BELOIT, Kans.—The Scott City High School 2012 football team is filled with multiple quality players.
The Beavers rank among the state’s top as a team and have countless individual stars.
But Friday night, O’Neil’s son, Brett, did that all on his own.
There were countless Beaver stars, many of whom put up better numbers than Brett O’Neil statistically wise. But Scott City’s quarterback/punter/place kicker was the one Beaver that alone sealed away the Class 3A sub-state championship victory with his foot.
Statistics wise, O’Neil only accounted for 175 yards, 185 through the air and a loss of 10 yards running the ball. But those yards weren’t the key to the victory. It was the six points O’Neil scored with his foot on point-after kicks following touchdowns that was the key factor in propelling the Beavers to next week’s Class 3A state championship game against Silver Lake, which defeated Rossville 35-14 in the other Class 3A sub-state championship Friday night.
"We have a lot of special kids," Scott City coach Glenn O’Neil said. "Of course, I’m prejudice to my own son, but we have a special bunch of seniors. They have won at just about everything they have done. I’m proud of all of them, proud of that whole senior bunch."
Early on Friday night the showdown between Beloit and Scott City was as anticipated with both teams battling blow for blow, but it was O’Neil’s point-after kicks that helped the Beavers to an early lead and their defense on Beloit’s 2-point conversion attempts is what helped Scott City pick up the victory.
For the game the two teams matched each other knock for knock as Scott City built up 384 yards of total offense while Beloit racked up 436 yards of total offense.
Scott City had 185 through the air and 199 on the ground. Beloit rushed for 325 yards on 53 carries and threw for another 111 yards.
But Beloit, which does not kick any point-after attempts, the Trojans only go for 2-point conversions, were1-for-4 on 2-point conversion attempts and lost one fumble and threw two interceptions. Scott City returned a kick off for a touchdown and only had one interception.
"It was a good football game between two very good teams," O’Neil said. "It went back and forth we just happened to make more plays than they did tonight."
The Trojans scored the game’s first points when Bowe Behyumer broke free on a 74-yard touchdown gallop with just 1:21 off the game clock, but the Trojans missed on their 2-point conversion run and led just 6-0.
The Beavers answered that score when Dalton Beuhler broke free on a 45-yard touchdown gallop on the ensuing series and O’Neil tacked on the PAT for a 7-6 Scott City lead.
Trojan quarterback Payton Vetter helped Beloit to an 18-14 halftime advantage with two touchdown runs in the second quarter, sandwiched around a 6-yard touchown pass from O’Neil to to Drew Kite, but each of Beloit’s touchdowns were followed by failed 2-point conversion attempts while each of Scott City’s touchdowns was followed by O’Neil kicking the point-after attempt for a single point.
"We just said to read our keys and be more physical and take it to them," O’Neil said of his halftime adjustments. "We felt like we did some catching early and later on in the game we did some attacking. We just made plays."
Scott City took over the game in the third quarter when it took advantage of a pair of Beloit miscues and turned those into touchdowns of their own as Tyler Hess haulted in O’Neil’s second touchdown pass of the game from 40-yards out with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter and Beuhler tacked on a 6-yard plunge with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter for a28-18 Beaver lead as the game went into the final period.
Kite hauled in his second touchdown pass from O’Neil with 8:51 remaining in the contest before the Trojans found paydirt again, this time on a 76-yard pass from Vetter to Stanten Krone with 8:05 remaining in the game.
But Krone’s touchdown was quickly answered by the Beavers as Beuhler took the ensuing kickoff and rumbled 83 yards for the game’s final touchdown with 7:52 remaining.
Scott City will be looking for its first state championship since 1994 next Saturday when they play Silver Lake in Hutchinson.
"Our kids have gone through a lot of heartbreak in the last four or five years," O’Neil said. "Getting to that quarter round and getting beat. So this is special, we are proud of the players and proud of the kids."