BLUE DRAGON FOOTBALL
Game 2 –No. 10 Hutchinson (1-0) at No. 12 Navarro (1-0)
When: Saturday, September 1, 2012
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Site: Tiger Stadium, Corsicana, Texas
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9), (Glen Grunwald, play-by-play; Steve Carpenter, analysis), 6:50 p.m.
Internet/Live Stats: BlueDragonSports.com – Live video and audio-only feed, live stats
Follow the game on Blue Dragon Athletic Twitter
The Hutchinson Community College football team will receive a major test on Saturday night as the No. 10-ranked Blue Dragons travel to play No. 12 Navarro College in the seventh installment of the Jayhawk Conference-Southwest Junior College Football Conference Challenge at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana, Texas.
Both teams won their season openers last weekend.
Hutchinson had a dominant offensive performance in rolling up 616 total yards in routing No. 17 Coffeyville 58-26 at Gowans Stadium. Redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Barnes had one of the most impressive debuts in Blue Dragon history, completing 28 of 38 passes for a team-record 459 yards and five touchdowns. Receivers Miguel Johns and Jatavius Stewart combined for 17 receptions and four touchdowns last week.
The Blue Dragons will look to shore up some things defensively, but for the most part were happy with allowing only 37 rushing yards to Coffeyville in last week’s season opener.
Navarro was solid defensively in shutting out Arkansas Baptist 40-0 in Week 1. The Bulldogs rolled up 362 total yards on the road to capture their 2012 season opener.
Saturday night will be the first-ever meeting between Hutchinson and Navarro.
The Blue Dragons have played Tyler Junior College, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Kilgore College so far in the KJCCC-SWJCFC Challenge. The Blue Dragons have won four straight in the series and are 4-2. Last season, Hutchinson was the only Jayhawk Conference team to win a game in the series
Navarro is also 4-2 in the Challenge. Last season the Bulldogs defeated Butler 23-16 in overtime. Navarro was ranked No. 1 in the nation, coming of the 2010 national championship, while Butler was No. 3.
Hutchinson head coach Rion Rhoades will look to move into sole possession of third place on the Blue Dragon coaches list. He is currently tied with Bill Goldsmith with 36 coaching victories.
Saturday is one of two non-conference games for Hutchinson in 2012. The other non-league game will be on Oct. 6 when Air Force Prep comes to Gowans Stadium before HCC heads into a tough stretch run.
Hutchinson: Rion Rhoades is in his sixth season with the Blue Dragons. His HCC record is 36-20 in his sixth season at Hutchinson and is 43-25 in seven overall seasons. With one more victory, Rhoades will move past Bill Goldsmith for third on the HCC coaching list.
Navarro: Brian Mayper is in his first season as the head coach at Navarro College. He has been the associate head coach at both Lamar University and Navarro over the last five seasons.
About the Blue Dragons
Offense: Last week, HCC had four major offensive busts on bad snaps either in the shotgun or punt formation and still rolled up 616 yards.
Luke Barnes, who fumbled his first snap in 22 months on the first play of the game, recovered quite nicely with a performance that netted him the Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors. Barnes completed 28 of 38 passes for a team-record 459 yards and five touchdowns. He had a sixth TD pass called back on a penalty. Barnes accounted for six touchdowns as he rushed for one score as well.
Nine different Blue Dragon receivers got into the act, led by sophomores Miguel Johns and Jatavius Stewart. Johns had career highs of nine catches, 171 yards and two touchdowns. Stewart, who accounted for 230 all-purpose yards, had eight catches for a career-high 149 yards and two TDs. Antonio Johnson quietly had six catches for 42 yards.
Sophomore running back Terrell Lane rushed for a career-high 134 yards on 22 carries to lead an HCC rushing attack that had skewed team numbers. The Dragons rushed for a net 222 yards, but lost nearly 50 yards on bad snaps.
Defense: Coffeyville gashed the defense for a couple of big plays, but the Blue Dragons got better as the game progressed last weekend against Coffeyville. Red Raven quarterback A.J. Derby started the game 4 of 6 for 124 yards and a touchdown. Derby finished the game 9 of 37 for 124 yards with a score and interception.
The Blue Dragons allowed 248 passing yards and only 37 rushing yard with 89 yards coming on two plays. HCC also forced two turnovers, a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown and an interception at the end of the first half.
One area the Blue Dragons want to keep improving is the pass rush. HCC recorded only one sack last week against Coffeyville, but altered several passes. HCC has six other quarterback hurries and eight passes broken up.
Linebackers DeVondre Campbell and Demetrius Alston led the way for the Dragons with eight and seven tackles, respectively. Freshman Terrell Hannah had six tackles and an interception as Hutchinson held Coffeyville to 2 of 17 on third down.
Special Teams: Michael Mesh had several career highs last week against Coffeyville. His 16 total points were a personal best. He kicked three field goals - the first HCC kicker since Kevin Coleman in 2004 to have three in a game - with a career-best 39 yards. Plus he was 7 of 7 on extra points.
Luke Barnes filled in as the punter 36.2 yards on four punts last week.
Jatavius Stewart averaged 37.5 yards per kickoff return with a long of 62.
The Blue Dragons did have one big bust on special teams when Coffeyville’s Dominique Reed broke a kickoff return 98 yards for a touchdown, the longest return against HCC in team history.
About the Bulldogs
Offense: Bolstered by a huge offensive line, Navarro College rolled up 362 total yards in a 40-0 victory over Arkansas Baptist last Saturday in Little Rock, Ark.
Quarterback Riley Toler completed 8 of 11 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. Navarro also played Alex Allen and James Jordan at QB.
Sophomore running back Traylon Shead ran for 83 yards and a touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Tyler Middleton had 72 yards on seven carries.
Tony Drake led the Navarro receiving corps with a pair of catches for 24 yards and one touchdown.
Navarro had 239 rushing yards and 123 passing yards in Week 1.
It is expected that New Mexico transfer quarterback Darian Godfrey will be available. Last week he did not play because of a paperwork snafu that kept him off eligibility.
Defense: Navarro held Arkansas Baptist to just 93 yards total offense, giving up only 24 yards on the ground on 26 attempts. Agile defensive lineman Arnold Blackmon had picked off a pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.
This is the first-ever meeting between Hutchinson and Navarro. HCC is 3-5 in eight previous meetings with Texas teams.
+ HCC FOOTBALL ALL-TIME: The Blue Dragons have an all-time football record of 430-315-28 in their 81st year of football. The next Jayhawk Conference victory will be the program's 300th. HCC is 299-234-18 in conference games.
+ SEASON OPENERS: The Blue Dragons are 45-34-2 in season openers. HCC is 10-3 in season openers since 2000 and have won five-straight openers.
+ HOME OPENERS: HCC is 56-23-2 in Gowans Stadium opening games. HCC has won six-straight opening games at Gowans Stadium and are 11-2 since 2000.
+ BLUE DRAGONS IN THE NJCAA POLL: With the No. 10 preseason national ranking, HCC football has been ranked in 28 consecutive and 38 of the last 40 NJCAA football polls. The Blue Dragons also have been ranked in 10 of the 14 polls in the Top 10.
+ HCC VS. RANKED FOES: Hutchinson is now 10-13 against NJCAA-ranked competition under Rion Rhoades. Previous, HCC dropped 22 of 23 to ranked teams.
+ TOO MUCH YELLOW: One negative stat from last week's HCC win were penalties. The Dragons were flagged 14 time for yards to Coffeyville's 3 for 30 yards.
+ HIGH-SCORING DRAGONS: In the last 36 games, Hutchinson has broken the 50-point mark 14 times. The Dragons have broken the 60-point mark eight times, the 70-point mark three times and own the modern-day single-game scoring record of 90 points, scored against Highland last season.
+ SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS: Last week Brandon Oakes recovered an arrant Coffeyville punt snap in the end zone for a touchdown, the first of 2012. Last season, Blue Dragon special teams accounted for six touchdowns.
+ BULLDOGS MISCUES: Navarro had three touchdowns wiped out by penalties last week.
+ NAVARRO ON A RUN: Since 2007, Navarro has a record of 51-8, which includes one national championship and back-to-back Southwest Junior College Football Conference championships in 2010 and 2011.