Quarterback Elliott Alford threw for five touchdown passes, three to All-American Cordarrelle Patterson, and the 2011 Hutchinson Community College football sophomores completed one of the best two-year runs in program history as the No. 14 Blue Dragons routed no. 19 Lackawanna College 70-20 in the third annual Salt City Bowl on Saturday at Gowans Stadium.
Eight different Blue Dragons scored touchdowns as HCC reached the 70-point plateau for the third time this season to finish the year with a staggering team-record 601 points (50.1 points per game). The 70 points tied for the fifth-most points in team history.
The Blue Dragons finish the season 9-3, winning a program-best fourth-straight bowl game, including their third-straight Salt City Bowl. The 2011 Blue Dragon sophomores finish their HCC careers with 19 victories, which tied the 1970 sophomores for the second-most wins by a sophomore class in team history.
“It was great to see the sophomores and redshirt freshmen that will move on to finish up with a high note,” HCC head coach Rion Rhoades said. “This was a special football team. It's been their signature to get out quick and dominate, and it was great to have their closing game be that kind of game.”
Alford became the Blue Dragons’ career passing leader and was named the Bowl’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. Alford completed 15 of 25 passes for 253 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for another 28 yards.
Sophomore linebacker Tim Edmond had a huge game to earn Defensive Most Valuable Players honors. Edmond had a game-high 11 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks and an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“I just did what I was supposed to do,” Edmond said. “He threw it my way. If I had dropped it, it would have been bad. I thought their quarterback was going to tackle me. He's a good athlete, but I saw someone coming around, and they blocked for me.”
The tone of the game was set on HCC’s second offensive series. On the third play, Alford connected with Patterson on a short route and Patterson zigzagged his way through the Falcon defense for a 48-yard touchdown. On the play, Patterson broke four team career or single-season records – career receiving yards (1,832), single-season receptions (61), single-season touchdowns (24) and single-season scoring (150). Also on the play, Alford surpassed Robert Coates as HCC’s career passing yardage leader (3,993 yards).
The Blue Dragons rolled up 464 total yards against the No. 4 defense in the NJCAA, getting 211 on the ground and 253 in the air. HCC had 15 plays of 10 yards or more.
Freshman Terrell Lane was HCC’s leading rusher with a game-high 84 yards on seven carries and a 53-yard touchdown run. Deveon Dinwiddie added 53 yards on five carries and a 37-yard touchdown run.
Alford completed passes to four different receivers. Patterson had eight receptions for 188 yards and touchdowns of 48, 35 and 8 yards. Freshman Jatavious Stewart had five catches for 82 yards and a spectacular 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Freshman Miguel Johns had one catch, a 42-yard TD strike from Alford.
“It was pretty good to score three touchdowns my last game on this field,” Patterson said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
The Dragon defense wasn’t left out of the march into the Lackawanna end zone. With the Dragons up 14-0, sophomore linebacker Shane Smith intercepted a Devonta Farrell pass and returned it 23 yards for the first pick-six in Salt City Bowl history.
“Tim deflected it, and I got it,” Smith said. “I had to score. I had to.”
After HCC built a 25-0 lead, Lackawanna (7-4) looked like it might be getting back into the game. After falling behind by 25 points, the Falcons marked five yards in six plays to score on a Marcus Snipes 22-yard touchdown catch with 14:10 to play in the second quarter. The Falcons got the ball right back on an interception and drove to the HCC 13.
Edmond slammed the door on the Lackawanna threat by intercepting Falcon quarterback Devonta Farrell and returning it 86 yards for a touchdown and a 32-7 Hutchinson lead with 12:14 to play in the second quarter.
Blue Dragon special teams had their moments as well. HCC blocked three kicks – Kody Cook blocked a punt while Tyler Rayl and Duane Sims blocked extra points – to up Hutchinson’s season total to a school-record 11 blocks of kicks. The Blue Dragons even recovered an onside kick.
Lackawanna had 286 yards of total offense with 163 rushing yards and 123 passing yards. The Falcons were whistled for 14 penalties totaling 121 yards.
Farrell completed 6 of 19 passes for 124 yards with one touchdown, three interceptions and four quarterback sacks. Antonio Brown carried 17 times for a team-high 81 rushing yards.
The Blue Dragons led 25-0 after one quarter, 42-7 at halftime and 56-13 after three quarters in Hutchinson’s most lopsided bowl victory in team history.
GAME NOTES – HCC’s nine victories tie for the second-most wins in a season. It’s the fourth time that Hutchinson has won nine games in a season. … The 1948 sophomores had 20 wins in their time at HCC. … The Dragons are now 8-6-2 in bowl games. … Jatavious Stewart finished the season with 47 receptions (5th most in a single season), 641 yards (9th most in a single season) and 84 points (tied for seventh most in a single season). … HCC is now 3-0 all time vs. Northeast Conference teams. …Ten individual and 13 team bowl records were broken on Saturday.
(By Steve Carpenter, HCC Sports Information Director)
SALT CITY BOWL BANQUET PHOTOS
GAME PHOTOS GALLERY 1
GAME PHOTOS GALLERY 2