Turns out the Bison were definitely focused on the Red Raiders.
McCook used a strong all-around effort and a potent rushing attack featuring seniors Jake Schlager and Kyle Stewart to romp past Sidney, 34-12, in Class B football action Friday, Sept. 21 at McCook's Weiland Field.
McCook sent Sidney's offense to the sidelines three-and-out on the first possession, as the visitors gained a net of minus-two yards on their first three rushing plays. Schlager stormed through the line and blocked Lucas Rosenbaum's punt, and Bison teammate Cade Hiatt recovered at the Raiders 6-yard line.
Three plays and an illegal procedure penalty later, Schlager hit the line and scored from a yard out for the first of his five touchdowns on the night. McCook missed the extra point kick, and the Bison led 6-0 less than three minutes into the contest.
The Bison forced another Sidney punt, then Schlager and Stewart took turns pushing the ball down the field. Stewart gained 33 yards on his first three carries of the night en route to his first 100-yard rushing night of the season. Schlager ended the eight-play, 55-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run from the Wildcat formation.
Dakota Baumgartner kicked the PAT for a 13-0 lead with 3:16 left in the first half.
Sidney put together a drive early in the second quarter, pushing the ball to the Bison 1 after a face mask penalty. But Sidney went two yards backwards on three plays, then a fourth-down pass was batted away by Bison cornerback Zayne Gillen to end the threat.
Schlager ran 25 yards on the next play. Four plays later, Schlager rambled around left end for a 42-yard touchdown, and Baumgartner's PAT kick put McCook ahead 20-0 with just over three minutes left before intermission.
McCook got the ball back with 48.5 seconds left after forcing a Sidney punt. A stewart 14-yard run and a pass from Vince Lyons to Cody Wudtke put the ball at the Sidney 39. On second down, Lyons rolled right and hit Gillen on a long pass play to the Raiders 2. Schlager scored again on the next play as the first-half clock ran out, giving McCook a 27-0 halftime cushion.
McCook drove for another score on the first possession of the second half. Schlager finished the 75-yard, 11-play march with a 12-yard scoring run.
Sidney scored a pair of late fourth-quarter touchdowns with their first-string offense playing against McCook's reserves.
McCook improved to 3-2, with the trip to 4-1 Alliance on tap Sept. 28. Sidney fell to 0-5.