Beavers roll past Bluejays
Scott City overcomes early turnovers to rout Cimarron in 3A.
By ADAM HOLT
SCOTT CITY — Turnovers are a big part of the classic recipe for an upset — and Cimarron got three early takeaways on the road.
But Scott City was more than good enough to overcome them.
A shaky period early in the game gave way to a dominating second half, as the Beavers beat the visiting Bluejays, 55-6, Tuesday night in a Class 3A Bi-District playoff game.
It took Scott City eight plays to score the first two touchdowns of the game, but the Beavers went on to turn the ball over on three straight drives, in late first and early second periods, including fumbles by Dalton Buehler on the first play in two consecutive possessions.
"The turnovers, of course, they did a good job making us turn the ball over," Scott City head coach Glenn O'Neil said of the Bluejays. "They took advantage of it, to come down and hit some areas in the passing game on that one drive that kind of exposed some holes. I give a lot of credit to Cimarron, and the coach down there. They played hard and they believed in what they were doing."
The Beavers defense held the 'Jays to punts on the two fumbles and an interception of Brett O'Neil by Cimarron's Alex Neuschafer.
Turnovers are one part of that upset recipe, but don't help as much if they don't turn into points.
"We got some turnovers and unfortunately we just couldn't take advantage of it," Cimarron head coach Doug Minneman said. "Their speed defensively caused us a lot of problems."
Still, the Beavers could have been up more than the 21-0 margin they held partway through the second quarter — on runs of 85 and 75 yards by Buehler and a 19-yard pass from Brett O'Neil to Devyn Eggleston to open the scoring.
But Glenn O'Neil said he was still wary about the stretch of giveaways by his team.
"Definitely. That's the symptoms that go with upsets, winning the turnover battle," he said. "They got those three in the first half — we've only had seven all year. To get three in an eight- or 10-minute span was pretty frustrating for our kids and coaches."
Cimarron finally got a drive going with 6:56 left in the second quarter, benefitting from a roughing the kicker penalty when Neuschafer was hit on a punt attempt. 'Jays quarterback AJ Cooper led Cimarron down the field, and finished the drive off with a 4-yard pass to Christian Fischer. The kick failed, but the 'Jays were in a 21-6 game with just 32.7 seconds left before half.
Scott City used two big pass plays to get to the Cimarron 35-yard line, and Trey O'Neil was pulled down in the end zone by Isaac Stanley on a deep pass, resulting in a defensive pass interference flag on what would have been the last play of the half. Set up on the 'Jays' 20-yard line, Brett O'Neil fired a pass that was tipped off Drew Kite's hands and into the arms of Eggleston, and the score was 27-6 at the break.
"That was big," Minneman said. "We thought we had them stopped, and we get a pass interference, or holding call, give them an extra down. They take advantage. We had good coverage, the ball was tipped. Their kids, they play all the way through the play. It was tipped, but they caught it. That did take a little life out of us. They came out the second half, were a lot more physical than we were, and we couldn't get them stopped."
"It was nice. And then on top of that, we get the ball back to start the third quarter," Glenn O'Neil said of that final first-half play. "So you get the momentum back, and you get the chance to go do something. Pretty big right there."
The second half was controlled by the Beavers, who scored on a 3-yard run from Buehler, a 36-yard run from Tius Price and a 20-yard interception return by Kite in the third quarter to put the game away. The Beavers' backups went in toward the end of the third and got one more touchdown, a 2-yard run from Paco Banda.
The Beavers rolled to 615 yards of offense, fueled by 432 on the ground, while holding the Bluejays to 169 total yards and just 8 rushing yards on 29 carries. Buehler had 245 rushing yards on 10 carries with three scores, and Eggleston had two receptions for touchdowns, for 39 yards.
Early on, it wasn't the cleanest game for Scott City, but Glenn O'Neil said the Beavers, who improve to 10-0 and travel to Salina-Sacred Heart on Saturday, got the message.
"I don't think the focus is something that we're going to have to worry about too much," he said. "I think that second quarter and end of the first quarter got the job done for us."
Cimarron finishes the season 7-3, and Minneman said he was proud of how his team's year went.
"It was a great season," he said. "To finish like we did here, it wasn't like we wanted it to. But the kids, for having only 22, 23 kids out, to make it into the playoffs and to have a chance to see how far you can go. The seniors need to be very proud of what they led us to, and the kids all need to be proud of the accomplishments that we achieved this year."
Cimarron 0 6 0 0 -- 6
Scott City 14 13 21 7 -- 55
SC--Eggleston 19 pass from B. O'Neil (B. O'Neil kick), 8:35
SC--Buehler 85 run (B. O'Neil kick), 6:16
SC--Buehler 75 run (B. O'Neil kick), 6:54
C--Fischer 4 pass from Cooper (kick fail), 32.7
SC--Eggleston 20 pass from B. O'Neil (kick fail), 0.0
SC--Buehler 3 run (B. O'Neil kick), 9:29
SC--Price 36 run (B. O'Neil kick), 5:59
SC--Kite 20 INT return (B. O'Neil kick), 4:53
SC--Banda 2 run (Wells kick), 5:10
First Downs 10 26
Pass-Att-Int 16-30-1 12-14-1
Passing yards 161 183
Rushes-yards 29-8 38-432
Total yards 169 615
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Punts 9 0
Penalties-Yds 9-70 8-70
PASSING--Cimarron:Cooper 16-29-1-161, Pachner 0-1-0-0; Scott City: B. O'Neil 10-12-1-150, T. O'Neill 1-1-0-19, Meyer 1-1-0-14.
RUSHING--Cimarron: Neuschafer 7-(minus 1), Clark 10-(minus 10), E. Trevino 1-2, Meis 1-(minus 5), J. Trevino 1-8, Cooper 6-0, Fischer 1-12, Stanley 2-2; Scott City: Buehler 10-245; Hess 3-34, Wells 6-28, Price 4-45, Banda 4-18, Gough 4-42, Baker 3-7, Yager 1-(minus 1), Hutchins 3-14.
RECEIVING--Cimarron: Meis 7-90, Fischer 3-14, Neuschafer 6-57; Scott City: Buehler 2-26, Eggleston 2-39, T. O'Neil 3-44, Kite 1-47, Burnett 1-14.