By KEVIN THOMPSON
SCOTT CITY — Facing the Beavers any time is daunting. But doing it on their home field, on homecoming night, ranked No.-2 in the state 3A polls, and having won 30 straight regular-season games — that can be downright intimidating.
That's what 4A Ulysses faced Friday night in a Great West Activities Conference game, and just like the previous 30 opponents, they, too, fell victim to Scott City, 49-13.
Fresh off its close win against Holcomb last week, Scott City made a statement early, scoring on its first four possessions for a 26-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game.
Ulysses went the other way, giving the ball back on each of its first five possessions.
Brenner Wells started the scoring with a 12-yard run just four plays in.
Three plays into their next possession, the Beavers scored on a 38-yard double pass from Trey O'Neil, via quarterback Brett O'Neil.
On the sixth play of the next drive, Tyler Hess carried it in from four yards out and the Beavers held a 20-0 lead at the first break.
Brett O'Neil found Drew Kite again from 13 yards out on a pump pass over the middle to cap a nine-play, 72-yard drive, then he added a field goal to end the first-half scoring.
The Tigers tried to turn the tide late in the first half. They ran a 12-play drive staring at their 44, but Scott City kept them out of the end zone all four plays after the Tigers got to first and goal from the 9.
The Tigers' lone score of the half came when Eric Acosta blocked a punt and ran it in at the 6:46 mark.
Scott City made sure they had deflated the Tigers sufficiently by halftime when Dalton Buehler took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the 3-yard line and ran it in on the next play.
Scott City dominated the offense in the opening quarter 206-40 (300-114 for the half). By the end of the third quarter, after most of both teams' starters had left the game, Scott City was up in yardage, 367-144.
No doubt about it, the Beavers had made a statement.
"This is our best effort of the year, no doubt" coach Glenn O'Neil said. "It was against a real quality team and real quality program. Our kids just came out and did it tonight."
A hard week of practice paid off, he said.
"We're just trying to stay with the blocking and maintain blocks instead of hitting and bouncing off," he said. "We worked on a lot of different things this week — a lot of them fundamentals."
Much of the basics, coach O'Neil said, was focus, avoiding penalties (they had just four), lining up in the correct positions, and being more sure about what they were doing on the field.
"Tonight we had a better idea of what we were supposed to do individually to fit into the team," he said. "It just clicked. Tonight was one of those nights we played well."
Kite said he didn't expect this kind of game, but after the week of hard practice following the close Holcomb game, things just worked out.
"We worked really hard in practice and started blocking better," he said. At 6-4 he was also able to get some mismatches, and Brett O'Neil was able to get him the passes.
O'Neil finished the game 11-of-16 passing for 190 yards, which was essential since they knew the Tigers would be keying on Buehler, who had more than 600 rushing yards in the first three games.
"We haven't been needing to throw the ball, but later in the year we're going to need to," he said, so the balance in this game was a good indicator of what they can do.
Playing without freshman running back sensation Ian Rudzik, the Tigers' predominantly potent power running game looked for ways to compensate.
Coach Jason Kenny said they just couldn't find it Friday against a tough Scott City team.
"Momentum's high on high school football. They got it early, and they beat us in all phases of the game," he said. "You can't play flat on the road in this league."
He expects his team to be resilient following this loss and move on to the next game better prepared, he added.
Scott City (4-0, 3-0) travels to Hugoton while Ulysses (2-2, 1-1) faces Goodland.
Ulysses 0 7 0 6 -- 13
Scott City 20 14 6 -- 49
Scoring by quarters
SC - Wells 10 run (BO'Neil kick) 8:55
SC - Kite 38 pass from T.O'Neil (BO'Neil kick) 6:37
SC - Hess 4 run (kick failed) 3:07
SC - Kite 13 pass from BO'Neil (run failed) 9:19
U - Acosta 23 blocked punt return (Baeza kick) 6:46
SC- BO'Neil 24 field goal 4:18
SC-Buehler 3 run (BO'Neil kick) 11:45
SC- TO'Neil 17 pass from BO'Neil (BO'Neil kick) 6:45
SC- Banda 10 run (run failed) 9:23
U - Tregg Rodriguez 1 run (pass failed) :30