Over the course of the last five years, meetings on the gridiron between the Scottsbluff and Lexington football teams have certainly been one sided.
The Bearcats outscored the Minutemen by a combined score of 157-30 in those winning matchups.
Friday night’s season opener for both teams proved to be more of the same as the Bearcats rolled to a 41-0 win, their sixth straight against Lexington. It marked the fourth straight season-opening win for Scottsbluff, which is rated No. 8 in the Class B preseason ratings by the Omaha World-Herald.
“Our goal is to win every week obviously and to keep the train rolling,” Scottsbluff assistant coach Ben Treffer said following the win. “You always want to start out on the right foot, so this was really big for us.”
Junior Max Mason busted onto the scene in his first start in the Bearcat backfield. Mason rushed for 207 yards on just 11 carries. He also finished with three rushing touchdowns.
“We saw Max Mason emerge as a really good running back,” Treffer said. “We already knew we had Brad [Johnston] and Trevor [Garcia], but Max stepped up as a third guy tonight. We knew what they were all capable of after watching them in practice, but it was good to see them prove it here on the field in a game.”
Johnston added 76 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
The Scottsbluff first-team offense enjoyed a short night at the office as the second team took over midway through the third quarter when the Bearcats’ advantage went over the 35-point mark to force a running clock the rest of the way.
After Lexington missed a 42-yard field goal on the game’s opening possession, Scottsbluff needed just six plays to get on the scoreboard first. Mason’s 45-yard scamper to paydirt capped the drive with 6 minutes, 13 seconds to play in the first quarter.
After forcing Lexington into a three-and-out, the Bearcats went on a 10-play drive that covered 65 yards. Traceten Halley sprinted untouched 31 yards around the end on a quarterback keeper to extend Scottsbluff’s advantage.
A Kobe Paez sack brought an end to Lexington’s next drive. The Scottsbluff offense responded with another impressive drive of 11 plays that covered 81 yards. Mason’s 3-yard burst through the middle capped the drive to push the Bearcats’ lead up to 21-0.
Eseah Ingram’s interception halted the Minutemen’s next drive. Seven plays later Scottsbluff’s lead ballooned to 28-0 when Mason scored from 19-yards out.
The Bearcats managed to score on their first two possessions of the second half to force the running-clock rule. Halley’s 16-yard touchdown capped the first scoring drive of the third quarter, while Johnston rumbled in from 4-yards out to close out the scoring.
Ingram, who replaced Jackson Hinze as the Bearcats’ place kicker, converted all five of his point-after tries.
In addition to scoring touchdowns on his only two carries of the game, Halley completed 4 of his 6 passes for 40 yards.
Scottsbluff (1-0) will hit the road for the first time this season next week at Hastings. The Bearcats will follow that up with a road trip to McCook before returning home to host Adams Central on Sept. 18.
Lexington (0-1) ................................. 0 0 0 0 — 0
Scottsbluff (1-0) ................................ 14 14 13 0 — 41
S — Max Mason 45 run (Eseah Ingram kick)
S — Traceten Halley 31 run (Ingram kick)
S — Mason 3 run (Ingram kick)
S — Mason 19 run (Ingram kick)
S — Halley 16 run (Ingram kick)
S — Brad Johnston 4 run (Kick blocked)