CIMARRON — Teams play what the schedule dictates.
Unfortunately for Cimarron, three of the teams they played have been ranked in the top three in different classes this year, and they lost to all of them.
The last of those three losses was to No. 3 in Class 3A Scott City Beavers, who rolled over the Bluejays 48-6 Thursday night in Cimarron to remain undefeated and claim the Class 3A, District 8 title for home field advantage in Tuesday’s postseason opener.
The Beavers rushed for 456 yards in the dominating win (536 total yards) while holding the Bluejays to just 182 total yards.
Scott City (9-0, 3-0) wasted little time, scoring on the first series, a six-play, 49-yard drive capped by Cooper Griffith’s 2-yard run.
Two series later, Griffith broke a tackle and raced 43 yards for his second score.
Wyatt Kropp, in his first game back in four weeks, scored on a 12-yard run to give the Beavers a 21-0 lead in the opening period.
Tre Stewart scored on a 21-yard run in the second period and Justin Faurot scored three minutes later, breaking two sideline tackles and cutting back to the middle, and the Beavers led 34-0 at halftime.
The Scott City rushing defense made it look easy in the opening half with 10 tackles for loss on 18 running plays, adding six more in the second half.
The pass defense was just as good, holding Cimarron to just 3-of-13 completions, and they added a Drake McRae interception.
Cimarron (6-3, 2-1) had just 42 total yards in that half, while the Beavers had 303, including 230 on the ground.
Griffith scored on a 66-yard run, his final one of the night, with 7:43 left in the third. The senior went over the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season (13 carries, 182 yards), and now has 20 rushing touchdowns and 1,166 yards.
Coach Glenn O’Neil’s team, in the playoffs for the 10th straight season, didn’t miss on much in this game, and that’s a good sign.
“I thought we played pretty well,” he said. “That was the thing all week was come out and take care of business, be fundamentally sound and stay healthy.”
Having the senior Kropp back after injuring his shoulder was another positive.
“He looked a little rusty on defense, but it gives us that element of quickness running the ball,” O’Neil said. “I’m really happy with where he’s come in just a couple of days.”
Kropp, who wears a shoulder harness, just returned to practice Monday, missing three games.
“It feels great to be back,” he said. “It feels awesome to be back with the guys out here.”
Kropp rushed for 41 yards and the one touchdown, but it was his presence on the field again that O’Neil liked.
“It gives us that senior leadership. He’s our emotional leader in practice and gets on kids that aren’t ready to play,” O’Neil said. “And he played better on defense than I expected, being able to lift that arm with that harness.”
Tuesday the Beavers host Lyons to open the 3A state playoffs.
Cimarron’s lone offensive highlight was a Blake Neuschafer 76-yard touchdown run with seven minutes to play. The junior led his team with 83 rushing yards.
Still, first-year coach Jason Stithem and the ‘Jays head into postseason play for the second straight year.
“We need to be able to match the intensity of the other team,” Stithem said. “We didn’t win the line of scrimmage (Thursday night). (Scott City) is a heck of a ball club. They’ve been there, done it.”
He told his team that Scott City’s senior class (eight players) does not want to lose. Cimarron (with only two seniors), needed to match that intensity, and it wasn’t there Thursday.
“We came out, but they just ran it down our throats,” he said. “We did some very good things, but we did not execute.”
Cimarron travels to Hoisington Tuesday.
Scott City 21 13 14 0 — 48
Cimarron 0 0 6 0 — 6
SC—Griffith 2 run (Stewart kick), 10:08
SC—Griffith 43 run (Stewart kick), 7:05
SC—Kropp 12 run (Stewart kick), 3:23
SC—Stewart 21 run (Stewart kick), 8:21
SC—Faurot 46 run (run failed), 5:36
SC—Griffith 66 run (Stewart kick), 7:20
CIM—Neuschafer 76 run (pass failed), 6:59
SC—Hayes 5 run (Stewart kick), 2:05
Scott City Cimarron
First downs 20 7
Rushes-yards 60-456 31-107
Passes-complete 4-10 0-07-23
Passing yards 80 75
Total yards 536 182
Penalties-yards 5-25 4-30
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-1
Rushing—Scott City: Griffith 13-182, Hayes 11-81, Aguilera 10-60, Kropp 5-41, Hess 3-14, Stewart 2-20, Nowack 1-2, Lozano 7-20, Thomas 5-37, Brunswig 1-2: Cimarron: Neuschafer 13-83, Hamilton 1-15, Ast 11-8.
Passing—Scott City: Hess 4-10-0-80; Cimarron: Ast 7-23-1-75.
Receiving—Scott City: Cure 2-15, McRae 1-19, Faurot 1-46; Cimarron Fugitt 2-27, Lozoya 2-18, Lumpkins 2-15, Neuschafer 1-15.