BLUE DRAGON FOOTBALL
No. 5 Hutchinson (1-0, 0-0) vs. Independence (1-0, 1-0)
When: Saturday, August 31, 2019
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The No. 5-ranked Hutchinson Community College football team opens play in the Jayhawk Conference on Saturday at the Blue Dragons take on the Independence Pirates in a battle of 1-0 teams.
Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Hutchinson's Gowans Stadium. Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) will broadcast the game live at 11:30 a.m. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will begin the videostream at 11:50 a.m.
The Blue Dragons enter Saturday's game coming off a 41-16 victory at Ellsworth on Thursday, August 22 in Iowa Falls, IA. Independence had an impressive 48-29 KJCCC victory over Dodge City to open its season last Saturday at Emmot Field in Independence.
Blue Dragon head coach Rion Rhoades earned his 97th victory as a Jayhawk Conference coach (90 at Hutchinson, 7 at Fort Scott) and tied former Blue Dragon head coach John Matous for fourth place on the all-time league coaching wins list.
The Blue Dragons had an early scare in the season opener when starting quarterback Mark Wright threw an interception for a touchdown on the second series of the game. But the Blue Dragons responded nicely with a 20-point first quarter, which included Wright touchdown passes of 24 yards to Karim Brown and 66 to Mitchell Tinsley and a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by Isaiah Todd.
The Blue Dragons outgained ECC 464-133. The Dragons were a minus-1 in turnover radio, the Blue Dragons had five quarterback sacks and forced nine Independence punts.
Independence quarterback Stephon Brown tied a Pirate single-game record with six touchdown passes last week against Dodge City. Brown completed 14 of 26 passes for 345 yards and he was also Indy's leading rusher with 98 yards on 11 rushes.
Overall, the Pirates amassed 606 total yards (345 passing, 261 rushing), but were touched for 395 total yards, 330 yards coming through the air, by the Conquistadors.
One year ago, the Blue Dragons avenged a 2017 loss to Independence with a 37-27 victory over the Pirates at Emmot Field. The Blue Dragons scored all 37 points in the first half in building a 37-7 halftime lead. The Pirates pulled within 10 points, but Erin Collins ran for 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the Blue Dragons.
The Dragons 51-24-2 all-time in home openers. The Blue Dragons are 16-3 in opening at Gowans Stadium since 2000. Hutchinson had won eight-straight in the first games of seasons at the friendly confines before 2013 setback against No. 3 Navarro College.
Already in the early season, No. 1 East Mississippi, No. 3 Garden City and No. 4 Jones have been defeated in the first two weeks of the 2019 season. No. 2 Iowa Western defeated Coffeyville last week.