By BRETT MARSHALL
SCOTT CITY — Few Scott City High School players, coaches and fans can recall the last time the Beavers lost an opening-round home playoff game.
In fact, it hasn't been since 1998 that the Beavers tasted defeat and made an early exit from the postseason playoffs.
Tuesday night, the Beavers extended that streak by quickly, and easily, dispatching of Great West Activities Conference foe Goodland, 52-7, in Class 3A first round action at O. L. Darner Field.
The Beavers (10-0) will now play at home on Saturday against Smith Center (9-1). Gametime was to be announced later today by school officials.
Smith Center opened its playoff action with a 46-15 victory over Ellsworth. It will be a rematch of last year's second-round historic battle, won by Smith Center, 42-35, which knocked the Beavers from the ranks of the unbeaten.
"They're the only team to have beaten us in the last two seasons, so I know the kids are looking forward to the game," Scott City coach Glenn O'Neil said. "We're just looking forward to having a chance to play another game."
The Beavers got off to a slow start as the Cowboys made two first downs on their first possession, then recovered a Scott City fumble on the opening punt. Goodland got one more first down before the Beavers took over at the 4:42 mark of the first period.
From there, it was a quick-strike offense that ran roughshod over the Cowboys.
"We didn't get off to the best start there at first," said Beaver running back/defensive end Colborn Couchman. "We just wanted to come out and play a good game. Once we got through the first possession and they didn't score, we just started to click. I think once we got going, we played pretty well."
Dalton Buehler scored on a 42-yard dash at the 2:25 mark. Quarterback Brett O'Neil, who struggled with extra point kicks in the game, hooked up with Braeden Robinson for a 63-yard TD pass with 50 seconds remaining in the first. O'Neil then hit Luke Hayes on a 2-point conversion, making it 14-0.
The second quarter put the game out of reach and from that point forward, it was just a matter of determining what the final score would be.
Couchman rumbled 46 yards for a TD early in the second quarter. Drew Kite bulled his way in from 10 yards out for another Beaver score and Buehler topped it off with a 55-yard scamper. Only a late fumble by the Beavers kept them from getting to 40 by intermission.
"The line did their blocking for us and once they opened the holes for us, we were able to run through and then use our speed," Couchman said.
There was not an ounce of letup by the Beavers when the second half got underway.
Three plays into their first possession, and it was Couchman who raced 47 yards. O'Neil, who missed four PAT attempts on the night, made this one for a 40-0 margin. The game was turned over to the second team after that and Matt Zilla added a 6-yard run at the 4:08 mark, upping the advantage to 46-0, a score that invoked the running clock for the remainder of the game.
Goodland's (5-5) lone score of the night came on the next Cowboy possession when Dax Ruhs broke through for a 59-yard TD run and Austin Avelar added the point-after kick with just 53 seconds left.
The Beavers didn't need any plays from scrimmage to get their final score as Couchman took the ensuing kickoff back 75 yards for a TD with 14 seconds left in the third to close out the points for the night.
It was just the kind of tuneup game that O'Neil liked to see from his Beavers as they now prepare for the Redmen on Saturday.
Goodland 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Scott City 14 19 19 0 -- 52
SC--Dalton Buehler 42 run (kick failed), 2:25.
SC--Braeden Robinson 63 pass from Brett O'Neil (Luke Hayes pass from O'Neil), :40.
SC--Colborn Couchman 46 run (kick failed), 10:12.
SC--Drew Kite 10 run (kick failed), 8:09.
SC--Buehler 55 run (O'Neil kick), 6:12.
SC--Couchman 47 run (O'Neil kick), 10:56.
SC--Matt Zilla 6 run (run failed), 4:08.
G--Dax Ruhs 59 run (Austin Avelar kick), :53.
SC--Couchman 75 kickoff return (kick failed), :33.
First downs 6 15
Rushes-yards 35-140 34-331
Passing yards 14 139
Passes 2-9-1 4-4-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 0-0 2-10
Punts-avg. 7-32.0 1-34.0
RUSHING--Goodland: Ruhs 20-102, Oharah 8-5, Bellamy 3-16, Paxton 4-17; Scott City: Buehler 4-108, B. O'Neil 1-6, Smith 6-64, Couchman 4-102, Kite 1-10, Hess 4-6, T. O'Neil 2-(-2), Wells 5-15, Zilla 4-12, Gough 3-1.
PASSING--Goodland: Bellamy 2-9-1--14; Scott City: B. O'Neil 3-3-0--107; T. O'Neil 1-1-0--32.
RECEIVING--Goodland: Hillmer 1-9, Oharah 1-5; Scott City: Robinson 1-63, Hayes 1-17, Buehler 1-27, Ratzlaff 1-32.