HutchCC Sports Information
Luke Niemeyer kicked a 37-yard field goal and Highland's 39-yard attempt fell just short as the Hutchinson Community College football team defeated the Scotties 13-10 in double-overtime on Saturday at Gowans Stadium.
Niemeyer, who had a rough start to the day missing his first four field-goal attempts, kicked a 33-yarder to break a scoreless tie with 11:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Scotties' William Solomon kicked a 25-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to force overtime.
Each team traded touchdown passes in the first overtime before the Jayhawk Conference battle was decided in a second extra session.
The Blue Dragons improve to 4-1 overall and remain unbeaten in conference play at 3-0. The Scotties fall to 2-2 overall (both losses have been by a combined seven points) and are 1-2 in the conference. Both Hutchinson and Highland were receiving votes in last week's NJCAA Football Rankings.
Hutchinson breaks a two-game losing streak to Highland and are 20-0 against the Scotties at Gowans Stadium.
The Blue Dragons also snapped a three-game losing streak in overtime games, earning their first overtime victory since a 30-24 four-overtime game at Fort Scott in 2002. This was Hutch's seventh overtime game in team history, the fourth that lasted more than one extra period. Hutch is now 3-4 all-time in overtime contests.
Saturday was a true defensive struggle with no points being scored through three quarters. The last time there was no touchdowns scored in a regulation contest in Blue Dragon history was a 0-0 tie in 1961 against Fort Lewis Junior College.
The six combined points in regulation on Saturday were the fewest in a Blue Dragon football game since a 7-0 loss to Dodge City in 1979. The last time there was no regulation touchdowns in Blue Dragon history was a 0-0 tie against Independence in 1961.
Hutchinson's defense held the Scotties to a scant 27 total yards and three first downs through three quarters. The Scotties had only 2 of 10 possessions through the first three quarters reach Blue Dragon territory. Those scoring threats ended with a missed field goal and Hutch holding Highland on downs.
The Blue Dragons had 189 total yards through three quarters and had six advances into Highland territory. The Dragons were 1 of 4 in red zone chances in the game.
After Highland blocked a Niemeyer field goal attempt of 23 yards on the third play of the fourth quarter, the Blue Dragon defense got the ball back on the next possession. Cornerback Jerry Jacobs intercepted a Tristan Speer pass at the Scotties' 27. Hutch gained just two yards after the turnover and Niemeyer kicked a 33-yard field goal for the game's first points at the 11:11 mark of the fourth quarter.
The teams traded punts and the Scotties got their final possession of regulation at its own 30 with 2:18 to play. Speer led the only true sustained march of the game for the Scotties. Converting three third downs on the drive, the Scotties got to the Dragon 8 where on fourth-and-goal Coleman kicked a 25-yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3.
Neither team wasted time in the first overtime to finally crack the end zone. Highland took a 10-3 lead on a Speer 10-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Jamison. The Dragons countered with a two-play scoring drive. Cam Jones hit Jaylen Erwin with a 15-yard scoring strike to knot the game at 10-all.
Hutch has the first possession of overtime No. 2 and gained only five yards. Niemeyer hit his 37-yard attempt to give the Dragons a 13-10 lead. Hutch's defense clamped down on the Scotties allowing only two yards. That set up Solomon's missed 39-yard attempt that fell just short of the cross bar.
The Blue Dragons out-gained Highland 253-141. Neither team could successfully run the ball. Hutchinson had 38 yards on the ground and Highland had 45 yards. The Dragons passed for 215 yards to the Scotties' 96.
Jones finished 16 of 30 for 215 yards with a touchdown and interception. He was sacked three times. Jalik Jaggwe had three catches for 60 yards. Johnny Lumpkin had three receptions for 49 yards and Aaron Shannon had two receptions for 44 yards.
DeShawn Waller was Hutch's leading rusher with 37 yards on 11 carries.
Michael Witherspoon led the Dragons defensively with eight tackles. Story Jackson and Colby Turner had seven tackles each. Jacobs finished with two tackles, but an interception and four other passes broken up. Xavier Jackson had two quarterback sacks, including a sack fumble.
Hutchinson will be at Gowans Stadium next Saturday when Iowa Central will be the opponent for a noon kickoff.
GAME NOTES – With two field goals on Saturday, Luke Niemeyer now has 14 career field goals, which is No. 2 all time in team history. … The Blue Dragons are now 32-4 all-time against Highland. … This was only the second overtime game ever at Gowans Stadium. The Blue Dragons are 2-0 in overtime games at Gowans. The other was a 17-16 overtime win over Coffeyville in the semifinals of the 1995 Jayhawk Conference Playoffs.