Scottsbluff surprised by York in opening round of the playoffs
Both head coaches, Joe Benson of Scottsbluff and Glen Snodgrass of York, said the outcome of their first round Class B playoff game Friday night in Scottsbluff could be determined by big plays. They were right.
Unfortunately for Scottsbluff the biggest plays belonged to the 16th seeded Dukes as they used them to upset the top seeded Bearcats 28-9.
A sign of things to come happened late in the first quarter to Scottsbluff. They took the game's opening kickoff and marched right down field to the York 10-yard line, but penalties moved the ball back and the drive stalled outside the York 40.
The Cats used up nearly eight minutes of the clock and failed to score. Then on a third and long play York registered its first big play, an 83-yard pass play from quarterback Linden Kalif to running back Eric Buller, who scooted down the east sideline untouched for the touchdown.
Scottsbluff struggled all night to put a consistent drive together, but cut the margin down to 7-3 when Randy Wentz connected on a 32-yard field goal with 5:30 left to play in the second quarter. Wentz finished the season 8-for-11 in three point kicks.
But York was able to strike for another big play right before halftime. Pinned back at their 11-yard line with just 15-seconds to go before intermission, Buller broke around left in and covered 89-yards down the east sideline. With just a second to go before halftime York took a 14-3 lead.
The third quarter was scoreless, but a big play made an impact on Scottsbluff towards the end of the stanza. While making a tackle along the sidelines Bearcat star Matt Klein was injured. He lay on the field for several minutes while being attended to. He was then transported to Regional West Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
Without their leading ball carrier the Bearcats had to resort to passing the ball more than expected. Senior Eric Moreno was 16 of 33 on the evening, including a 44-yard strike to Taylor Winkler with 8:49 to go in the game that pulled the Cats to within 21-9.
The Cats had opportunities down the stretch but could not capitalize and York put the finishing touches on the win with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown by Kalif with 1:58 to go.
The Dukes, making their first playoff appearance since 2003, will host a second round game Friday against Elkhorn, who held off Blair 27-20 Friday night at Elkhorn.
Scottsbluff, which suffered its 7th straight playoff loss, finishes the 2012 campaign 9-1.
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