The Scottsbluff football team improved its season record to 5-2 and racked up over 300 yards of total offense in a 42-12 win over Gering on Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Scottsbluff.
Scottsbluff coach Joe Benson said the Bearcats struggled a little in the first half stopping the pass, but felt his team’s adjustments at halftime were just enough to move past the Bulldogs.
"We did stick to our game plan, but they did a couple of things offensively that really hurt us defensively," Benson said. "I made a poor coaching decision coming into the game on a couple of their motions, and we changed at halftime and that helped a little bit."
The Bearcats were solid on the ground early in the contest, using a seven-play, 8-yard touchdown run from Jackson Hinze at the 9:12 mark of the first quarter, followed by a 12-yard TD run by Ty Benson with just under 3 minutes to go in the frame. Benson’s score capped a 10-play drive.
Gering was held to a pair of punts on its first two possessions, but showed its resiliency late in the first with a fourth-and-two conversion for a first down. The Bulldogs capped off an 18-play touchdown drive at the 6:01 mark of the quarter when quarterback Dillon DeMott scampered in from 2 yards out to cut the lead to 14-6. The drive took more than 7 minutes off the clock. Benson praised the play of DeMott throughtout the first half.
"DeMott threw the ball in the first half as accurately as you can throw it," he said.
The Bearcats answered on the ensuing possession when Benson scored his second touchdown of the night, a 13-yard run to extend the lead to 21-6. Gering managed to put points on the board before the half when Gage Smith drilled a 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to cut Scottsbluff’s lead to 21-9 going into the break.
Even though the Bearcats put up 21 first-half points, Benson believed his team was a little sluggish coming out.
"The second half we played good, but the first half I thought we were flat-footed," Benson said. "But a lot of that had to do with Gering and the way they threw the ball. Sometimes it’s just those little subtle things that people can do to you to confuse you, and I think they did it tonight."
Scottsbluff needed just five plays to score to start the third quarter. A 29-yard pass play from Hinze to Matthew Mickey set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Stetson Anderson at the 10:22 mark of the frame. An interception by Tristan Donelson in Gering territory at the 8:57 mark of the third quarter set up Anderson’s second touchdown run of the night, an 8-yard run with 4:30 left in the quarter.
Benson finished off his night in the final frame, capping off an eight-play drive at the 7-minute mark with a 20-yard run that put the Bearcats up 42-9. Smith hit a 28-yard field goal with 1:04 left to end the scoring in the game.
Gering coach Jimmie Rhodes lauded the play of the Bearcats and credited his team, too, for giving a strong effort.
"Scottsbluff’s got a really good football team," Rhodes said. "Credit to our kids, though. They kept punching and doing the best we could. You just can’t turn the football over. A team like this, where they methodically move down the field step by step, you can’t give them extra opportunities. I’m going to give credit to Scottsbluff. They played their tails off tonight, and that’s what they always do."
Benson paced the Bearcats offensively with 18 carries for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Hinze carried the ball 12 tiems for 46 yards and a touchdown and went 2-for-6 through the air for 42 yards, while Anderson toted it 12 times for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Mickey pulled down one catch for 42 yards, and Anderson had one catch for 20.
Gering was led on the ground by Smith, who carried the ball nine times for 30 yards. DeMott went 11-for-23 through the air for 118 yards, while Austin Hoffman completed two passes for 28 yards. Ryan Schwartzkopf led all receivers with seven catches for 109 yards.
Scottsbluff will next be in action on Friday when it hosts Alliance. Sidney will travel to Gering next week.
Gering (2-5) ................. 0 9 0 3 — 12
Scottsbluff (5-2) ........... 14 7 14 7 — 42
SB — Hinze 8 run (Hinze kick)
SB — Benson 12 run (Hinze kick)
G — DeMott 2 run (kick failed)
SB — Benson 13 run (Hinze kick)
G — G. Smith 30 FG
SB – Anderson 7 run (Hinze kick)
SB — Anderson 8 run (Hinze kick)
SB — Benson 20 run (Wills kick)
G — G. Smith 28 FG