Benson sees great potential in Bearcats
     2014-08-28      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen - Members of the 2014 Scottsbluff football team are: (front row, from left) Talon Graham, Isaac De Los Santos, Tito Garcia, Kobe Paez, Robbie Price, Braden Lofink, Max Mason, Evan Hughes, Genaro Gurrola, Isaiah Blanco, Salem Harsh, Jacob Morphew, Dalen Hartsuiker, Kris Kizzire, Joseph Collett, Alex Mosseaux, (middle row) Matthew Roy, Kishan Contreras, Ben Heggem, Traceten Halley, Trevor Garcia, Eseah Ingram, Adam Camacho, Lorenzo Anaya, Shane Smith, Austin Clarkson, Cooper Buchhammer, Brad Johnston, Clayton Clark, Nate Urdiales, Hever Morales, Abraham Alfaro, (back row) Jon Greve, John Harms, Ty Benson, Rob Cantril, Jackson Hinze, Christian Eubanks, Jordan Salazar, Andy Van Amburg, Christian Miller, Stetson Anderson, Matthew Mickey, Denzel Salazar, Tristan Donelson, Bruno Flores, Sabian Harsh and Levi Shope. Not pictured: Garrett Wolf and Kyle Pardue. 
Scottsbluff head football coach Joe Benson told his Bearcats following their scrimmage Friday night at Bearcat Stadium that he sees great potential in a team that, during a rebuilding season, went 6-4 and claimed a fourth straight Class B playoff berth for Scottsbluff.

The Bearcats open the season on the road Friday at Lexington, which finished 4-5 after opening the year with a 15-7 loss at Scottsbluff.
With nine returning starters on offense and five returning on defense, Benson credits the seniors from last year in building up the returning, hard-committing Bearcats.

“The seniors we had last year provided great leadership, played hard and showed the way for us, and these kids continued on and picked it up,” Benson said. “These kids like each other and they want to be good. When you want to be good, you usually are good.”

Senior Ty Benson was a first-team all-District B-8 running back and second-team kick returner last season. Benson led Scottsbluff’s rushing attack with 1,152 yards on 184 carries (6.3-yard average) with 11 touchdowns and also caught eight passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 10 punt returns for 92 total yards.

Senior Jackson Hinze returns at quarterback and also as the first-team all-district punter and second-team placekicker. Hinze made 8 of 9 field goals and 35 of 36 extra-point kicks while completing 43 passes for 652 yards, five TDs and three interceptions as the Bearcats’ quarterback.

Other returning second-team district selections for Scottsbluff are senior wide receivers Matthew Mickey and Denzel Salazar and junior offensive lineman Austin Clarkson.
Mickey had a team-high 11 receptions for 210 yards and one touchdown with a 2-point conversion catch, while Salazar made eight catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

Other key senior returnees include senior Tristan Donelson, who had 42 rushes for 252 yards as a junior and 41 solo tackles at linebacker, while Rob Cantril had 17 carries for 115 yards and Stetson Anderson had 41 carries for 212 yards.

Junior returnees include Traceten Halley at running back and safety, Brad Johnston at running back and defensive end and Eseah Ingram at receiver and cornerback.
Other returning linemen along with Clarkson are seniors Sabian Harsh, Christian Miller and Andy Van Amburg.

While Benson cited that the Bearcats had plenty of miscues during the scrimmage, so too was likely the case for Lexington in the Minutemen’s scrimmage Friday.
“We had a good effort. We have to gel as a team,” Coach Benson said. “We have the pieces to be good.”

Sidney snapped the Bearcats’ three-year reign as the District B-8 champions last year, and those two likely will decide the district frontrunner again when they meet in Sidney on Oct. 10. But Benson said not to count out Gering (at home on Oct. 17) or Alliance (on road on Oct. 24).

Scottsbluff schedule

Aug. 29 at Lexington, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 Hastings, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 McCook, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Adams Central-Hastings, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 G.I. Northwest, 6 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Aurora, 6 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Sidney, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 Gering, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 at Alliance, 7 p.m.

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