The Scottsbluff Bearcats have arrived at the start of the postseason brimming with confidence after a perfect 9-0 regular season that included a district title clinching, 23-13 win over McCook last week.
Tonight they start the Class B playoffs with a home game against Ralston.
In the win over McCook last week it was a dominant effort in all phases of the game.
Offensively the Bearcats were able to run the ball all night long, totaling 286 yards on the ground against a defense that came in allowing just 63 yards rushing per game. The attack was led by Chris Busby, who ran for 223 yards on 31 carries and he scored three long touchdown runs.
At practice on Wednesday offensive line coach Derek Deaver said the offensive line graded out with their best performance of the season and offensive coordinator Jud Hall agreed.
So more of the same on offense is needed with the postseason here and they’ll surely take more of the same from last Friday night defensively. The Scottsbluff stop unit allowed just 13 points and they tossed a shutout at the Bison in the second half.
It’s a weird year for Class B. The entire class is down to just 23 teams and only 7 teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
Some of the lower seeded teams would not be in the postseason in years prior. That would include Scottsbluff’s opponent tonight, the Ralston Rams.
Ralston enters at just 4-5 on the season and they’ve lost their last four games Omaha Skutt, Plattsmouth, Norris, and Waverly by a combined score of 177-46.
That said, the veteran coaching staff of Scottsbluff knows all too well the pitfalls of overlooking an opponent. These same Rams came to Scottsbluff and knocked off the much higher seeded Bearcats in 2011 in round one by the score of 14-12.
Ralston Head Coach, Jason Fink, was an assistant on the coaching staff in 2011.
Expect to see Ralston spread things out on offense with trigger man Isaac Dannehl at quarterback. He’s 6’2, 185 pounds and so far on the season he’s thrown 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions while throwing for nearly 1,000 yards. He’s also added over 300 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.
The Rams defense has been pushed around of late in district play and will they be able to pose a test for this potent Scottsbluff attack tonight is the big question.
Here’s some of the numbers for this Bearcats offensive unit: 43.4 points per game…293 yards rushing per game…Chris Busby has run for 1,115 yards and 16 touchdowns…Sabastian Harsh averages nearly 7 yards per carry and he’s scored 13 touchdowns from the QB position…Jacob Krul is near 10 yards per carry…Keegan Reifschneider has five TD catches and is averaging 24 yards per catch.
Here are some thoughts on this Ralston team from Scottsbluff captains Garrett Nelson and Jeremiah Delzer.
The win over McCook did wonders for Scottsbluff’s setup heading into the playoffs. As the No. 2 seed they would have an opportunity to play three home games in before a possible trip to Lincoln. They would also avoid a rematch with McCook (unless both would reach the championship game.
Again, the confidence level is high for the Bearcats after they cleared the McCook hurdle and Reifschneider says veteran leadership could be huge in the second season.
We’ve got coverage tonight here at KNEB starting at 5:30 on KNEB.tv, ALLO channel 15, Mobius channel 1500, radio on 101.7 The Trail, and kneb.com. Kickoff at Bearcat Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Class B Round 1 schedule tonight:
#16 Bennington at #1 Omaha Skutt, 7 pm CT
#9 Northwest at #8 Blair, 7 pm CT
#12 Lexington at #5 Waverly, 7 pm CT
#13 Hastings at #4 McCook, 7 pm CT
#14 Alliance at #3 York, 5 pm MT
#11 Norris at #6 Seward, 7 pm CT
#10 Mount Michael Benedictine at #7 Omaha Roncalli, 7 pm CT
KNEB will also have coverage this afternoon with Minatare hosting Walthill in a D-6 opener.
Chuck Schwartz will have the broadcast on KNEB AM 960, 100.3 FM, and kneb.com starting at 1:15 with kickoff at 1:30.