented teams
606Scottsbluff holds off Gering rally to win 5-set match
716Sidney avenges earlier loss to Bulldog boys
516Seacats ready to give their best shot at state meet
639Bulldogs' Pierce to run track, cross country for Midland University
673Gering boys get big win over Chadron
644Gering Legion team builds momentum
641Minatare falls to Riverside in season opener
568Lady Bulldogs earn runner up at District B6 basketball playoffs
591Minatare Indians rely on veteran players
1333Inaugural Monument Marathon attracts runners from 25 states: Nearly 400 runners test their mettle on Panhandle terrain
576Bearcat girls fall short of Alliance in first round district action
782Gering track teams ready for district challenge
620Scottsbluff boys score sweep over Cheyenne opponents
712Cats’ pursuit for perfection ends
787Gering softball feed raises funds
1376Scottsbluff to host 2016 State Horseshoe Pitching tourney
654Bearcats' Moore signs golf letter with Metro State
886Gering names new football coach
Most Read Sports 2012
3743Mitchell track off to a strong start
3597Morrill baseball back in business
2902Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2806Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2462Raising the bar high
2431Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2409Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2256Gering wrestling builds on experience
2245Doing the heavy lifting
2157Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2128Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
1984Gering resident lives his dream
1978Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1910All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1889Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1886Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1873Bearcat coach nears finish line
1868All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1852All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
1841Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
Most Read Sports 2011
3743Mitchell track off to a strong start
3597Morrill baseball back in business
2902Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2806Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2462Raising the bar high
2431Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2409Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2256Gering wrestling builds on experience
2245Doing the heavy lifting
2157Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2128Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
1984Gering resident lives his dream
1978Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
1910All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
1889Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
1886Gering Boys’ soccer builds foundation
1873Bearcat coach nears finish line
1868All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
1852All Points West: Deter gave us reason to golf
1841Scottsbluff hopes to repeat as state champs
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on