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October 18, 2013Game 8: Hutchinson vs. Fort Scott
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013
At: Hutchinson, KS
Stadium: Gowans Stadium
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450)
Internet: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Admission: $7 reserved; $5 General Admission
Record: 5-2 (4-1)
NJCAA Ranking: No. 19
Last Game: Def. Independence 58-0
Coach: Rion Rhoades, 7th season
Record: 1-6 (1-5)
NJCAA Ranking: unranked
Last Game: Def. Independence, 63-7
Coach: Curtis Horton, 3rd season
BLUE DRAGONS TO MEET FORT SCOTT IN BIG KJCCC BATTLE SATURDAY AT GOWANS
Hutchinson Community College head football coach Rion Rhoades goes after a milestone victory and the Blue Dragons themselves look to stay right in the thick of the Jayhawk Conference title race as the Fort Scott Greyhounds come to Gowans Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.
Now in his seventh season with the Blue Dragons Rhoades will go after Blue Dragon victory, Rhoades' next win will be his 50th on the Blue Dragon sidelines. This will be Rhoades' 75th game at Hutchinson.
As for Rhoades' team, the Blue Dragons remain right in the thick of the conference title chase as one of three teams with only one loss. Dodge City plays host to Garden City and Butler travels to Coffeyville.
Since starting 2-2, the Blue Dragons enter Saturday's game on a three-game winning streak and off back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1982.
Defensively, the Blue Dragons (4-1 KJCCC) have stepped up its overall performance. Over the last three games, HCC is allowing just 6.7 points, 139.3 passing yards per game and have held their last three opponents to a combined minus-12 yards rushing.
HCC's defense will be put to the test as Fort Scott (1-6, 1-5) brings in an offense that averages 31.2 points and leads the KJCCC in team rushing at 188.9 yards per game.
Greyhound running back JoNathan Alford is the league's leading rusher at 146.2 yards per game. Kyle Hammond ranks seventh in the KJCCC in rushing at 49.9 yards per game. Fort Scott quarterback Jason Stewart ranks second in passing in the KJCCC at 226.3 yards per game.
Hutchinson: Rion Rhoades is in his seventh season with the Blue Dragons. He has a 49-25 record at HCC and 56-30 in his eighth season as a head coach.
Fort Scott: Curtis Horton is in his third season with the Greyhounds. He has a record of 9-15 at Fort Scott.
Series History vs. Fort Scott
This will be the 70th meeting all-time between Hutchinson and Fort Scott in a series that dates back to 1929.
The Blue Dragons lead the overall series 36-32-1, winning the last three meetings. Hutchinson leads the series 19-14-1 in games played in Hutchinson, but Fort Scott has an 18-17 advantage on its home field. The Dragons are 5-1 in playoff meetings. The teams are 1-1 in overtime games.
Noting The Blue Dragons
+ Through seven games, the Blue Dragons are second in the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at 38.9 points per game. HCC ranks fifth in the league in rushing offense (154.2 ypg), fifth in passing offense (221.6 ypg) and fifth in total offense (375.7 ypg).
+ Sophomore quarterback Luke Barnes, who now owns 14 Blue Dragon passing records, is completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 1,405 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Against Highland, he threw for 300 or more yards for the sixth time in his career.
+ Freshman Chris Murray, who owns a school-record 13 receptions against Highland for a career-high 207 receiving yards, leads the Blue Dragons with 34 receptions, 458 yards and seven touchdowns. Jabril Soloman has 378 receiving yards on 21 receptions and four touchdowns. Out of the backfield, Mike Blakely has 20 catches for 171 yards.
+ The Blue Dragon running game has improved dramatically, going for a season-high 227 yards against Independence last week. Freshman Chase Abbington, who had three touchdowns and 98 yards last week vs. Independence, leads HCC on the ground with 366 yards on 70 carries and five TDs. The Blue Dragons are averaging 4.1 yards per carry so far this season. Mike Blakely has 202 yards on 45 carries and two TDs.
+ Defensively, the Blue Dragons have been up and down, but have been dominant over the last three games with back-to-back shutouts. Through seven games, HCC is second in the Jayhawk Conference in defensive scoring average at 19.9 points per game allowed. HCC ranks third in total defense at 249.6 yards allowed per game. HCC is second in rushing defense (78.7 ypg) and fourth in passing defense (170.9 ypg).
+ The Blue Dragons have forced 22 takeaways (16 interceptions, 6 fumbles) this season. The 16 interceptions are ranked fourth nationally.
+ Sophomore transfer Jaylon Myers leads the NJCAA in interceptions with seven. 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 1 of 8 NJCAA players tied for eighth nationally with four interceptions.
+ HCC's defense has 19 quarterback sacks. Freshman Jeremiah Ledbetter has 4.0 sacks. Freshman defensive end Marquavius Lewis has 3.5 sacks each.
+ Sophomore linebacker Brock Long has a team-high 54 tackles. Marquavius Lewis is second with 38 tackles. Sophomore cornerback Christian Goodlett is third with 36 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 31 of 34 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 24.9 yards per attempt with seven going for 30 yards or better. HCC's punt return team is averaging 14.9 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.
Noting Fort Scott
+ Fort Scott comes into Saturday's game off a bye week that followed its first victory of the season, a 63-7 win over Independence.
+ Offense hasn't been the issue with the Greyhounds in 2013. At the KJCCC Media Day in July, third-year coach Curtis Horton said his team would run, run, run and run some more. Fort Scott leads the league in rushing at 188.9 yards per game and total offense at 420.1 yards per game. Fort Scott is second in passing offense at 231.3 yards per game. The Greyhounds average 82 offensive snaps per contest.
+ The Greyhounds have the Jayhawk Conference's leading rusher as well as the ninth-best ball carrier this season. JoNathan Alford has rushed for 877 yards and leads the league at 146.2 yards per game. Alford is averaging 4.3 yards per carry with six touchdowns. Kyle Hammond is seventh in the KJCCC with 49 yards and a 5.2 yards-per-carry average with five scores.
+ Quarterback Jason Stewart has been one of the league's bigger surprises. He is second in the Jayhawk in passing at 226.3 yards per game. He had completed 125 of 222 passes (56.3%) for 1,584 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Stewart has also rushed for four touchdowns. He ranks second in total offense at 239.9 yards per game.
+ Fort Scott has three main receivers who Stewart targets. Chevelle Buie has a team-high 46 receptions for 586 yards and three touchdowns. Jared Dangerfield has 38 catches for 553 yards and seven touchdowns. Jornell Fondren has 17 receptions for 262 yards and a touchdown. Buie and Dangerfield are ranked Nos. 1 and 3 in the Jayhawk Conference in receiving yards per game and Nos. 2 and 3 in receptions per game.
+ Defense has been a problems with the Greyhounds in 2013. Fort Scott is seventh in the KJCCC in scoring defense (51.1 ppg), seventh in total defense (441.9 ypg), seventh in rushing defense (216.4 ypg) and seventh in pass defense (225.4 ypg). Only Independence ranks worse in these defensive categories than does Fort Scott.
+ Defensive end Demetrius Hill has had a solid year for the Greyhounds with team highs of 47 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. He also has 3.5 quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. James Gray had 34 tackles and a team-high three interceptions.
+ Placekicker Carlos Chavez is 23 of 24 on extra-point attempts this season and 2 of 4 on field goals with a long of 39. He has had two kicks blocked.
+ Punter Matt Vincent is averaging 34.7 yards per attempt. He has punted 48 times and has had three blocked.
+ Chevelle Buie is Fort Scott's top kick returner at 24.1 yards per attempt on 16 returns. He's returned one punt for a touchdown and averages 24.3 yards per punt return.