Hutchinson CC Sports Information
HIGHLAND – Just when it looked like the top-ranked Hutchinson Community College football team was about to get over the hump in what was an uphill battle all day, it simply didn't happen.
Trailing by two points with 1:49 to play in regulation, the Blue Dragons had an 18-yard field-goal blocked and Hutchinson was upended by No. 20 Highland 29-27 at Kessinger Field.
The Blue Dragons fall to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the Jayhawk West. Highland, which knocked off a nationally ranked team for the second-consecutive week, improves to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the Jayhawk.
Playing their fourth-consecutive nationally ranked opponent, the Blue Dragons were in an immediate hole just 12 seconds into the game when Highland's Brian George returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
Down six points at halftime, it looked like the Blue Dragons righted the first-half miscues – going 1 for 3 in the red zone and two turnovers – with an impressive nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive that Kendall Cross topped off with a 3-yard touchdown to give Hutch a 14-13 with 11:18 to play in the third quarter.
The Blue Dragons were in real trouble, down 29-20 in the fourth quarter. Facing 4th-and-17, Mark Wright hit Cortes Braham with a 34-yard dart to the Highland 1. Wright's quarterback sneak on the next play cut the Dragon deficit to 29-27 with 4:12 to play.
Hutchinson was in great shape to complete the comeback when Gereme Spraggins intercepted a Scottie pass. After a facemask penalty was tacked on, the Dragons had the ball at the Highland 45 with 3:52 to play.
The Dragons had the ball first-and-goal at the Scottie 6, but a chop block penalty caught them 15 yards back to the 21. With fourth-and-goal at the 1, Sebastian Garcia's 18-yard field-goal attempt was blocked and Highland was able to run the clock out.
Hutchinson outgained Highland 372-297 in the game. The Dragons had 179 rushing yards and 193 in the pair. The Scotties had 214 passing yards, but only 83 on the ground.
Wright completed 16 of 30 passes for 195 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Spraggins had a team-high 10 tackles with an interception and fumble recovery. The Dragons had a season-low one quarterback sack.
Highland quarterback Joseph Cambridge was 19 of 37 passing for 214 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Alfonso Franklin had 70 rushing yards on 20 carries and six receptions for 40 yards.
Trailing 13-0 in the second quarter, the Blue Dragons finally answered with a 15-play, 58-yard scoring drive – all 58 yards were rushing yards – and Hutch cut the Highland lead to 13-7 on Cross' 3-yard touchdown with 11:18 to play in the second quarter.
Hutch took a 14-13 lead on the opening drive of the second half when backup quarterback Shariff Brown ran in from three yards out to finish off a nine-play, 70-yard scoring march with 11:18 to go in the third.
Two drives later, an offensive pass interference penalty pinned the Dragons deep in their own end. Nolan Arrington's punt into a strong west wind was downed at the Hutch 36. The Scotties took the lead back seven plays later with a Cambridge 5-yard run for a touchdown. Highland led 19-14 with 3:35 to play in the third.
Highland tacked on a Jeri Velazquez 23-yard field goal with 11:29 left in the fourth for a 22-14 lead.
After a Darious Cleveland 34-yard kickoff return, the Dragons needed just four plays to cover the final 45 yards. Coleman scored from three yards out, but the Dragons missed on the two-point conversion for a potential try and trailed 22-20 with 10:10 to play in the final quarter.
Highland put the Dragons down two possessions with a 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by a Franklin 14-yard touchdown catch and run with 5:52 to play. With the point after, the Dragons trailed 29-27.
Hutch missed on its onside kick try, but Spraggins' interception gave the Dragons one last chance to complete the comeback.