The Scottsbluff Bearcats opened the 2018 season with a resounding 41-20 road win at Class A North Platte on Friday night.
Scottsbluff got the scoring started on their first play from scrimmage this season with 8:57 to play in the first quarter as junior quarterback Sabastian Harsh hit senior Keegan Reifschneider with a 60 yard touchdown (PAT good) to put the Cats in front 7-0.
After North Platte got a 3 yard touchdown run from Nick Bocott the game was tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Scottsbluff owned the second quarter.
The first of three second quarter touchdowns came from senior running back Chris Busby who ran one in from three yards out (PAT good) as Scottsbluff took a 14-7 lead.
Busby then hit the Bulldogs with one of his patented long TD runs that covered 48 yards and with another Caleb Walker PAT it was 21-7 Scottsbluff.
The barrage wasn’t over as with just under 2 minutes to play in the first half Jacob Krul scored on an 11 yard run. That score was set up by another long ball from Harsh to Reifschneider covering 61 yards to get the ball inside the red zone.
Scottsbluff took a 28-7 lead to the locker room.
The third quarter featured some sloppy play on both sides but more dominant defense from this Garrett Nelson led stacked unit. Just about everyone who played on the first unit defense flashed at times making plays.
It was a scoreless third quarter for both teams.
The Bearcats put the finishing touches on this rout early in the fourth quarter as they scored two touchdowns in the first two minutes.
Harsh picked up his first rushing touchdown of the season with a 9 yard jaunt :45 seconds into the stanza and then it was Jasiya DeOllos with a 8 yard touchdown run.
North Platte would add a pair of late scores to make it a more respectable final of 41-20.
Scottsbluff racked up a total of 427 yards (284 rushing and 143 passing).
Chris Busby led the rushing attack with the two touchdowns and 134 yards on 15 carries.
Harsh hit four of eight throws and finished with 143 in the air and the one touchdown. He did throw two interceptions but one was on the last play of the first half and the second came on ball that was in and out of the hands of the receiver and ricocheted to the defender. High marks overall tonight for the first year starting QB.
The Taco John’s Player of the Game was Keegan Reifschneider who finished with 3 catches for 130 yards and the touchdown on the first play of the season. He had two 60 plus yard grabs on the night.
North Platte finished with 323 total yards but the bulk of that came in the final quarter with plenty of substitutes on the field defensively for Scottsbluff.
Scottsbluff will host Hastings next week in their home opener.