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October 12, 2013When: Saturday, October 12, 2013
At: Independence, KS
Stadium: Emmott Field/Riverside Park
Surface: Natural Grass
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450), 6:50 p.m.
Internet: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Record: 4-2 (3-1)
NJCAA Ranking: Rec. Votes
Last Game: Def. Bethany JV 50-0
Coach: Rion Rhoades, 7th season
Record: 1-6 (0-5)
NJCAA Ranking: unranked
Last Game: Lost to Fort Scott 63-7
Coach: Steve Carson 4th season
BLUE DRAGONS TO TAKE ON PIRATES IN JAYHAWK CLASH ON SHORT REST
The Hutchinson Community College football team looks to remain in the thick of the 2013 Jayhawk Conference title chase when the Blue Dragons travel to Independence for a 7 p.m. league matchup with the Pirates at Emmott Field.
Hutchinson (4-2, 3-1 Jayhawk Conference), Butler and Dodge City all have one Jayhawk Conference loss entering Week 8. Dodge City plays host to Coffeyville and Butler is off this week.
Saturday's game will be the completion of one of the strangest weeks in Blue Dragon football history.
One week ago, HCC was supposed to travel to Air Force Prep. The government shutout forced the cancelation of that game and forced HCC to pick up the Bethany College Junior Varsity on Wednesday in Lindsborg.
The Blue Dragons rolled to a 50-0 victory, and now for the first time in 81 years of football, Hutchinson will be playing games just three days apart from each other.
Hutchinson has won seven straight and 24 of the last 25 games against the Pirates.
The last two games have been all Blue Dragons to the tune of 145-0. Just two years ago, Carson and the Pirates had a 17-7 third-quarter lead over Hutchinson in the Region VI Playoff semifinals. The Dragons scored 17 unanswered points to win 24-17.
This season has been a struggle for Independence (1-5, 0-5). Last week's 63-7 loss to Fort Scott was Indy's five-straight loss. Independence has been outscored this season by an average of 51.6-8.3. The Pirates average 155.6 total yards per game, while allowing 469.0 yards per contest.
Hutchinson has more wins vs. Independence - 50 - than any other team.
Hutchinson: Rion Rhoades is in his seventh season with the Blue Dragons. He has a 48-25 record at HCC and 55-30 in his eighth season as a head coach.
Independence: Steve Carson is in his fourth season with the Pirates. He has a record of 9-26 at Independence.
Series History vs. Independence
This will be the 77th meeting all-time between Hutchinson and Independence in a series that dates back to 1930.
The Blue Dragons have dominated the series over the last 25 games, winning 24, including seven in a row. The only Independence victory came in 2006, a 46-21 win at Gowans Stadium.
HCC is 50-21-5 all-time vs. the Pirates. The Dragons are 31-8-2 in games played in Hutchinson and 19-13-3 at Independence. HCC has won 10 in a row at Indy.
Noting The Blue Dragons
+ Through six games, the Blue Dragons are second in the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at 35.7 points per game. HCC ranks sixth in the league in rushing offense (142.0 ypg), fifth in passing offense (215.3 ypg) and sixth in total offense (357.3 ypg).
+ Sophomore quarterback Luke Barnes, who now owns 13 Blue Dragon passing record, is completing 59.8 percent of his passes for 1,187 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. Against Highland, he threw for 300 or more yards for the sixth time in his career.
+ Freshman Chris Murray comes off a school-record 13 receptions against Highland for a career-high 207 receiving yards. He has a team-high 32 catches for 362 yards and six TDS. Jabril Soloman has a team-high 368 receiving yards on 19 receptions and four touchdowns. Out of the backfield, Mike Blakely has 19 catches for 166 yards.
+ The Blue Dragon running game has improved dramatically, going for 487 yards over the last four games compared to an average of 94 yards in weeks 1 and 2. HCC had 184 rushing yards against Highland. Freshman Chase Abbington had his first career 100-yard game with 122 vs. Dodge City. He leads HCC on the ground with 258 yards on 62 carries and two TDs. He didn't play against Bethany on Wednesday. The Blue Dragons are averaging just 3.7 yards per carry so far this season. Mike Blakely has 193 yards on 42 carries and two TDs.
+ Defensively, the Blue Dragons have been up and down. Through six games, HCC is third in the Jayhawk Conference in defensive scoring average at 23.2 points per game allowed. HCC ranks third in total defense at 287.0 yards allowed per game. HCC is third in rushing defense (96.5 ypg) and fourth in passing defense (190.5 ypg).
+ The Blue Dragons have forced 17 takeaways (12 interceptions, 5 fumbles) this season. The 12 interceptions are for sixth nationally.
+ Sophomore transfer Jaylon Myers leads the NJCAA in interceptions with six. He tied a school record for three picks against Coffeyville on Aug. 24 and had two picks against Highland on Sept. 28. Sophomore Christian Goodlett is one of 24 NJCAA players tied for ninth nationally with three interceptions.
+ HCC's defense has 16 quarterback sacks. Freshman Jeremiah Ledbetter has 3.0 sacks. Sophomore linebacker Michael Peek and freshman defensive end Marquavius Lewis has 2.5 sacks each.
+ Sophomore linebacker Brock Long has a team-high 48 tackles. Sophomore cornerback Christian Goodlett is second with 34 tackles. He tied a school record with six passes broken up against Coffeyville on Aug. 24.
+ Freshman kicker Ryan Weese continued his strong start. Weese 9 of 10 on field goals, making nine straight to start the season. Weese's season high is 38 yards against Highland on Sept. 28. He is 23 of 26 on extra-point tries. Weese has also been strong on kickoffs with 13 touchbacks and an opponent's starting average of its own 24-yard line.
+ HCC's return teams have been strong. HCC's kickoff returns have averaged a league-leading 26.0 yards per attempt with six going for 30 yards or better. HCC's punt return team is averaging 17.6 yards per return. Chris Murray has a 78-yard return for a touchdown this season and Mike Blakely has a 57-yard return for a score.
+ The only victory for Independence this season was a narrow 24-20 non-conference victory over Southeast Prep (Texas). In the Pirates six losses, they have been outscored 337-38.
+ Offensively, the Pirates are allowing 8.3 points (58 total), 56.6 rushing yards, 99.0 passing yards and 155.6 total yards per game.
+ Defensively, Independence has allowed 51.6 points, 276.1 rushing yards, 192.9 passing yards and 469.0 total yards per game.
+ Independence has turned the ball over 22 times, fumbling the ball 32 times, losing 14. Conversely, Indy has forced 14 takeaways.
+ Quarterback Brian Morgan has taken a share of the snaps this season. He has completed 41 of 102 passes for 543 yards with one touchdown and eight interceptions. Calvin Bryant is 12 of 25 for 78 yards. Independence quarterbacks have been sacked 17 times.
+ Hunter Seibert is Indy's top rusher. He has 389 yards on 120 carries, a 3.2 yard-per-carry average with two touchdowns. Dwayne Carter has rushed for 200 yards on 78 attempts.
+ Greg McKillon is Indy's top receiver with 33 catches for 478 yards and two scored. Tomas Colbert is next with eight catches and 86 yards.
+ Robert Daniels is Independence's top tackler with 53 total stops. Right behind is Richard Dorvilus, who has 51 tackles, including four tackles for loss.
+ Indy has just five quarterback sacks, two by Darien Williston.
+ Jalen Merrell has two of Indy's five interceptions.
+ Punter John Muckenthaler is second in the Jayhawk Conference at 39.8 yards per punt.