Scottsbluff vs. McCook.
Enough said, right? Well, yes and no.
Of course we know those two teams being mentioned means hard nosed, well coached, football is about to be played. But there’s plenty to unpack with tonight’s big showdown at Bearcat Stadium in Scottsbluff.
Ever since the major realignment for Class B revealed that these two teams were now both in the same B-4 district and playing in week nine it’s been circled on the calendar as a can’t miss game.
Both teams have lived up to their preseason billing as top four teams in the state and both will arrive tonight at 8-0 with the district title for their for the taking.
Also on the line tonight is playoff seeding. Assuming Omaha Skutt Catholic knocks off Norris the winner of tonight’s game will be locked in as the #2 seed in the bracket with the loser a likely 3 seed but with the possibility of dropping to the #4 seed.
Let’s get to the matchup. McCook this season offensively is averaging right around 47 points a game while Scottsbluff is giving up right around 12 points per game. Defensive Coordinator Jake McLain offers up the plan for success tonight against the Bison.
McCook averages about 290 yards per game rushing while passing for right around 116 yard per game this season.
When Scottsbluff has the ball we know how explosive they can be. The ‘Cats enter averaging 46 points per game. Some similar type numbers as they average 295 yards rushing and 86 yards through the air. Offensive Coordinator Jud Hall knows the little things are key tonight.
Both coaches would tell you that some of those offensive numbers are skewed because the starters have sat a bunch over the last month plus as neither team has been tested since about week three of the season.
The record of the last five teams McCook has played is just 10-30 while the Scottsbluff opponents over that same time frame are just 15-24.
Since Jeff Gross has been the head coach at McCook his Bison are 15-6 against the Bearcats. Gross lost his first five games to Scottsbluff but has since ripped off 15 wins in the last 16 games in the series including five straight.
More from Coach Gross and of course Scottsbluff Head Coach Joe Benson on the pregame show tonight.
One of my favorite aspects of this annual matchup is just the respect level between the programs.
KNEB coverage can be found on KNEB.tv, ALLO 15, and Mobius 1500 and the radio broadcast on 101.7 The Trail and kneb.com starting with pregame at 6:30 and then kickoff at 7 p.m.
The gates at Bearcat Stadium open tonight at 5:45 and then don’t forget the gates along the track will be shut for the night at 6:50, 10 minutes ahead of kickoff.
Chadron (4-4) at Gering (0-8)…Chadron comes in having already clinched their district title. Mike Lecher’s team makes another appearance in the playoffs next week.
Yes, the Bulldogs have struggled in year one under Josh Hiatt, but facts are facts and they’ve played one of the tougher schedules you could come up with.
Will Chadron have much to play for tonight having already clinched a district championship? I’m guessing so. A win or or a loss could possibly have an effect on their playoff seeding and, oh yeah, Gering handed Chadron their only regular season loss last year.
Coverage tonight on KNEB AM 960, 100.3 FM, and kneb.com starts at 6:30, kickoff at 7 p.m.
Alliance (4-4) at Lexington (3-5)…This is also a big game tonight for both of these teams. The reconfigured Class B has left open playoff spots for teams that might not otherwise be thinking postseason at this stage of the year. Remember only 7 teams in the class WON’T be in the playoffs. Alliance is locked in to a postseason berth as they come into play tonight at 11th in power points. And Lexington with a win would assure themselves of a playoff berth as they’re currently at 15th in power points.
Perkins County (1-6) at Hemingford (4-3)…The Bobcats dropped their first three games of the season to teams that have a combined record of 22-1 coming into the week. Since a week three loss to Burwell, Hemingford has rattled off four straight wins averaging 53 points per game over that stretch. Tonight they take on the Plainsmen with a shot at another district title for Bobcat Country.
Creek Valley (3-4) at Minatare (6-1)…The D6-5 District title is on the line tonight with this matchup. Minatare is currently 6th in power points so they’ll be in good sharp regardless of the outcome tonight and we’ll plan on having Minatare playoff football next Friday here on KNEB.
Rest of the schedule: Sidney at Mitchell, Bridgeport at Hershey, Wauneta-Palisade at Leyton-Banner County, Potter-Dix at Arthur County, Sioux County at Hay Springs
Wyoming games: 3-A #1 Torrington at Rawlins (the Blazers will host a home playoff game next week), Niobrara County at Pine Bluffs, Southeast at Big Horn, Burns at Hot Springs County, Hulett at Lingle-Ft. Laramie