INDEPENDENCE -- Fort Scott Community College's football team just wanted to come out and play some good old-fashioned smash-mouth football here Saturday night.
The approach paid off as the Greyhounds got their first victory of the season, 35-14, over Independence at Emmott Field.
Fort Scott (1-2) rushed for 300 yards on 64 carries, just one more yard than it had in the first two games of the season put together. Meanwhile, the 'Hound defense held the conference's second-leading rushing offense to 138 yards, 45 1/2 yards under their season average.
"We told ourselves at the beginning of the week that we wanted to get tougher," Fort Scott head coach Curtis Horton, who recorded his first victory as a collegiate head coach, said. "We cut back our game plan and just worked on being physical."
The Greyhounds used sophomore Luke Lundy frequently in the first quarter, giving the Auburn, Neb., sophomore the ball 13 times on plays between the tackles. Meanwhile, the defense wasn't having much trouble with the Pirates' triple option, recording six plays where it held Indy (0-3) to zero or negative yards. Indy gained more than three yards on a play just once in the period.
But the game was still scoreless after one period. So offensively, Horton changed things up by putting in Kyle Brunson, a freshman from Shawnee, who had a little extra burst of speed once he got through the line.
"He's a kid who definitely takes coaching well," Horton said. "The biggest thing this week was that we needed to run downhill and quit running sideline to sideline. Kyle and Luke and 'Tese (Martese Jackson) all came in and ran hard. We focused on everybody making their blocks and everybody running hard."
Fort Scott got on the board on Brunson's 2-yard run with 7:20 left in the first half. That capped a nine-play 48-yard drive on which he carried 7 times for 28 yards. Drew Russell kicked the PAT.
Independence, having to put eight and nine in the box to defend the run, got burned by that commitment when Fort Scott scored its second touchdown. Quarterback Matt Bollig rolled out to his left and connected with Jonathan Wright, who took it to the end zone to complete a 27-yard play with 1:01 left in the half. Russell's PAT made it 14-0.
The Pirates had just 36 total yards in the first half and were still scoreless in 10 quarters of play on the season. Fort Scott already had 142 yards on the ground.
Brunson scored his second touchdown of the night with 8:28 to go in the third, breaking through the line then breaking a couple of tackles on a 19-yard run. The extra point made it 21-0.
Indy's Damotem Taylor returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards to the Fort Scott 27-yard line. Two plays later, Demetris Lasker broke through the middle to post the Pirates' first score of the season with 7:36 to go 157:36 into the campaign.
Fort Scott answered on the next possession, taking advantage of a late-hit penalty against Indy to score on Bollig's bootleg from 11 yards out with 6:52 to go to make it 28-7.
The 'Hounds scored again 41 seconds into the final stanza. Bollig rolled left and his pass appeared to go through Wright's hands right to Fort Scott High graduate Griffin Knopp on a 14-yard play.
Independence posted the game's final score with exactly nine minutes to go on a 2-yard dive by fullback Treyon Daniels.
Fort Scott finished with 444 yards of total offense while Indy managed just 138. The Greyhounds were able to defend the outside options so well that the Pirates just started running fullback dives with Daniels in an effort to get something to work.
The Pirates' one-dimensional attack also gave up on the pass. Independence, which had attempted just 6 passes all season coming into the game, went 0 for 2 in the first half and didn't attempt any passes at all in the second half.
Brunson finished with 129 yards on 22 carries after having just 3 yards on 2 rushes for the season coming into the contest. Lundy added 97 yards on 25 rushes, gaining 50 of them on just 9 totes in the second half.
"We didn't care if they were putting eight in the box," Horton said. "We didn't care if they were putting nine in the box. We were running the football. On third down, even in long situations, we went ahead and ran because I have two excellent punters and we can take advantage of that."
Knopp averaged 44 1/2 yards per punt, giving Indy terrible field position most of the time.
Bollig finished the night 10-of-16 for 144 yards in the air, completing six straight for 118 yards at one point after a shaky start where he was intercepted twice on his first four attempts. Wright caught 5 of those passes for 76 yards and tight end Brannon Green hauled in 3 for 53 yards.
Lasker finished as Indy's leading rusher with 57 yards on 10 carries. The Pirates averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.
The Greyhounds will be back home Saturday afternoon for a 1 o'clock kickoff against Garden City (1-2), which lost at No. 17-ranked Coffeyville, 45-7, Saturday night.
NOTES -- Coffeyville (2-1) outgained Garden City (1-2) 567 yards to 180 in its victory over the Broncbusters. Jamarius Green gained 137 yards on the ground for the Red Ravens while Hayden Groves rushed for another 101 and Garrett Atzenweiler added 92 more.
Garden City gained only 67 yards on the ground while Coffeyville had 457....
In case there was any doubt, that was no misprint: No. 4 Butler really did beat Highland 89-0. The Grizzlies returned three interceptions for scores and outgained Highland 570 yards to 65. Butler scored 34 points in the third quarter alone and scored again less than a minute into the fourth....
And this wasn't a misprint, either, as No. 3 Hutchinson lost to Air Force Prep, 40-7, at Colorado Springs Friday afternoon. Prep quarterback Daniel Graves threw for 122 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 87 yards and two more TD's. The Huskies (2-1) had 493 total yards -- 371 on the ground -- to 308 for Hutch (2-1).
It turns out a Prep victory over Hutchinson at Colorado Springs isn't all that unusual. The series is tied 9-9 in games played there, according to bluedragon sports.com....
FORT SCOTT.......... 0 14 14 7 -- 35
INDEPENDENCE..... 0 0 7 7 -- 14
|Team stats||Fort Scott||Indy|
FS -- Brunson 2 run (Russell kick), 7:20 [9, 48, 3:07]
FS -- Wright 27 pass from Bollig (Russell kick), 1:01 [5, 65, 1:10]
FS -- Brunson 19 run (Russell kick), 8:28 [12, 61, 4:39]
Indy -- Lasker 26 run (G.Bruce kick), 7:36 [2, 27, :44]
FS -- Bollig 11 run (Russell kick), 6:52 [3, 53, :37]
FS -- Knopp 14 pass from Bollig (Russell kick), 14:19 [11, 60, 4:26]
Indy -- Daniels 2 run (G.Bruce kick), 9:00 [10, 56, 5:07]
RUSHING: Fort Scott -- Brunson 22-129, Lundy 25-97, Mart. Jackson 11-49, Bollig 6-25. Independence -- Lasker 10-57, Daniels 12-42, Baker 4-41, Helferich 5-23, K.Bruce 2-1, Taylor 3-1, Hayes 16-minus 9, team 1-minus 18.
PASSING: Fort Scott -- Bollig 10-16-2-144. Independence -- Hayes 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING: Fort Scott -- Wright 5-76, Green 3-53, Knopp 2-15. Independence -- none.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.