(FSCC photo/Kathleen Hinrichs)
The Greyhounds improved to 5-0 in the conference and 6-0 overall, taking over first place for themselves, at least for the moment, as Butler drew the bye and remained at 4-0, 5-1. Dodge City remained tied for last place with Highland as both teams are 0-4, 0-6.
In case you're wondering why the margin of victory wasn't greater, it was in part because Fort Scott head coach Jeff Sims used a number of bench players in the second half to give them a chance to see what they could do in a competitive situation versus a blowout and to also give some of the regulars a bit of a rest.
(FSCC photo/Kathleen Hinrichs)
With Dodge City gaining only 10 yards of total offense in the first half, the case was proven, anyway. The Conquistador defense might have also been more ready to compete with the 'Hounds since Dodge drew last week's bye and had two weeks to prepare for this contest. Sims also said he and his coaching staff put the team through the paces at practice last week, looking to make sure the Greyhounds weren't becoming complacent.
Fort Scott's running game struggled in the first quarter, finishing the period with 0 net yards on 9 carries. But quarterback Dominique Davis hit 6 of 9 passes in the quarter for 66 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown pass to Chad Peake with 4:31 left in the period. Peake almost lost his balance going down the sideline but had the presence of mind to reach the ball over the goal line before he fell out of bounds.
Fort Scott's second touchdown was a defensive score. Linebacker Sam Quilice picked off Conq QB Lane Kendall and returned the ball 29 yards for the touchdown with 9:50 left in the half to make it 14-0.
The final score of the game was set up when Omar Leftwich blocked a punt and Donnell Jones recovered for the 'Hounds at the Dodge City 5-yard line. Two plays later, Davis snuck over the goal line from 1 yard out to make it 21-0 with 1:48 left in the half.
Fort Scott's defense held Dodge City to minus-7 yards rushing in the first half on 22 carries. They also bothered Kendall frequently, picking off one pass and forcing 10 consecutive incompletions after he connected on his first pass of the game.
For the game, Dodge City finished with 128 yards of total offense. Kendall finished 7 of 28 for 81 yards with 2 interceptions. Fort Scott sacked Kendall twice, allowed only 47 yards on the ground on 40 carries and made the Conqs punt 10 times.
Dodge City started a possession in Greyhound territory once and advanced past midfield only three other times, the last time on the game's last possession. Their leading rusher, Jacquese Seward, gained just 24 yards on 16 carries -- he had minus-7 yards on his first 11 rushes.
"Our defense did a tremendous job today," Sims said. "They ran to the ball well and competed tremendously."
While the defense was its usual self, the offense suffered from inconsistency. Justin Woods, the Jayhawk Conference's second-leading rusher coming into the contest, started at running back and never really got on track. He had no yards in the first quarter and only 37 on 19 carries in the game. When conference leader Jasmin Hopkins took his turn in the backfield in the second quarter, the 'Hounds were able to run the ball better. But, coincidentally, Davis' passing suffered. He went 1 for 5 in the second quarter for minus-2 yards and finished 11 of 28 for 103 yards with 2 interceptions -- both of which were made by the Conqs in the end zone.
"Offensively, some things didn't click the way that we wanted them to," Fort Scott head coach Jeff Sims said. "It happens. We'll take the win."
Hopkins finished with 112 yards on 18 carries. He gained 95 of those yards in the second quarter. Jonathan Walker, who played tailback most of the second half, finished with 41 yards on 10 carries.
Overall, Fort Scott finished with 338 yards of total offense, 235 of those on 57 rushes. Peake caught 3 passes for 47 yards.
The Greyhounds will play host to Highland Saturday at 1 p.m. at Frary Field. Highland's winless record could be tossed out the window for that game as Highland-Fort Scott games in many years will lean toward high-scoring affairs no matter what.
NOTES -- Jamel Johnson gained 30 yards for Fort Scott on a fake punt in the second quarter....
After starting punter Matt Wheeler shanked a 7-yarder into the stands in the third quarter, freshman defensive end Chase Tenpenny was sent in to punt. His first punt was an end-over-ender for 22 yards. But his next two left-footed boots went 58 and 43 yards. Granted, the wind was behind him, but they had better form....
Davis completed only 5 of his last 19 passes for 37 yards. He failed to complete his last 5 attempts of the game. His counterpart Kendall misfired on his last 4 attempts....
Linebacker LaVonte David was credited with 12 tackles while Johnson had 10 tackles....
No. 13 Hutchinson surrendered a 31-7 third-quarter lead and lost at Coffeyville in overtime, 44-38. Coffeyville quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 22 of 38 passes for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also scored on a 2-yard run and a 1-yard run in the last five-plus minutes of regulation as the Red Ravens (3-2, 4-3) wiped out a two-touchdown deficit. Running back Mulku Kalokoh scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime after Hutchinson (2-3, 3-3) missed a field goal on its possession....
Independence lost to Air Force Prep, 36-9, at Colorado Springs Friday afternoon. The Pirates were missing four starters due to injury and lost two more during the game. QB Brodrick Waters suffered a concussion on the first series of the second half and guard Kale Nelis blew out his knee in the fourth quarter....
Air Force Prep is 4-2 against the Jayhawk Conference (its losses are to Coffeyville and Butler) and 5-2 overall. The Huskies play at Hutchinson Saturday night in what will be the conference's only night game...