After two weeks on the road, the Hutchinson Community College football team returns to Gowans Stadium for the only time in September when Dodge City comes to the Salt City for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The 14th-ranked Blue Dragons (2-1, 2-0 Jayhawk Conference) have been rolling offensively through the first three weeks. Last week against Garden City in a 63-49 shootout victory over the No. 19 Broncbusters, Hutchinson pasted 716 total yards and 63 points on Garden City.
Running back Terrell Lane broke a 45-year-old school rushing record with 308 yards on 29 carries. He accounted for 350 total yards and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, quarterback Luke Barnes continued his lightning-fast start, throwing for a school-record-tying six touchdowns and for 359 passing yards.
Barnes is the No. 1 passer and Lane is the No. 1 rusher in the NJCAA this week. The Blue Dragon defense continues to find its stride after Garden City rolled up 49 points, 405 passing yards and 549 total yards. In the last two games, the Blue Dragons have surrendered 104 points and 1,166 yards.
The Blue Dragons have won four straight over the Conquistadors and have been completely dominant in doing so.
HCC has outscored Dodge City 227-15 in the last four games. Last season, HCC won 63-6 on a rainy night at Gowans Stadium. Before Hutchinson’s current win streak, Dodge City had won five in a row over the Blue Dragons.
The Conquistadors enter Saturday’s game 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the Jayhawk Conference.
Dodge City opened the season with a 72-12 loss to No. 2 Butler, but has been much better in losses to Kilgore College (26-15) and Highland (32-10).
This is the first time this season that Hutchinson will not play a ranked team. HCC opened the 2012 season with three-straight ranked opponents. That streak was actually five dating back to the Region VI championship game in 2011.
The Blue Dragons will be off next week before traveling to Highland on Sept. 29 to play a much-improved Scotties’ team. Hutchinson will return home next on October 6 when HCC takes on Air Force Prep.
The Blue Dragons took to start 3-0 in Jayhawk West play for the third-straight season.
Hutchinson: Rion Rhoades is in his sixth season with the Blue Dragons. His HCC record is 37-21 in his sixth season at Hutchinson and is 44-26 in seven overall seasons. Last week, Rhoades surpassed Bill Goldsmith for third place on the HCC coaching wins list.
Dodge City: Bob Majeski is in his fifth season with the Conquistadors. He ranks third in the Jayhawk Conference in coaching longevity. Majeski has a record of 6-34 at Dodge City and 14-43 in eight years as a head coach.
About the Blue Dragons
Offense: One question entering the 2012 season was if the offensive unit of 2012 would keep up with the record-setting offense of 2010 and 2011?
Through three games, the answer is a resounding Yes.
Coming off a school-record 716 total yards last week against Garden City, the Blue Dragons are averaging 51.7 points and 566.3 total yards of offense. The Blue Dragons have posted 616 total yards against Coffeyville, 367 yards against Navarro College and 716 yards against Garden City.
Quarterback Luke Barnes has thrown for 13 touchdowns and 1,064 yards completing 63.5 percent of his passes (80 of 126).
The Blue Dragons wanted to establish a more efficient running game last week. They got that done as well with sophomore Terrell Lane rushing for a school-record 308 yards on 29 carries. The Blue Dragons are now 198.3 yards on the ground. Lane had his third-straight 100-yard rushing game. He totalled 350 yards with five touchdowns vs. the Broncbusters.
Barnes ranks No. 1 this week in the NJCAA in passing yards. Lane is the leading rusher in the NJCAA this week.
Five different Blue Dragons have at least 10 receptions, led by A.J. Johnson’s 19 catches for 219 yards with three touchdowns. Jatavius Stewart has 17 catches for 287 yards and four scores. Miguel Johns has 14 receptions for 233 yards and two scores.
HCC ranks first in the KJCCC in total offense (566.3 ypg) and is second in scoring (51.7 ppg).
Defense: Over the last two weeks, the Blue Dragons have been blitzed by Navarro and Garden City for 104 points and 1,166 total yards. But the play of the secondary was huge in getting four interceptions last week against Garden City.
Freshman Terell Hannah is tied for the NJCAA national lead with three interceptions. He had two picks against the No. 19 Broncbusters last week. Shattle Fenteng has two picks and Kenny Flowers has a pick and a fumble return for a touchdown.
The Blue Dragons finally started getting some pressure on the opposing quarterback. Heading into last week, HCC had just one sack and two tackles for loss. Against the Busters, HCC totaled four QB sacks and eight TFLs.
DeVondre Campbell has a team-high 32 tackles. Flowers has 24 and Aaron Jackson has 20.
The Dragons are allowing 43.0 points, 212.0 rushing yards, 271.7 passing yards and 483.7 total yards in the first three games of the season.
Special Teams: Michael Mesh is off to a sizzling start to his sophomore season. In three games, Mesh has totaled 33 points to move into eighth place on the HCC career scoring list. He is 18 of 19 on extra points and is 5 of 5 on field goals, knocking through a career-long 43-yarder against Navarro on Sept. 1.
Mesh has already surpassed his field goal total of last season and is 9 of 12 in his career.
Terrell Lane did the punting chores for a second-straight week. Lane averaged 46.1 yards per punt on eight punts.
Three different Blue Dragons are averaging better than 20 yards per kickoff return.
Jatavius Stewart leads at 23.5 yards per return with a long of 62 yards. Kody Cook is averaging 21.8 yards per return and Antonio Johnson is averaging 21.0 yards per return.
HCC has given up kickoff return TDs of 98 and 101 yards this season.
About the Conquistadors
Offense: Dodge City puts the ball in the air an average of 44 times per game, using a West Coast-type offense.
Bob Majeski has employed two quarterbacks through the Conquistadors’ first three games. Logan Singhisen has completed 38 of 70 passes for 445 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Jason Stewart has completed 32 of 65 passes for 332 yards with a touchdown and six interceptions.
Ervin Swonger has a team-high 22 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdowns. Anvote Jones has nine receptions for 76 yards and a TD. Six different receivers have at least six receptions for Dodge City.
The Conquistadors haven’t gotten much done with the running game. Jace Barner leads the team with 98 rushing yards on 26 carries (3.8 yards per carry). Larry Walls is averaging 3.4 yards per carry and has 74 yards.
Dodge City is averaging 12.3 points, 65.7 rushing yards, 259 passing yards and 324 total yards. The Conquistadors have turned the ball over 11 times (nine interceptions, two fumbles).
Defense: Dodge City has been much tougher defensively since allowing 72 points to No. 2 Butler in the season opener.
Overall, the Conquistadors are allowing 43.3 points, 164 rushing yards, 2-5.7 passing yards and 369.7 total yards. The Conquistador defense has produced only four takeaways. Ryan Ross leads Dodge City with 38 total tackles, including four tackles for loss and one quarterback sack. Tyrone Wright has 22 tackles and three passes broken up. Alex Schmidt had 19 tackles, including eight tackles for loss.
Special Teams: Placekicker Austin Avelar hasn’t had much of a chance to work so far this season. He has hit on only 2 of 4 extra points and 1 of 2 field goals, hitting a 20-yarder, while missing a 35-yarder.
Dodge City has used three punters. Andrew Casey is averaging 38.6 yards per punt with a long of 57. Logan Singhisen has four punts for a 41.8 yard average with two inside the 20-yard line.
Larry Walls is the leading kickoff returner. He has seven returns of ran average of 17.7 yards. Avonte Jones is averaging 23.7 yards on three returns.
This is the 80th meeting all-time between Hutchinson and Dodge City. The Blue Dragons lead the series 43-33-4.
Hutchinson leads the series in games played at Gowans Stadium 24-13-2. Dodge leads at Memorial Stadium in Dodge City 20-19-2.
(HCC Sports Information)