Scottsbluff scores big victory by running over Hastings
     2011-09-29      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for Gering Citizen: Scottsbluff junior Matt Klein takes off on his way to scoring on a 71-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Friday of the Bearcats’ 49-14 rout of Hastings at Bearcat Stadium.  
Two times the Scottsbluff football team has played a team nicknamed the Tigers, and both times the Bearcats have left their feline foes in the dust after they were coming off tough losses.
Scottsbluff found its niche Friday night in a 49-14 rout of Hastings at Bearcats Stadium after a tough road loss the week before at Holdrege.

That loss, which Holdrege came from behind to drop the Bearcats 16-13, was a wake-up call for the Bearcats, SHS coach Joe Benson said.

“It was needed and we kind of had to have that type of game,” Benson said. “It should help us with our momentum for the rest of the season. We focused on fundamentals and the kids just showed up and played.”

The leader of the Bearcats on Friday was junior Matt Klein, who used the big play to roll up 235 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.

“We always knew he had the he had that ability,” Benson said of Klein. “He was tremendous.”

But the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Klein was only the third Scottsbluff player to score – in the first quarter.

In leading an all-around assault, junior Luke Worden returned an interception 30 yards and junior Randy Wentz kicked the extra point for a quick 7-0 Bearcat lead just 61 seconds into the game.

After the Tigers (2-3) tied the score on their ensuing drive, Scottsbluff (3-2) took the lead for good on senior quarterback Grand Lacey’s 17-yard touchdown pass to senior rusher Seth Rohrer, still with 5:34 left in the period.

Klein then began his big-play scoring night with a 67-yard rush to the end zone with 12 seconds left in the first quarter, giving the Bearcats a 21-7 advantage.

Klein scored on a 71-yard run with 7:38 remaining in the first half, and Scottsbluff upped its lead to 35-7 on a 44-yard connection from Lacey to senior Eric Moreno to complete a trick play midway through the second quarter.

The Bearcats wasted no time in implementing the 35-point running-clock rule for the balance of the game when Klein scored on the first play from scrimmage in the second half on a 68-yard dash. Worden then scored Scottsbluff’s final touchdown with 10:23 left in the third on a 19-yard run.

Worden had 76 yards and his rushing TD on seven carries to maintain his team lead in rushing, with 401 yards on 48 carries with five touchdowns (8.4 yards per carry). With his 26.1-yards-per carry average against Hastings, Klein is averaging 14.6 yards per rush. He is also the Bearcats’ top receiver with five catches for 112 yards with two TDs.

See BEARCATS on Page B2 and two TDs and now has completed 19 of 32 passes (59.4 percent) for 386 yards for five TDs with two interceptions.

“I think it was more us playing with energy and executing,” Benson said. “They were having a tough time stopping us and we were able to score points on them. It was a big step forward for us as a football team. We got a lot better.”

Defensively, the Bearcats got agame-high eight solo tackles and five assists from senior Jed Weis, while Rohrer had seven solo and 10 assisted tackles and senior Joe Moran had seven solo stops. Senior Stephen Cordona made six solo and five assisted tackles, while junior Jon Maag had five solos and four assists.
The Bearcats hope this week's trip east, this time to Grand Island to face the Northwest Vikings, fares better than the trek to Holdrege.

"They're offense is 50 percent running and 50 percent passing and their defense is solid, a strong 4-4," Benson said of the 1-4 Vikings, who are coming off a 49-26 loss at McCook -- which handed Scottsbluff a 28-7 season-opening home loss. The two teams have also both played Lexington, with the Bearcats 30-6 winners on Sept. 9 over the Minutemen, who the week before defeated Northwest at Lexington 22-20.

Even with District B-6 action still a week away from opening, and it being for the Bearcats' homecoming game against North Platte River arch-rival Gering, Benson emphasized Friday's game, "We have everything to play for."

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