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Hutchinson to meet Iowa Central in fourth-annual Salt City Bowl
 November 14, 2012

By Steve Carpenter
HCC Sports Information Director
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – When the Salt City Bowl was organized, Hutchinson Community College football coach Rion Rhoades said he would like to see opponents from a variety of conferences come to Hutchinson for the game. When bowl bids were released on Tuesday, a team from the third different conference in bowl history will match up against the Blue Dragons for the 2012 Salt City Bowl.

The 14th-ranked Blue Dragons (8-3) will play host to the Iowa Central Tritons (6-4) at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Gowans Stadium.

Ticket information for the Salt City Bowl will be announced at a later date.

“There were a lot of people interested in coming to the game,” said Rhoades, who made the official announcement of the matchup on Tuesday. “There are so many factors than come down to it. All the bowls seem to go after the same people and the entire Top 20 gets hammered about going to a bowl game.”

The Salt City Bowl’s first two games in 2009 and 2010 featured teams from the Western States Football League (New Mexico Military and Eastern Arizona College). Last season, Lackawanna College represented the Northeast Conference.

“Variety is good on central different front,” It’s good for our conference and region and it’s good for the NJCAA that there is some variety (in bowl games).

This season Iowa Central will represent the Midwest Football Conference.

Hutchinson will be making its fourth-straight and 17th-overall bowl appearance. The Blue Dragons are currently on a program-best four-game bowl winning streak. HCC defeated Lackawanna 70-20 last season, Eastern Arizona College 42-21 in 2010 and New Mexico Military Institute 22-14 in the inaugural Salt City Bowl in 2009. The win streak started with Hutch defeating Tyler 15-10 in the 2004 Heart of Texas Bowl.

Hutchinson has an all-time bowl record of 8-6-2.

The Tritons will be making their 14th bowl appearance under head coach Kevin Twait, winning nine. Last season, Iowa Central defeated Central Lakes 42-12 in the 2011 Graphics Edge Bowl.

The Blue Dragons enter the 2012 Salt City Bowl with its third-straight eight-win season. HCC finished second in the Jayhawk Conference and advanced to the Region VI title games for the third-straight time and the fourth time in five seasons.

The Tritons are 6-4 after starting the season 5-1 and reached as high as No. 15 in the NJCAA poll. Iowa Central has dropped 3 of its last 4 games, including a loss to then-No. 2 Iowa Western and two games to Ellsworth, who is now coached by former Blue Dragon offensive coordinator Josh Gooch.

“Their coach has been ultra-successful,” Rhaodes said. “To win 120 games is a lot of games.”

Iowa Central is located in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The school has an enrollment of 5,000.

The Salt City Bowl will be one of two bowl games to match up Jayhawk Conference and Midwest Football Conference teams. No. 1 Iowa Western and No. 2 Butler will meet in the Graphic’s Edge Bowl for the national championship on Dec. 1.

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