The Blue Dragon Football Team opens the 2017 Football Season at Noon Saturday at Gowans Stadium against the Coffeyville Red Ravens. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

HutchCC Sports Information

GARDEN CITY – The Hutchinson Community College football team held off a late Garden City fourth-quarter rally and upset the No. 11-ranked and defending national champion Broncbusters 31-28 on Saturday at Broncbusters Stadium.

Hutchinson improves to 3-1 overall and is 2-0 in the Jayhawk Conference, one of two league teams unbeaten in conference play. The Blue Dragons are now tied with Independence atop the conference standings. Garden City dropped its second-straight game and falls to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the league.

After Luke Niemeyer booted a 27-yard field goal with 7:02 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Blue Dragons a 31-21 lead with 7:02 to play, the Broncbusters tried to make a late comeback. Garden City pulled within 31-28 when Buster tight end Nigel Kirby caught his third touchdown pass of the game with 2:11 remaining.

The Broncbusters recovered the on-side kick attempt at their own 49. Garden City reeled off 11 plays on its final drive, converting one fourth down and marched to the Hutch 23. But the Blue Dragons got heavy pressure on Garden quarterback Terry Wilson, who fired an incomplete pass on fourth-and-4 to turn the ball over on downs with 25 seconds remaining in the game.

Hutchinson turned the Broncbusters away several times in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Guy Victoria intercepted a Wilson pass on the third play of the fourth quarter. That set up Niemeyer's field goal to put the Blue Dragons up 10 points. With the Busters at midfield with 2:50 to go, Adrian Cross intercepted Wilson to thwart another drive.

Running back B.J. Emmons ran for four touchdowns to lead the Blue Dragons offensively. Emmons rushed for a game-high 85 yards on 26 carries. Deshawn Waller had 11 carries for 50 yards.

Quarterback Cam Jones competed 9 of 21 passes for 184 yards. Receiver Jawaun Johnson caught three passes for 81 yards.

The Blue Dragons rushed for 163 yards and had 347 total yards. For first time this season, the Blue Dragons led the time of possession category with 33 minutes, 49 seconds of possession time.

Garden City's Wilson completed 32 of 55 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns. He was intercepted twice and sacked four times. Wilson was also Garden's leading rusher with 25 yards on 15 carries.

Kirby had a huge night for Garden City with 11 catches for 122 yards. Daniel Davis had 10 receptions for 116 yards.

The Busters threw for 353 yards, but were held to 54 total rushing yards and a 1.9 yard-per-carry average.

The Blue Dragons took the opening kick 56 yards in nine plays and scored on an Emmons 1-yard dive over the top for a 7-0 lead. Garden City answered right back with a Kilby 6-yard touchdown catch to cap its first possession of the game and knot the score at 7-all with 7:40 to play in the opening quarter.

The game turned into a defensive struggle for the remainder of the half. A key moment of the second quarter came with Garden City facing fourth-and-1 at the Buster 29. Garden City opened to fake a punt and didn't make the line to gain. Johnson then made a diving catch to the Garden 1 and two plays later, Emmons scored with a 1-yard plunge and a 14-7 Hutchinson lead with 1:26 to play in the second quarter.

The third quarter had plenty of fireworks. Garden City marched the opening drive of the second half 54 yards for a 10-yard touchdown catch with 12:36 to play and tie the game at 14. The Dragons immediately responded with a five-play, 63-yard scoring drive. Marcus Whitmire's 46-yard catch to the Buster 2 helped set Emmons up for his third rushing touchdown of the game and a 21-14 Hutch lead with 10:16 to go in the quarter.

The Blue Dragons to a 28-14 lead on an Emmons' 3-yard touchdown with 7:51 to play in the third quarter. One play after the kickoff, Wilson hit Aaron Willis in stride for a 65-yard Garden City touchdown and the Dragon lead dwindled to 28-21 with 7:37 to go in the period.

Hutchinson will return home to Gowans Stadium next Saturday to take on Highland at Noon.