SCOTT CITY — It was senior night Friday for the Scott City Beavers as they opened district play.
Scott City gave its fans a lot to celebrate as the state’s No.-2 team in Class 4A-II took out Colby, 42-14, to remain perfect for the season.
It was only fitting that seniors Nick Nowak scored three times and Jarret Jurgens once to lead the Beavers. In a game of early momentum shifts. Scott City opened with a big lead, Colby closed to within a touchdown, but the Beavers eventually took full control to move to 7-0.
Nowak recorded Scott City’s longest play of the season when he ran a sweep left, hit the home-side edge and sprinted 78 yards for the Beavers’ third score to go up 21-0 just over a minute into the second period.
“Jarret Jurgens had the edge (on a block), and after that I saw one guy and thought I’d try to get outside and see if I could out-run him," Nowak said. "Once I got outside, I was gone.”
The senior had scored his team’s first score on Scott City’s first possession, a 7-yard run to cap an 85-yard drive to give the Beavers a quick 7-0 lead five minutes into the game. That seemed to give the Beavers all the momentum, but a Colby punt to Beaver’s 1-yard line posed a problem. Four plays later, Colby intercepted an under-thrown pass at the 48.
Jordan Schippers capped a six-play drive with a 10-yard run with 23 seconds left in the half, and the Eagles were down just 21-7 at the break.
On the opening kickoff, Colby recovered a fumble at Scott City’s 22-yard line, and they made the home team pay, scoring on a Zach Hart 3-yard run, and suddenly it was just a touchdown deficit.
The Eagles forced a turnover on downs on the Beavers’ next possession, but Kyle Sherwood dropped an Eagle runner for a backfield loss, setting up 4th-and-nine, forcing Colby to punt and stemming the Eagle tide.
Backed up to their own 13 because of a penalty to start their next series, the Beavers ran an impressive six-play drive, with Wyatt Hayes scoring from 24 yards out.
The junior broke two tackles inside, side-stepped left and ran the rest of the way untouched for the score, his second of the night. He had also scored from 4 yards out in the first period to put the Beavers up 14-0.
Following Hayes’ second score, Jurgens capped an eight-play, 44-yard drive with a six-yard run, and Nowak followed that with a 37-yard run on the Beavers’ next possession to put the game away.
Scott City finished with 459 yards of total offense (353 on the ground), and the defense held Colby to just 226 yards, handing the Eagles their third straight loss after starting the season 4-0.
“We had some tough stops, but they did some things to us on defense we didn’t handle very well,” Scott City coach Jim Turner. “Little things turned into big things. But overall, our kids played really hard.”
Turner was complimentary of his offense, run by sophomore quarterback Parker Gooden.
“Parker’s just getting better and better every game,” Turner said, “and better every play out here.”
Gooden completed nine passes for 116 yards, and had one touchdown toss called back on a penalty.
Sherwood’s tackle on Hart to kill Colby’s momentum was also huge, Turner added.
“That’s big,” he said. “We had some plays where guys didn’t quite take care of their responsibility but when it really, really mattered, they took care of it. Kyle’s a big, strong kid.”
Nowak, who finished with 171 yards on just 10 carries, was all smiles after the game, but he knows his team still has work to do.
“We told the underclassmen we don’t want this to be our last home game,” the senior said. “Everybody went out and did a good job, too, and that’s what helped us a lot.”
The momentum shift back towards his team was also a highlight.
“We always tell ourselves we have to find our ‘inner dog,’” he said. “We definitely had to find it because we didn’t want to give them any more momentum. They (Colby) were getting pretty hyped up, but we knew we couldn’t give that back to them.”
Scott City travels to Goodland next week and Concordia the following week to finish district play. For now, they are in their own driver’s seat.