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Reserve QB Leads Hutchinson to Salt City Bowl Victory
 December 1, 2012


From HCC Sports Information

HUTCHINSON, Kan. -- Reserve quarterback Kody Cook threw for 272 yards and five touchdowns after entering the game late in the second quarter to lead the 14th-ranked Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) football team to a 41-21 victory over Iowa Central on Saturday in the fourth-annual Salt City Bowl at Gowans Stadium.

Cook moved from receiver to quarterback late in the second quarter, replacing record-setting Blue Dragon quarterback Luke Barnes, who injured his throwing hand early in the game. Down 7-0 Cook guided the Blue Dragons to two touchdown drives late in the first half to lead 14-7 at halftime.

After back-to-back special teams errors that led directly to two Iowa Central touchdowns that gave the Tritons a 21-14 lead with 6:56 to play in the third quarter, Cook led the Blue Dragon response with four touchdown drives. He tied the game at 21-all with a 2-yard run and then gave the Dragons the lead for good 22-yard TD strike to Johns with 13:40 to play in the game.

Named the Salt City Bowl’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, Cook set bowl records with 20 completions, 30 attempts, 272 passing yards and 272 total yards, while tying a bowl game record with five touchdown passes. Before the switch, he caught one ball for five yards.

“My teammates were with me and God was with me said Cook, who in his HCC career before Saturday had completed 1 of 2 passes for seven yards. “The line protected me and the receivers made it easy for me by getting open.”

“We felt like he was going to give us some options, especially with the quarterback run game,” HCC head coach Rion Rhoades said. “He doesn’t get enough work for what he did today. He was awesome. I was really happy for Kody.”

Johns set a Salt City Bowl record with four touchdown receptions, catching seven balls for 107 yards. Sophomore Antonio Johnson had bowl records of 10 receptions for 132 yards, including a touchdown.  Tanner Gentry and Connor Thierolf both had personal-best games. Gentry had three receptions for 44 yards and Thierolf had two for 16 yards.

“I couldn’t believe it,” John said of Cook’s performance. “But I knew we’d be alright. Kody is a football player. You can put him anywhere and you know he’ll do well.”

The Blue Dragons finish 9-3 for the season, winning nine games for the third-straight season and matching the best five-year run in program history with 42 victories. HCC extended its program record with its fifth-straight bowl victory.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Cook’s incredible performance was running back Terrell Lane and the Blue Dragon defense.

Lane broke Jamison Palmer’s single-season rushing record on Saturday. Rushing for 96 yards on 18 carries in the game, Lane finished the season with 1,630 yards. Lane also became the fifth Blue Dragon running back to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a career, finishing with 2,093 yards. He surpassed Arland Bruce for fourth place on the career list.

Salt City Bowl defensive MVP Kenny Flowers led a dominating performance by the Blue Dragons, who held Iowa Central to Salt City Bowl lows of 131 total yards, 38 rushing yards and eight first downs.

Outside of a Salt City Bowl-record 67-yard touchdown pass by Iowa Central’s Teag Klyn to Brandynn Clark, the Blue Defense allowed only 102 yards for the remainder of the game.

HCC also held Iowa Central’s leading rusher Jontel Clayton to a season-low 24 yards on 19 attempts.

“It means a lot,” said Flowers, who had 10 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. “But I couldn’t have done it without the defensive line or backs. It definitely feels good to go out with a bang.”

Freshman linebacker Brock Long finished with a career-high 14 tackles and sophomore defensive lineman Ben Bradley had a career-best 11 tackles.

Hutchinson’s offense produced 411 total yards on a Salt City Bowl-record 81 offensive snaps, with 316 yards in the air and 95 rushing yards. The Blue Dragons also had a bowl-game high 25 first downs.

Iowa Central’s Klyn finished 9 of 22 passing for 131 yards with a touchdown and interception. Clark had five catches for 102 yards to lead the Tritons.

Iowa Central took a 7-0 lead just 4:51 seconds into the game when Kyle and Clark connected for a 67-yard catch and run for a touchdown.

From that point, the Blue Dragons sputtered on offense, missing a field goal, giving the ball up on downs, a fumble and three consecutive punts. HCC had just 94 total yards over its first seven possessions before Cook entered the game.

“I was not nervous,” said Cook before he entered the game at quarterback. “I’m not the kind of person that gets nervous. I know my teammates have my back, so I wasn’t nervous at all.”

Cook’s first drive was a seven-play, 59-yard scoring drive and the Dragons tied the game on his 32-yard touchdown pass to Johns with 2:09 left in the game. The Dragons forced a punt and got the ball back at its own 30 with 1:06 to play. Cook went 6 for 6 on the drive and tossed a 9-yard TD strike to Johns with 6.9 seconds left to give HCC a 14-7 lead.

Iowa Central (6-5) got back into the game when HCC special teams had problems on back-to-back punts midway through the third quarter.

Firs the Tritons blocked a Lane punt and Joe Feldspaugh recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-14 tie with 7:51 to play in the third quarter. The Tritons forced a 3-and-out and a high punt snap bounded around in the end zone and Nash Stopko recovered it for a touchdown and a 21-14 Iowa Central lead with 6:56 to play in the quarter.

The Blue Dragons answered right back, though, as Cook completed four passes during a 70-yard march that took 10 plays. HCC took the lead back when Cook scored on a 2-yard run with 2:33 to play in the quarter for a 28-21 lead.

Cook put the finishing touches on his MVP performance with three fourth-quarter TD passes of 22 to Johns, 11 to Johnson and 13 to Johns and HCC’s defense held Iowa Central to just 19 total yards in the fourth quarter.

GAME NOTES – HCC is now 9-6-2 all time in bowl games. … HCC completes its 81st season of football with an all-time record of 309-234-18. … Johnson had his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season and Johns had his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. … This was the fifth time this season to hold an opponent to less than 50 rushing yards in a game … Johns tied Cordarrelle Patterson for second place on the single-season receptions list with 61 catches. He move up two spots to fourth on the single-season receiving yards list with 950 yards this season. … Antonio Johnson extended his single-season receptions return to 76 catches. That mark ties Kyle Roberts for fifth place on the career list.


+ Offensive plays – 81, Hutchinson

+ Passing Yards – 316, Hutchinson

+ First downs – 25, Hutchinson

+ Completions – 27, Hutchinson

+ Pass Attempts – 45, Hutchinson

+ Fewest offensive yards gained – 131, Iowa Central

+ Fewest first downs – 8, Iowa Central

+ Fewest rushing yards – 38, Iowa Central

+ Punts – 10, Iowa Central


+ Passing Touchdowns – 5, Hutchinson


+ Total Offense – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, 276 yards

+ Total touchdowns scored – Miguel Johns, 4

+ Total points – Miguel Johns, Hutchinson, 28

+ Receiving touchdowns – Miguel Johns, 4

+ Passing yards – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, 272

+ Completions – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, 20

+ Pass Attempts – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, 30

+ Pass Completion Percentage – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, .667 (20 of 30)

+ Receptions – Antonio Johnson, Hutchinson, 10

+ Longest scoring play – Teag Klyn to Brandynn Clark, Iowa Central, 67 yards.

+ Longest TD Pass – Teag Klyn to Brandynn Clark, Iowa Central, 67 yards.

+ Longest Play From Scrimmage – Teag Klyn to Brandynn Clark, Iowa Central, 67 yards.

+ Most punts – Mitch Bonnstetter, Iowa Central, 10

+ Most punt returns – Miguel Johns, Hutchinson, 6


+ Passing touchdowns – Kody Cook, Hutchinson, 5

Photos: (Top) Hutchinson starting quarterback, Luke Barnes (8), and back-up quarterback, Kody Cook (7), celebrate after Cook threw a touchdown pass. Barnes let the game in the middle of the second quarter with a broken finger. (Bottom) A.J. Johnson (4) leaps in the air to catch a pass from quarterback, Kody Cook. Photos by Stephanie Carpenter, HCC Sports Information

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