Bearcats ignite early on way to shutout win at Lexington
     2014-09-04      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
LEXINGTON — There’s no better way to leave a first impression on a football season than scoring on your first drive.

Better yet, how about scoring on your first play from scrimmage?

Scottsbluff senior running back Ty Benson capitalized on a nice opening kickoff return to the Bearcat 38, turned down the right sideline and ran all the way for a 62-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.

The play ignited what finished as a 37-0 victory over Lexington.

“That gave us a lot of momentum,” Scottsbluff coach Joe Benson said. “I think in all the years I’ve been here, we’ve never scored on the first play, so it was something that was different.”

The play certainly helped to get a lot of the nervousness the Bearcats needed after having to endure the new regulations that included having just two-day practices just every other day and for only an hour per workout.

“We needed to play a game,” said Benson said, whose team practiced for more than two hours on Monday. “I think we grew a bunch in that game, and that will definitely be an impetus for the rest of the season.”

Senior quarterback/kicker Jackson Hinze, after having the extra point blocked, knocked through a 31-yard field goal, giving the Bearcats a 9-0 lead after the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter, Benson added a 3-yard run for a second touchdown with 1:07 remaining. Hinze added the extra-point kick, giving Scottsbluff a 16-0 lead that stood through halftime.

Benson finished the game with 126 yards rushing on 12 carries, including his two touchdowns.

Senior Tristan Donelson, who also rushed for two TDs, and junior Brad Johnston both rushed for 49 yards on six rushes.

Sophomore Max Mason added the Bearcats’ final TD in the fourth quarter and ran for 24 yards on four carries.

Hinze completed all four of his passes for 77 yards. Senior Rob Cantril caught two passes for 23 yards, Benson had one catch covering 43 yards, and Donelson had the other catch, which went for 11 yards.

Scottsbluff totaled up 360 yards of total offense, including 283 on the ground.

Scottsbluff’s defense was stellar on the scoreboard, holding Lexington to just 153 yards of total offense. The Minutemen picked up 132 yards on the ground, but Benson said field position had an incredible factor in denying Lexington scoring opportunities.

“We need to get a lot better on defense,” Benson said. “We did not play well on defense. That score was not indicative of the level of defense that we played.

“If we don’t get better than that, we’re going to be in trouble. A lot of that was because they were playing on the negative side of the field when they would get the ball.”

Scottsbluff will play host to Hastings on Friday at Bearcat Stadium, beginning at 7 p.m. The Tigers are coming off a shutout of their own, a 34-0 win over Gering at Hastings.

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