For the third time in four seasons, the Hutchinson Community College football team and Butler will meet in the Region VI championship game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:37 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Galen Blackmore Stadium in El Dorado.
Just three weeks ago, the Blue Dragons dropped a 28-10 decision to Butler, falling for the 18th-straight time to the Grizzlies in a game that decided the Jayhawk Conference championship and which team will play host to Sunday’s contest. HCC’s last win vs. Butler came in 1997 in El Dorado.
This will be the sixth playoff meeting all-time between HCC and Butler and the third in the championship game. Butler is 4-1 in those games with HCC last winning in the 1995 quarterfinal round.
This game features the top two scoring offenses in the nation. HCC averages 50.0 and Butler averages 49.5 points per game.
Hutchinson: Rion Rhoades is in his fifth season with the Blue Dragons. He is 34-19 at HCC and 41-24 overall in his sixth season as a collegiate head coach.
Butler: Troy Morrell is in his 12th season with the Grizzlies. He is 124-16 at Butler with three national championships.
BLUE DRAGON FOOTBALL GAME DAY
Game 11: No. 8 Hutchinson at No. 3 Butler
Region VI Playoff Championship Game
When: Sunday, November 13, 2011
At: Blackmore Stadium, El Dorado, Kan.
Kickoff: 1:37 p.m.
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Series Record: HCC leads 43-41-1
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9), KWBW-AM (1450), 1:20 p.m.
Live Video/Audio: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 1:20 p.m.
Live Stats: www.bluedragonsports.com
Television: Cox Kansas Channel 22, 1:30 p.m.
TV: Cox Kansas 22 will broadcast the game statewide beginning at 1:30 p.m. with Mark Ewing (play-by-play), Mark Davidson (analysis) and Trista Ferguson (sidelines) calling the action.
Radio: Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and KWBW-AM (1450) will have the game live with Rusty Hilst (play-by-play), Rob Dreher (analysis) and Glen Grunwald (sidelines) calling the action at 1:20 p.m.
Internet: Because of contracts with Cox 22, the game will not be videostreamed. There will also be an audio-only stream on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 1:20 p.m.
Live Stats: Real-time game statistics will be available at kickoff on www.bluedragonsports.com.
Blue Dragons’ Postseason History
This will be the 38th Region VI/Jayhawk Conference playoff game in Blue Dragon postseason history. HCC has also appeared in 15 junior college bowl games.
HCC qualified for the four-team Region VI playoffs for the fourth-straight season. The 2008 Region VI Playoffs were the first postseason games for HCC since 2005, and the first since Region VI revamped its playoff format before the 2006 season.
Last season, HCC defeated No. 20 Coffeyville 45-16 in the semifinals at Gowans Stadium.
Hutchinson is 18-19 in postseason games not including bowl games.
Hutchinson is 14-0 in playoff games at Gowans Stadium and 4-17 on the road and 0-1 on neutral fields.
HCC went 11-3 in the quarterfinals before that round was dropped after 2005. The Dragons are 6-12 in semifinal games.
The Blue Dragons are 1-4 in Region VI championship games - also appearing in 1982, 1994, 1995. 2008 and 2010.
About the 2011 Blue Dragons
Hutchinson’s record-setting offense will once again be put to the test in the Region VI championship game against one of the best defenses in the nation.
The 2011 Blue Dragons have scored team-record 510 points and are averaging a record 51.0 points per game. For the season, HCC is averaging 256.8 rushing yards per game (6th in the NJCAA), 217.4 passing yards per game (20th in the NJCAA) and 474.2 yards of total offense per game (9th in the NJCAA).
Against Butler, HCC managed 10 points - no offensive touchdowns - 71 rushing yards and 210 passing yards. The Dragons were in the red zone four times and scored only three points.
In the last two weeks, with the addition of several backs and receivers running the “Wildcat” formation, the Dragons regained their rushing form with back-to-back games of 343 and 336 yards against Coffeyville in the regular-season finale and the Region VI Semifinals.
Quarterback Elliott Alford continues his march up the Blue Dragon statistical charts. Alford is fifth in the nation in passing accuracy at 65.5 percent (146 of 220) for 2,088 yards with school-record 27 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He also has 2,428 total yards.
All-American Cordarrelle Patterson has a team-high 50 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. Patterson has accounted for 1,607 all-purpose yards (355 rushing, 770 receiving, 482 on kickoff returns) and 20 touchdowns.
Freshmen receivers Jatavious Stewart and Miguel Johns are also having great seasons. Stewart has 37 catches for 609 yards and 10 TDs. Johns has 30 receptions for 466 yards and three scores.
Redshirt freshman Deveon Dinwiddie is HCC's leading rusher. Dinwiddie has 798 yards and a 5.8 yard per carry average and 11 rushing touchdowns. Freshman Terrell Lane has 373 yards and seven TDs. Sophomore Derek Campbell has 294 yards and three TDs; Alford has 355 yards and five scores.
HCC has 36 rushing touchdowns in 10 games.
Defensively, sophomore safety Duane Sims leads the Blue Dragons with 86 tackles. Linebacker Tim Edmond is second with 77 tackles and linebacker Timmy Chadd has 60 tackles.
HCC is allowing 19.1 points, 161.0 rushing yards, 181.6 passing yards and 342.6 total yards per game. The Blue Dragons have forced 21 turnovers. Sophomore Spencer Vanderbogart has a team-high three interceptions. Freshman Beau Bell has a team-high four quarterback sacks.
On special teams, punter Kody Cook leads the Jayhawk Conference would be second in the NJCAA if he had enough attempts at 40.5 yards per punt. Kicker Michael Mesh is 63 of 69 on extra points and 3 of 5 on field goals. Patterson continues to lead the Jayhawk in kickoff returns at 48.2 yards per return with three touchdowns. Stewart is first in punt returns at 16.4 yards per return with one touchdown.
The defending Region VI champions are up to their old tricks again as Butler has rolled to nine-straight wins after a season-opening loss to Navarro. The Grizzlies are doing it with a high-scoring offense and a defense that is one of the more stingy ones of the Troy Morrell era.
Butler’s defense is leading the nation in scoring defense at 7.5 points per game. In conference play, the Grizzlies were even better at 5.0 points per game. Butler’s defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for 30 consecutive quarters before a Dodge City touchdown pass in the third quarter of the Region VI Semifinals last week.
The Grizzlies are allowing 60.2 rushing yards (No. 3 in the NJCAA), 145.8 passing yards and 206.0 total yards (14th in NJCAA). The Grizzlies have 83 tackles for loss, 43.5 quarterback sacks and 31 takeaways. Jeff Page is Butler’s leading tackler with 78 tackles. Demarcus Lawrence has 67 tackles and leads the Grizzlies with 11.0 quarterback sacks.
Butler’s offense is also having a stellar season, averaging 49.5 points per game. The Grizzlies are averaging 230.7 yards rushing per game (6th in NJCAA) and 266.8 passing yards (9th in NJCAA).
Quarterback Chandler Whitmer is ninth in the NJCAA in passing at 261.4 yards per game. The former University of Illinois product is completing 59 percent of his passes (165 of 259) with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Butler has offensive weapons galore. Jasper Sanders has 775 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns. Derrick Thomas has 603 yards and five touchdowns. Dreamius Smith has 587 yards and nine TDs. Five different receivers have at least 11 receptions; led by Kendall Wrenn with 52 catches, 1,127 yards and 10 TDs. Chris Fields has 26 receptions.
Series History vs. Butler
This will be the 86th meeting between Hutchinson and Butler in a series that dates back to 1929. It will be the second meeting this season. The Blue Dragons dropped a 28-10 decision in Oct. 22 at Gowans Stadium.
The Dragons lead the all-time series 43-41-1, but have dropped 18 consecutive games to the Grizzlies. HCC’s last win came in 1997, a 17-7 victory at El Dorado. The last HCC win over Butler at Gowans Stadium came in 1995, a Jayhawk Conference playoff victory.
The Dragons are 22-16-1 in games played in Hutchinson and are 21-24 in games played at El Dorado. The Grizzlies have a 4-1 postseason edge. The HCC victory was that 1995 opening round playoff game, a 36-18 Blue Dragon victory at Gowans Stadium.