HOLCOMB — It was a hard home opener to swallow for the Holcomb Longhorns, as they fell to rival Scott City, 24-0.
All the scoring was done in the first half, with the crushing damage in the first quarter when the Beavers scored three rushing touchdowns, all they would need to improve to 2-0.
The last time these two teams played was on this same field in the state playoff semifinals, which Holcomb won to advance and win their second state title in three years.
But this is a new year, with both teams reclassified into Class 3A, and Scott City, the third-ranked team in the state, looked like they were making a statement.
Scott City dominated the Longhorns from its opening play. Holding Holcomb to a 3-and-out, the Beavers got the ball at Holcomb’s 37-yard line, and Wyatt Hayes took the first hand-off 37 yards for a score.
Parker Vulgamore scored on Scott City’s second possession, again following a Holcomb punt.
The Beavers were going to settle for a field goal, but an offsides penalty on Holcomb gave them another shot, and Vulgamore ran it up the middle behind a Hayes decoy, and the Beavers led 14-0.
One more 3-and-out, and the Beavers got another shot at the end of the first.
They set it up with a Harrison King 16-yard pass to Marshall Faurot, and on the second play of the drive, Hayes ran in virtually untouched to the corner, giving Scott City a 21-0 lead.
The only scoring in the second quarter came from a 38-yard field goal from Moses Hinojos.
The only flaw was Scott City had two touchdowns called back on penalties, and that is one area of concern for coach Jim Turner, who was mostly pleased with his team’s play in the first half, not so much in the second.
“We played a good first half,” he said. “I really liked our intensity. We came out with the hustle and everything we had. I thought we came out, and got at it really quick and played physical.”
The second half was another story.
“Just a nightmare,” Turner said. “Just penalties. We kind of stalled everything we had. We had a holding penalty here. We dropped passes left and right. We just kept stubbing our toes. The second half was a real struggle for us.”
Scott City had 14 first downs to Holcomb’s four, but they also racked up 10 penalties for 70 yards, while Holcomb had seven for 63.
“That gives us a lot to work on, I guess,” Turner said.
Hayes finished with 19 carries for 164 yards.
Scott City finished with 406 total yards, while holding Holcomb to just 43.
“We did a good job against the run,” Turner said. “By shutting down the run, we were able to cover the pass well.”
Holcomb’s best field position of the night was from its own 30, making it down to the Beavers’ 30. Until then, it was between the Longhorns' own 14 to the 32.
For coach Kent Teeter, it was pretty obvious what happened.
“From my perspective, it was just that we weren’t ready for that. Our inexperience showed that we hadn’t been in that big of a game. We hadn’t seen that fast of speed with the new guys that we had,” Teeter said.