Scottsbluff vs. McCook on Friday night turned into Scottsbluff vs. McCook.
The Bearcasts entered at 8-0 in need of a win to lock up the top spot in the Class B playoffs. McCook came in at 5-3 and relishing the role of underdog on their home field.
This one was an instant classic that produced some moments that could have an effect on both teams moving forward into the postseason.
Sabastian Harsh, one of the best football players in the state regardless of class, ripped off an 86 yard touchdown run on the very first play from scrimmage as Scottsbluff took an early 7-0 lead.
Harsh then scored on a 1 yard touchdown later in the first quarter but the Cats missed the PAT and led 13-0.
The major turn in the game occured late in the first quarter. McCook got a touchdown run from their big fullback, Alec Langan, to make it 13-7, and then Scottsbluff fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and the Bison scored quickly with another Langan touchdown run from 1 yard out.
McCook scored 14 points in closing moments of the first quarter and early second quarter in less than a minute of game action.
Then mid to late second quarter Harsh ran off tackle to the right with Scottsbluff on the move and when he was tackled he injured his left knee. He left the game and did not return until the final play when Scottsbluff had to run one final play in victory formation.
On the postgame show last night here’s what head coach Jud Hall said about the injury to Harsh and the conversation he had with head athletic trainer James Buck.
Scottsbluff trailed 14-13 at halftime.
Brett Hill, who played the entire first half at quarterback two weeks ago in the win over Alliance, entered to run the show and he went the distance in the second half.
It was a second half dominated by field position, both teams running the football, physical play, and a lot of defense.
It also featured just one scoring play. It was a big one. It featured Brett Hill.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Hill dropped back and connected with senior tight end Jack Darnell on a 38 yard touchdown pass to put Scottsbluff in the lead 19-14.
Coach Hall on Brett Hill…
Scottsbluff decided to go for two and the full touchdown margin and it was senior Jasiya DeOllos, who has really turned into an animal on the defensive side of the ball here late in the season, taking the direct snap and he plowed across the goal line to give Scottsbluff a 21-14 lead.
The defense would then thwart McCook’s last drive of the game inside the red zone and they’d hold on for a thrilling win to wrap up a district title, a 9-0 regular season, and a overall top seed for the Class B playoffs starting next Friday.
Before leaving with the injury Harsh rushed for the two touchdowns and, unofficially, 165 yards in the first half. Senior backfield mate Jacob Krul was the workhorse down the stretch totalling 30 carries on the night for 115 yards against a stout Bison stop unit.
(Also last night McCook played the entire second without their top player, senior quarterback Cam Berry. Not sure the severity or injury but hope the best for his return for McCook)
Scottsbluff will host Alliance in the first round, after Alliance won over Lexington 28-21 to sneak into the postseason as the #16 seed.
To view the full Class B playoff bracket you can CLICK HERE.
We’ll coverage on KNEB.tv, ALLO channel 15, and Mobius 1500 plus the radio broadcast on 101.7 The Trail.