The McCook football team scored a touchdown with 49 seconds left in the game Friday, sending Scottsbluff to a heartbreaking 13-8 loss at Bearcat Stadium.
The setback was Scottsbluff's first of the season. The Bearcats opened their season last week with a 15-7 win over Lexington.
McCook, meanwhile, evened its record to 1-1.
Although Scottsbluff came up short in its home opener, Bearcat coach Joe Benson said his players have no reason to hang their heads.
“I'm extremely proud of them,” Benson said. “I thought they did an unbelievable job. You just never know when the big plays in the game are going to happen, and we didn't make a couple of them. But the thing that I'm really pleased with is that we're a reflection of our seniors. They're giving an unbelievable effort.”
In the fourth quarter Scottsbluff looked like it was in good position to move its season record to 2-0. The Bearcats took an 8-7 lead when Jackson Hinze kicked a 37-yard field goal with 6:50 to play.
McCook, however, had one final opportunity to come back, and the Bison didn't waste their opportunity.
After Scottsbluff's field goal, McCook started its ensuing drive at its own 30-yard line with 6:35 remaining.
The Bison then proceeded to drive the length of the field, helped by a 12-yard pass completion to Scottsbluff's 9-yard line with 2:22 to go. Five plays later, McCook went ahead when Colton Sis rushed into the end zone from 1 yard out with just 49 ticks left. The conversion run failed, but McCook still enjoyed a five-point lead.
A mishap on the ensuring kickoff forced Scottsbluff to start its final drive at its own 4-yard line. The Bearcats did manage to get a first down, but McCook's defense then stiffened, forcing Scottsbluff to give the ball up on downs.
Scottsbluff got on the scoreboard first when Hinze booted a 31-yard field goal with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
The Bearcats maintained that slim advantage until McCook reached the end zone just before halftime. Starting at Scottsbluff's 46-yard line, the Bison offense drove downfield and capped the series with a 22-yard TD pass from Sis to Bret Baumbach with 1:24 left.
Neither team did much offensively in the third period; however, Scottsbluff did catch a break when Brad Johnston and Andrew Aratani sacked Sis in the end zone for a safety with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
Scottsbluff's rushing attack was led by Ty Benson, who gained 73 yards on 22 carries. Hinze completed four passes for 47 yards. Matthew Mickey had two catches for 32 yards.
For McCook, Sis completed 6 of 11 passes for 63 yards. Trever Matson and Kolton Stone both rushed for 63 yards for the Bison.
Scottsbluff will look to bounce back next week when it travels to Holdrege.
NOTES: The game, which was slated to begin at 7 p.m., didn't start until about 9:30 p.m. because of delays caused by lightning. The game ended at about 11:30 p.m.
McCook ........................ 0 7 0 6—13
Scottsbluff ................... 3 0 2 3—8