HIGHLAND – The No. 13 Hutchinson Community College football team scored touchdowns on its first two drives of the afternoon and steadily pulled away from the Highland Scotties and pulled into a first-place tie in the Jayhawk Conference.
Sophomore Terrell Lane ran for more than 100 yards for the fifth-consecutive game and tied a career high with three rushing touchdowns as the Blue Dragons defeated the Scotties 49-12 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Kessinger Field in a Jayhawk Conference clash.
The Blue Dragons (4-1 overall) are now 4-0 in the Jayhawk Conference. No. 3 Butler played Air Force Prep on Saturday at El Dorado in a non-conference match-up. The Grizzlies are also 4-0 in the league.
Lane rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries and scored on runs of 4, 14 and 5 yards to lead a Blue Dragon offense that produced 27 first downs and 496 yards of total offense (201 rushing, 295 passing). Freshman Orange Mooney ran for 66 yards on seven carries and a 16-yard touchdown run.
Blue Dragon quarterback Luke Barnes threw his 18th and 19th touchdown passes, completing 23 of 32 passes for 262 yards. He was intercepted once, which went back for a touchdown, and sacked a season-high four times.
Sophomore receiver Antonio Johnson had a career-high 10 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, the third time this season Johnson has had two TD receptions in a game. Sophomore Miguel Johns had four catches for 95 yards and he added his first career punt return for a touchdown, 54 yards in the third quarter.
The Blue Dragons continued to improve defensively, allowing a season-low 111 passing yards and holding the Scotties (1-4, 1-3) to 58 rushing yards.
Christian Goodlett and DeVondre Campbell tied for team-high honors with seven tackles. Goodlett had his first career interception, which was HCC’s only takeaway for the day.
Highland’s starting quarterback, Shunquez Stephens, completed 5 of 11 passes for 57 yards with an interception. He was sacked twice. Back-up Desmond McGee was 7 of 16 for 52 yards. McGee had the only Highland offensive touchdown, a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. McGee was Highland’s leading rusher with 30 yards on four carries.
HCC got off to a great start scoring on its first two possessions of the game.
The Dragons took the opening kickoff and marched 69 yards on 10 plays and scored the game’s first points on a Barton-to-Johnson 12-yard touchdown pass.
After the HCC defense forced a three-and-out, the Dragons had a short field and went 58 yards in seven plays to go up 14-0 on Lane’s 4-yard touchdown with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter.
HCC out-gained Highland 121-26 in the opening quarter.
The Blue Dragons missed points on their next two possessions, but went up 21-0 with 8:05 to play in the second quarter when Barnes and Johnson hooked up on a 27-yard scoring strike with Hutchinson facing fourth-and-10.
After Goodlett’s interception set HCC up at the Highland 38, the Blue Dragons were poised to go up by four scores when Barnes’ pass was deflected into the hands of Highland’s Contereze Pierce, who went 80 yards for a touchdown. That was only Barnes’ second interception of the season.
The Blue Dragons responded right away with a 10-play drive that covered 59 yards in 4 minutes, 6 seconds. Lane bounced his way into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in the first half for a 28-6 lead.
Special teams took center stage in the third quarter. After the Dragons held Highland without a first down on the opening drive of the second half, Johns fielded a punt at the HCC 46, went right, picked up two huge blocks and worked his way down the sideline for HCC’s first return touchdown of 2012 of 54 yards and a 35-6 lead.
Hutchinson tacked on two more third-quarter touchdowns – a 5-yard TD by Lane and a 14-yard burst by Mooney to lead 49-6 with 4:11 to play in the third quarter.
The Scotties used a short field to get their only touchdown, McGee’s 1-yard run around the left side on fourth-and-goal to cut the Dragon lead to 49-12 with 9:40 to play in the final quarter.
Hutchinson returns home for the first time in three weeks next Saturday night as Air Force Prep comes to Gowans Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons won their fourth-straight game over the Scotties and second-straight at Kessinger Field. HCC is now 29-2 all-time vs. Highland and 12-2 at Highland. .. HCC head coach Rion Rhoades coached his 60th game on the Blue Dragon sideline. He is 39-21. … Sophomore kicker Michael Mesh scored seven points in the game and moved into a tie for fourth place on HCC’s career scoring list with Brian Grimes at 134 points. … The Blue Dragons were 5 of 6 in red zone opportunities on Highland. That one missed chance was the first missed red zone scoring chance this season. HCC is now 20 of 21 in the red zone. … This was the third time this season HCC has held an opponent to less than 60 yards rushing in a game. … HCC was 7 of 15 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down. … HCC had three players with more than 100 all-purpose yards for the third time on Saturday. Johns had 174 all-purpose yards, Lane had 139 and Johnson had 118 yards. … HCC had 10 tackles for loss. … The fourth quarter was only the second quarter the Blue Dragons haven’t scored in this season.