RION RHOADES' 50TH VICTORY WITH BLUE DRAGONS IS SCHOOL-RECORD COMEBACKOctober 21, 2013
HCC Sports Information
Hutchinson Community College head football coach Rion Rhoades is going to remember his 50th victory on the Blue Dragon sideline for a long, long, long time.
Take into consideration the following:
+ The Blue Dragons lost starting quarterback Luke Barnes to an injury late in the opening quarter.
+ Hutchinson had just 104 yards at halftime and gave up 147 rushing yards to Fort Scott in the opening half. The Dragons also had two turnovers in the first two quarters.
+ HCC trailed by two scores at halftime and when Fort Scott’s JoNathan Alford busted loose for a 63-yard TD run on the first play of the second half, the Blue Dragons trailed the Greyhounds by 22 points.
Then backup quarterback Frankie Seurer orchestrated the biggest comeback in Blue Dragon football history and HCC dizzyingly turned a 22-point deficit into a lead in a matter of 16 minutes, 7 seconds as Hutchinson stunned Fort Scott 63-39 on Saturday night at Gowans Stadium.
Seurer accounted for five touchdowns and 256 total yards to lead the Blue Dragons (6-2 overall, 5-1 Jayhawk Conference) to their fourth-straight victory. The Blue Dragons are now bowl eligible with their sixth victory of the season.
For Rhoades, he earned win No. 50 in his 75th game with the Blue Dragons. Rhoades reached 50 wins faster than Charles Sesher or John Matous, the only Blue Dragon coaches with more victories than him. The comeback was his sixth at Hutchinson when trailing at halftime.
After Alford’s touchdown run to start the third quarter, things started swinging Hutchinson’s way at a frenetic pace. To that point in the game, Fort Scott held a 250-104 total-yard advantage over HCC. After Alford’s back-breaking run, the Blue Dragons rolled up 377 yards of offense to Fort Scott’s 172, with only 45 yards came on the ground.
Hutchinson pulled within 36-28 with 9:38 to go in the third quarter after a 5-yard Seurer-to-Jabril Soloman touchdown pass and a Chase Abbington 22-yard TD run. The first of four momentum-swinging defense/special sequences then occurred when Fort Scott drove from its own 38 to the Blue Dragon 3. HCC forced the Greyhounds to settle for a 20-yard Carlos Chavez field goal with 3:15 to play in the third quarter which gave Fort Scott a 39-28 lead.
HCC then went on a fourth-quarter rampage scoring on five-consecutive possessions in the period.
Abbington capped a 90-yard, 13-play scoring drive with a 27-yard touchdown run to pull the Blue Dragons within 39-35 with 13:37 to play.
On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Ryan Munyan stripped Fort Scott return specialist Chevelle Buie of the ball for the Greyhounds’ first giveaway at the game. The Blue Dragons took over at the Fort Scott 26 and four plays later, Chris Murray caught a 14-yard go-ahead touchdown pass from Seurer. The Dragons led 42-39 with 11:58 to go.
Hutch built a 49-39 lead when Seurer connected with Bryce Harvey on a 14-yard touchdown strike with 8:29 remaining in the game.
Fort Scott was driving on its next possession and was poised to make it a one-possession game again, but sophomore cornerback Christian Goodlett turned the tables and set a school record in the process. Fort Scott receiver Jared Dangerfield caught the ball at the Hutch 5 and ran to the 1 when Goodlett stripped him and returned the ball for a school-record 99-yard fumble return. The probable 14-point swing gave HCC a 56-39 lead with 7:11 to play in the fourth quarter.
Defense finished off the 46-point second-half swing when Jaylon Myers intercepted his NJCAA-leading eighth interception of the season and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown and a 63-39 lead.
Hutchinson had 11 first downs and 169 total yards in the fourth quarter. Over the second half, the Blue Dragons amassed 20 first downs, 168 rushing yards and 209 passing yards from Seurer on 11 of 16 passing.
Seurer finished the game completing 14 of 25 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 22 yards on 11 carries.
Abbington ran for season highs of 119 yards rushing on 23 carries and two touchdowns. Murray finished with 6 receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. Soloman had five catches for 118 yards and a score.
The Blue Dragons had a season-high 30 first downs, while rushing for 202 yards and passing for 279 more.
Alford punished the Blue Dragons for 227 yards rushing on 29 carries and scoring runs of 1, 64 and 63 yards. Fort Scott quarterback Jason Stewart threw for 167 yards on 12 of 25 passing with a touchdown and interception. Buie caught six passes for 38 yards.
Fort Scott (1-7, 1-6) finished the game with 255 rushing yards, 167 passing yards and 422 total yards.
After a turnovers on their opening drive, the Blue Dragons took a 7-0 lead when Seurer replaced Barnes late in first quarter after his game-ending injury and capped an 8-play, 57-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak with 8:36 to go in the quarter.
Fort Scott went on to score on three of its next four possessions. Alford tied the game at 7-all with 1:02 to go. Julian Cole then returned a sack/fumble 64 yards for a Greyhound 15-7 lead after a 2-point conversion. Alford then gashed Hutch for a 68-yard scoring strike and a 22-7 lead with 8:01 remaining in the first half.
The Blue Dragons were able to turn a short field into a Seurer 4-yard touchdown run with 3:47 to play in the half to pull within 22-14, but the Greyhounds seized momentum right back when Alford ran for 30 yards on third-and-28 for a first down. Then with 18 seconds left in the half, Stewart connected with Buie on a 22-yard TD pass to give Fort Scott a 29-14 halftime lead.
The Blue Dragons will now travel to Butler at 6 p.m. next Saturday night for a chance to win the Jayhawk Conference championship.
GAME NOTES – The 63 points scored tied for the 10th-most points in team history. … The 102 combined points are second most in series history (105 combined points in 2011) and tied for the fourth-most combined points in HCC history. … The 35 fourth-quarter points and 49 second-half points were both season highs. … Hutchinson won its fourth in a row over Fort Scott. HCC now leads the all-time series with the Greyhounds 37-32-1, going 20-14-1 in games at Hutchinson. … HCC sophomore linebacker Brock Long had a career-high 16 tackles. … The Blue Dragons averaged 26.9 yards per kickoff return on seven attempts. … Back-up punter Caleb Carson averaged 32.8 yards per punt in replacing Luke Barnes after his injury. … Chris Murray had 202 all-purpose yards.