Since 2006, Scott City have made November the month of the Beavers.
A perennial playoff team, the Beavers have compiled a 22-11 record in tournament month.
While most schools have switched to winter sports preseasons, Scott City always seems to put those plans on hold as the Beavers take care of business on the field.
Last Friday’s 34-7 second-round win over Beloit was the team’s 50th in postseason play, tying them for ninth all-time in the state.
This week, the 10-0 Beavers look to make it 51 in the Class 3A quarterfinals, but the challenge before them will be huge, maybe as big or bigger than any they’ve faced in a while.
Friday is a road test at Andale, the state’s top-ranked team at 10-0 — a classic matchup on paper by all accounts.
Andale has won six games this season via shutout, outscoring opponents 301-0. That steamroller impact included a streak of five games from week two to week six of dominance on both sides of the ball.
Including their other four games, Andale has outscored opponents 498-55.
In other words, the Indians are prolific scorers and stingy defenders, very much like Scott City.
The Beavers opened the season with four straight shutouts and got their fifth two weeks ago in round one of the playoffs against Nickerson.
Scott City has surrendered just 58 points all season (that’s under six points a game, for perspective), scoring 428 points (that’s nearly 43 a game).
Two high-scoring offenses against each other’s rock-solid defenses add up to what could be one of the most highly anticipated matchups in Kansas this week — or in any quarterfinal round in several years.
“We’re just preparing for another game,” Scott City head coach Jim Turner said, however, acknowledging the program’s success. “We try to make this like any other week. Obviously, it’s more important with every round you go on. The guys know that. We don’t have to talk about it with them.”
His staff try to prepare for this game as they have every other thus far.
“We try to adjust to what we think they may do and how they might try to adjust to what we do,” Turner said, “and just get better at things we’re able to control.”
Scott City has built its season and reputation around a highly potent running game.
The Beavers have rushed almost 400 times for 2,828 yards (7.1 yards per carry), averaging 282.5 yards a game with 50 touchdowns, with 30 of those coming from senior back Wyatt Hayes, on his way to a Mr. Everything-type of a season.
The passing game, led most of the season by junior quarterback Parker Gooden, has 69 completions (124 attempts) for 1,020 yards.
That’s almost a 56 percent completion rate for 14.8 yards a catch and 102 yards a game.
The passing game account has accounted for 10 more touchdowns, led by senior Marshall Faurot.
The Beavers and Indians have similar approaches to the offense with the run first and pass second, Turner said.
“Both teams have a lot of confidence. They look pretty good on film and look like a pretty tough opponent,” he said.
“We’ve got to come out and play well,” Turner said. “They’re a really good team. We can’t afford to make a lot of mistakes. That’s what we’ve been focusing on in practice is taking care of things we can handle, and we want to be really good at them when we go on Friday.”
The only time these two teams faced each other was in 1991, but Turner is well aware of the Andale tradition.
The Indians won a title in 2014, going 13-0 in Class 4A-2, and they won back-to-back titles in Class 4A in 2006-07.
Since 2010, Andale is 64-17 overall, losing in last year’s state Class 4A-1 title game to Bishop Miege, coach Dylan Schmidt’s first season at the Indians’ helm.
This season has followed a predictable pattern, Schmidt said.
“The thing we’ve been able to do well all year is just come out and be ready to go,” he said. “You look at our starts and it’s been really impressive what our kids have been able to in the first half.”
With six shutouts, and six games with running clocks due to large leads, his first team has been able to rest and give teammates valuable game experience.
In terms of team strengths, Schmidt said his team has good balance, very much like Scott City.
“It’s really like looking in the mirror,” he explained. “They’re going to run the ball 80 to 90 percent of the time. We’re going to try to do the same. In terms of the sets we do it out of, we’ll be a little bit different. In terms of philosophy, we’re both trying to run the ball first.”
Both schools are used to being in the playoffs, Schmidt added. This matchup should be fun.
“These are the games, as a player, are the reason why you play. It’s the reason why you coach,” he said. “When you go out there, you can just tell in the atmosphere. You just know that you have to play your best football.”
There are times when a team can give a B, C, or D effort and get the job done, Schmidt added.
“But not this week. Not against Scott City,” he said.