Hastings Head Coach, Charlie Shoemaker, did not hesitate earlier this week, saying, “probably one of the best Scottsbluff teams you guys have had in quite some time, I would think.”
That Scottsbluff football team Shoemaker was talking about showed up on Friday night and dominated the Tigers 48-14.
For the second straight week the Bearcats scored on their first play from scrimmage. Last week it was a long pass. This week their patented power running game.
6’3, 220 pound quarterback Sabastian Harsh kept the ball on a read play and went left through a big hole and was untouched on a 60 yard touchdown run to open the scoring with 10:37 left in the opening quarter.
That came after the defense forced a three and out.
Explosive while still smash mouth offensive football paired with a stifling defense has the Cats sitting at 2-0.
The early touchdown was a sign of things to come for Harsh and the offense.
On Scottsbluff’s second offensive possession Harsh capped a scoring drive with a one yard TD plunge.
The next two offensive drives featured one of the best players in the state doing his thing. Senior running back Chris Busby scored on an 18 yard touchdown run with 4:34 to play in the first quarter and then finished off a drive with 1:43 to play in the quarter scoring from 8 yards out.
Some other standout plays in the first quarter alone: a Garrett Nelson blindside sack, a Keegan Reifschneider punt return for great field position, a big Jack Darnell catch over a defender, a Jeremiah Delzer hit on a receiver after a catch, and then a Sabastian Harsh huge hit on the QB that resulted in a fumble (Hastings recovered for a first down it was jarred loose to hard).
That’s the thing; there’s a lot of guys on this team.
The second quarter scoring was all Scottsbluff starting at the 8:05 mark when the Cats took to the air. On third and long Harsh found Reifschneider over the middle in space against a defender. After the catch he made him miss and it was a 44 yard touchdown catch and run.
Then Jasiya DeOllos, a junior RB/LB, had himself a good looking drive. Some nice runs that showed a few different skills and he polished the drive off with a 14 yard touchdown run.
Scottsbluff took a 42 -0 lead to the locker room and came back with the running clock in effect to start the second half.
Midway through the third quarter it was Harsh accounting for his fourth touchdown of the night on a 29 yard touchdown run. Scottsbluff missed their first extra point of the night and was up 48-0.
Hastings would get two scores against the Scottsbluff backup defense to make the final 48-14.
So far this season the starting defensive unit has allowed just two big plays and one touchdown.
It’s hard to quantify what players like Nelson and Jordan Hort do for the the stop unit. Both players take multiple blockers to stop them or they ruin a play. Simple as that.
DeOllos was all over the place on defense tonight. He rushed the passer and he also played flat coverage well and made tackles. He delivered a crushing block (de-cleated the defender) on Harsh’s opening play touchdown also.
Busby finished with 11 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He’s up to 257 yards in the first two games and over his last 13 games he’s right around 1,900 yards with 22 touchdowns.
Harsh was the Taco John’s Player of the Game finishing with 97 yards rushing and three touchdowns. On four carries. He hit 3-5 in the air for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Reifschneider had 1 catch for 44 yards and a touchdown. He now has four catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games. Hastings somehow got away with punting to him three times tonight.
Nelson, Busby, Reifschneider, and Harsh has to be included in the top quartets in the state right now.
And all four are just general tough guys. Nelson has a motor that never stops and he’s in general just an animal. Busby finished a run inside the ten yard line tonight just delivering a blow to a defensive back. Reifschneider did the same at the end of his long punt return in the first quarter, and Harsh is one of the baddest dudes around.
Credit the offensive line as well. Tonight Scottsbluff piled up a total of 331 yards rushing allowing the running backs to average 7.6 yards per carry.
In the first two weeks the defense has dealt with two different style offense; a run heavy flexbone from North Platte and then tonight a mostly three to four wide on ever play Hastings passing attack that attempted 29 passes.
Next up? Kevin Stein and Carter Terry’s passing attack from Northwest. The two teams have had their share of battles over the last few years.
Tonight Northwest led McCook 21-7 at halftime before Jeff Gross and the Bison outscored Northwest 28-0 in the second half to win it 35-21.
Another fun Friday night awaits.