The Greyhounds stopped the No. 1 offense in the Jayhawk Conference and also ran roughshod over the KJCCC's No. 1 defense in a 31-0 victory. The last time Fort Scott beat a team ranked as high or higher was when the 'Hounds upset then-No. 1 Garden City at Frary Field in 2001 with Bill Whittemore, who would go on to the University of Kansas, as the quarterback.
Revenge for last year's 30-17 playoff loss to Hutchinson was not a motivating factor, according to FSCC head coach Jeff Sims.
Fort Scott remains tied atop the Jayhawk Conference standings with a 3-0 league mark and a 4-0 overall record. It was a four-way tie going into the week. But Independence's 30-7 loss at Garden City knocked the Pirates (2-1, 2-2) out of their share of the lead. Meanwhile, No. 5 Butler (3-0, 4-1) defeated Coffeyville, 30-14, at El Dorado to maintain its share of the lead.
The Greyhounds are certain to rise in this week's NJCAA/jcfootball.com poll -- and might attain their highest ranking since the 1970s as No. 3 Pearl River lost to No. 9 Mississippi Gulf Coast Thursday night, 38-28. It's the second consecutive week MGCCC has knocked off the nation's No. 3 team as it defeated East Mississippi the week before. No. 1 Blinn (Texas), which defeated then-No. 1 Butler in the season opener, defeated Kilgore, 31-21, Saturday while No. 2 Navarro (Texas) routed No. 17 Tyler, 61-28, Thursday night.
"I don't know what those rankings mean," Sims said. "I don't even know who votes. What I know is that if we come and play hard, we're hard to beat. Our kids played with a lot of heart today and we had a great week of practice."
Hutchinson (2-1, 3-1) came into Saturday's contest ranked first in the KJCCC in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense, total defense, rushing offense and rushing defense. The Greyhound offense easily exceeded Hutch's defensive numbers and the defense held the Blue Dragon offense well below its season averages.
Each of Fort Scott's first 21 points came as the direct result of Hutchinson turnovers. FSCC defensive end Andre Clarke recovered a Chris Clay fumble at the Hutchinson 39-yard line early in the first quarter. On the second play of the drive, Dominique Davis hit C.J. Fondren for a 36-yard gain, setting up Jasmin Hopkins' 3-yard scoring run on the next play with 12:26 to go in the first quarter.
The second touchdown was set up by the first of linebacker LaVonte David's two interceptions, giving the Greyhounds the ball at their own 42 with 3:48 left in the first. Davis was sacked by Hutch defensive lineman Meshak Williams for a 16-yard loss on the first play after and a second-down pass was broken up. But Davis hit Zach McFall for a 38-yard gain to the Hutchinson 36 on third down.
The 'Hounds went to the ground for all but one of the remaining plays of the drive, scoring when Justin Woods followed the right side of the line into the end zone from 3 yards out with 13:34 left in the second quarter.
Clay fumbled again on the first play of Hutchinson's ensuing drive and Frank Bryant recovered at the Blue Dragon 42. Hopkins' 35-yard run to the 8 on second-and-11 set up Davis' 1-yard quarterback sneak with 11:37 left in the period.
The 'Hounds had a chance to add to the lead midway through the period but Luke Halsey's 33-yard field-goal try went wide left.
The Dragons took over at the 20 with 5:13 remaining and moved downfield --slowly.
Hutch had never trailed at any point in any of its previous three games. Its offense is not designed to hurry-up: The offense lines up, looks to the sideline for signals, checks their wristbands, and then finally gets ready. Add to that the fact that the Blue Dragons don't pass the ball especially well and this situation is not one the Hutchinson offense is made for.
"I think (Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades) was trying to stick with his game plan and not do something that's not normal for them because when you start doing things you're not used to, then it can get really bad," Sims said. "But if you get behind, it's hard to get back up.
"I think he was planning to stay with his offense and either wear us down or see if we would let up. That was the biggest concern, is that we get satisfied and let up."
The Greyhounds certainly didn't let up. The last play of the half was Bryant sacking quarterback Angelo Pease for a 2-yard loss at the Fort Scott 36. Hutchinson held the ball for over five minutes and only advanced 46 yards.
Kyle Ericson kicked a 40-yard field goal for the Greyhounds with 5:45 left in the third quarter to increase Fort Scott's lead to 24-0. The defense held Hutchinson to 1 first down and 19 total yards in the period.
The Dragons managed to mount a serious threat to break up the shutout in the fourth, making it down to Fort Scott's 17 for a second-and-5. But two personal foul penalties in the next three plays forced Hutch to punt from its own 46. That punt was downed at Fort Scott's 1-yard line.
On the next play, Davis rolled to his right and hit receiver Chad Peake in stride down the right sideline for a 99-yard touchdown with 4:31 left to go.
"Chad Peake is an extremely fast football player," Sims said. "And we have a tremendous offensive line. There's not a whole lot you can do on the 1. Basically, there's two play calls. You can run quarterback sneak and bang it out of there because you don't want to call (a run to the tailback) because if there's any penetration, you'll give up a safety. And I didn't want our defense to (lose a shutout) because of the offense. We chose to challenge the slot (defender) and Chad's a tough player to cover. Once he caught it, I knew it would be over because I knew he wouldn't be caught. But I was concerned that we get the ball to him."
The Greyhounds had 418 yards of total offense whereas Hutch came into the game allowing only 198 yards per game. Fort Scott rushed for 143 yards on 46 carries as Hopkins, the conference's leading rusher, gained 118 on 25 carries. Woods added 42 yards on 14 totes.
The Hutchinson rushing game, averaging 384 yards coming in, was held to 124 yards on 37 carries. Clay, the KJCCC's second-leading rusher, was held to 38 yards on 8 carries. Chris Anderson, No. 6 in the conference, gained only 59 yards on 16 carries.
Davis passed for a season high 275 yards as he completed 15 of 20 passes. That was the most passing yardage for a Greyhound since Greg Cross threw for 281 against Dodge City in 2007. Peake had 111 yards on 3 receptions and Fondren had 82 yards on 6 catches.
Hutchinson came into the game averaging only about 80 yards passing per game and didn't even get that much as Pease completed just 6 of 17 passes for 75 yards. The Blue Dragons finished with 199 yards in total offense, about 270 below their season average. Fort Scott's defense also forced four turnovers and sacked Pease 4 times.
"I want to give the defense 99 percent of the credit to the defense for stopping them this week," Sims said. "But I want to give one percent to the offense because every week, we run pretty much the same stuff (in practice) against our guys. So they know if they can stop Jasmine and Justin Woods and our offensive line, they're not worried about anyone who's going to run the ball at us."
Now the task for the Fort Scott coaching staff is to make sure the Greyhounds are ready to play at Independence Saturday night.
"We did not respond very well last year after we played Butler and then we had to play Hutch," Sims said. "Now we've played a big game against Hutch, so how are we going to respond next week? That's going to be our coaching job next week, to get our guys locked back in. Because we have to travel to Independence and they have a small visitor's locker room and there's a lot of challenges to it."
Saturday's game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Emmot Field in Independence.
NOTES -- Peake began his FSCC career here in 2007 and was on the receiving end of a 92-yard pass play from Cross in that season's opener against Navarro (Texas). But he suffered a knee injury in the next game at Independence and wasn't able to come back until last week's game at Garden City....
Peake's reception was the third recorded 99-yard scoring play in FSCC history. Jason Graham had a 99-yard TD run in a 1997 game at Highland. In that game, he rushed for 332 yards and also scored on 75- and 78-yard runs. Mike James returned a fumble 99 yards in a 2003 game at Dodge City.
The previous long pass play for a score came on Kris Knaup's first career reception at Hutchinson in 2007 on a 97-yard pass from Cross. In all, there have been seven scoring plays of 90 yards or more in the last three seasons....
Uniontown native Gage McKinnis was unable to play for Hutchinson due to a separated elbow....
Independence is the only KJCCC team with a new head coach this season, Lamar James.
"Lamar James was here with coach Rhoades," Sims said. "I've heard from recruiters that he's got things organized and they're doing things the right way. What I expect is a well-coached, fundamentally-sound team that's going to play hard."...
Hutchinson was attempting to start a season 4-0 for the first time since 1974. Fort Scott has a 4-0 start for the third consecutive season....
Hutchinson hosts Butler Saturday night at Gowans Stadium....