German exchange student kicks game-winner for Scott City as time expires.
By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — Don't blame either head coach if it was hard to talk after the game.
The Scott City Beavers won their 40th straight regular season game at Holcomb Friday night, but it might have been their toughest in a long, long time.
Scott City used a field goal as time ran out to drop the Longhorns 31-28 in Great West Activities Conference play, a game that gave an overflow crowd all they could handle.
German exchange student Tim Bolle, a soccer player appearing in just his second American football game, put the ball through the uprights from 19 yards out to give his new team the win.
That was just the exclamation point on a game that saw the Longhorns throw everything they could at the No. 3 team in Class 3A, as well as show Scott City coach Glen O'Neil how much character his group showed in response.
Holcomb overcame a touchdown deficit at halftime to score 14 unanswered points, holding a 28-21 lead going into the final quarter.
But the Beavers scored on a Martin Gough touchdown plunge at the 9:40 mark in the fourth to tie the game before Bolle's final heroics.
Brett Meyer, taking over for an injured Trey O'Neil, completed 10-of-16 passes for 163 yards in the second half after the Longhorn defense proved tough against the run.
"Trey ran a really good first half, and Brett had a great second half," coach O'Neil said. "He (Meyer) can throw the ball, and that's his strength. It allowed him to showcase his strength. And he had a lot of kids come back and make great catches and fight for those extra yards to get the first downs."
It was character building for his Beavers, but he also complimented Holcomb for being able to bounce back from a number of injuries.
Just last week, Holcomb lost all three starting backfield players to concussion-like injuries, and their status was in doubt until Thursday.
Quarterback Heath Tucker rushed for 225 yards, including two scoring runs of 64 yards each to lead the Holcomb attack.
But in the end, it was too many penalties against the Longhorns in big situations and a Scott City resiliency that provided the winning edge.
After scoring on a bizarre series as time expired in the second quarter, Scott City looked to continue its surge as it drove on the first series of the second half.
But a lost fumble turned the tide quickly after Tucker recovered the ball at the Holcomb 32, and three plays later he was off to the races for his second long score of the night, tying the game.
Scott City turned the ball over on downs on its next series, and Tucker hit Corey Roth seven plays later for the seven-point lead.
Roth pinned the Beavers at their own 9-yard line with a huge punt on Holcomb's next series.
Three times, though, Meyer scrambled and hit receivers on third down from 11, 16 and 14 yards to keep the winning drive alive.
The big bomb went to Brayden Strine, a 34-yard strike to the 15, setting up the final surge for the win.
"We haven't had to come from behind too many times. Our guys played well to come back and grew up a lot tonight," coach O'Neil said. "They showed a lot of patience and finished it with a victory."
For Holcomb coach Jerry Johnson, it was an emotional post-game to deal with, especially after the rebound from key injuries to Tucker, Roth and Richmeier.
"I knew after we got those guys back we were every bit as good as what they are," Johnson said, comparing the two teams.
Tucker showed no signs of a concussion that knocked him out early from last week's game, running up the middle then cutting up the home sideline 64 yards on just the third play of the game to give the Longhorns a 7-0 lead.
Scott City (3-0, 2-0) answered on the next series when Paco Banda punched it in from a yard out to tie the game.
Tucker capped a 16-play, 92-yard drive with a 2-yard run to put Holcomb back on top 14-7.
That drive consumed more than eight minutes, but O'Neil engineered a 9-play drive on the Beavers' next series as Chantz Yager scored from 5 yards out to tie the game.
Scott City scored as the first half ended, only to have it nullified on a penalty. Then with 11 seconds left and facing third and long thanks to a Dillon Williams sack, O'Neil connected for 33 yards with Strine to set up first and goal at the two, leading to O'Neil's touchdown and the lead.
For Johnson, that could have been enough to take down his team, but they talked at halftime about standing tall.
"We told them it was good for them to face adversity, and they overcame it," he said. "We took the lead. We did everything we had to win this game. We just didn't finish it."
Just like his counterpart, Johnson agreed that Holcomb (1-2, 0-2) will be able to learn about its character and grow from this game, despite the loss.
"We watch film and talk about how to finish a game off right," he said. "We're close to where we want to be, but we had too many mistakes to beat a team like (Scott City) right now."
Scott City 7 14 0 10 -- 31
Holcomb 7 7 14 0 -- 28
H--Tucker 64 run (Tucker run), 10:31
SC--Banda 1 run (Bolle kick), 7:09
H--Tucker 2 run (Tucker kick), 7:50
SC--Yager 5 run (Bolle kick), 4:16
SC--O'Neil 3 run (Bolle kick), :00
H--Tucker 64 run (Tucker kick), 6:05
H--Roth 25 pass from Tucker (Tucker kick), :49
SC--Gough 2 run (Bolle kick), 9:49
SC--Bolle 3-yd FG, :00
RUSHING--Scott City: Strine 11-38, Banda 13-29, O'Neil 7-22; Holcomb: Tucker 24-225, Richmeier 8-23.
PASSING--Scott City: Meyer 12-14-140, O'Neil 5-7-71; Holcomb: Tucker 4-8-46.
RECEIVING--Scott City: Strine 5-110; Holcomb: Roth 2-28.