Fort Scott Community College's football team was able to keep things close for a half or so Saturday afternoon at Frary Field. But in the end, Hutchinson's size up front on the offensive and defensive lines wore the Greyhounds down and the 12th-ranked Blue Dragons came away with a 37-14 Jayhawk Conference victory at Frary Field.
The loss ends the Greyhounds' hopes of making the Region VI Playoffs. At 3-4 in the conference at 3-5 overall, they won't be able to tie either Garden City or Coffeyville, which are tied for third place at 4-2. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
Hutchinson (6-0, 7-1) will face No. 2 Butler (6-0, 8-0) for the KJCCC title Saturday night at Hutchinson. The winner of that game will also be the top seed in the Region VI Playoffs.
Two of the nation's top three running backs faced off but it was top-ranked Terrell Lane of Hutchinson who had the big day. He finished with 228 yards on 31 carries and scored the first touchdown of the third quarter that got Hutch's offense somewhat on track, though the Blue Dragons still finished with a season-low 310 yards of total offense.
Fort Scott's Stanley Hagan, the nation's No. 3 rusher, was held to 41 yards on 21 carried and Fort Scott managed just 49 yards on the ground as a team against Hutchinson's big front line.
The 'Hounds controlled the first quarter statistically but only came out of it tied 7-7. The Dragons scored first when Kody Cook blocked a Mark Whitrock punt and LaQua Mayes picked it up at the Fort Scott 25 and ran it into the end zone with 10:45 left in the first quarter.
The Greyhound defense made a big stop on fourth-and-10 at its own 10 later in the period when William Bland sacked Hutchinson quarterback Luke Barnes -- the nation's leading passer coming into the game -- for an 11-yard loss. Fort Scott drove 79 yards in 10 plays and tied the score when Owen Jordan hit Courtney Ward in the middle of the end zone with 2:45 left in the first.
Fort Scott had a chance to take the lead early in the second but Whitrock's 32-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Brandon Oakes.
Hutchinson took advantage of a Fort Scott turnover to take the lead itself when Lane found Cook on a 22-yard halfback pass for a score with 7:17 left in the second quarter. The extra-point was blocked, so it remained 13-7.
The Dragons pinned the 'Hounds at their own 1-yard line on punt later in the period and on the next play, Kenny Flowers tackled Hagan for a safety to make it 15-7 with 4:39 left in the half.
Lane scored on a 2-yard run with 3:20 left in the third. Devondre Campbell returned an interception 35 yards with 2:05 to go to make it 29-7 going into the fourth.
Terrence Hoskin scored from the Greyhounds less than two minutes into the final stanza on a 36-yard halfback pass from Hagan, bringing Fort Scott within two scores, as long as they could convert at least one 2-point conversion. But the Dragons converted a Greyhound turnover deep in their own territory into a 12-yard pass from Barnes to Miguel Johns with 7:01 left. Kicker Michael Mesh's extra-point kick was blocked, but it caromed right back to him and he ran it in for a 2-point conversion.
In a less-than-dynamic game in which the team combined for 22 punts and 27 penalties, Jordan did throw for 209 yards. But he completed only 18 of 47 passes and was intercepted four times. Fort Scott finished with 258 yards in total offense.
Hutchinson's team rushing total is skewed -- 194 yards on 46 carries -- because Barnes was sacked seven times by the Greyhound defense. Barnes, averaging 339 passing yards per game coming into the contest, went 14 of 25 for just 94 yards.
The Greyhounds will finish their season Saturday against non-conference opponent Arkansas Baptist at 1 p.m. at Frary Field. This will be the first time in school history that Fort Scott has played a team from Arkansas.
HUTCHINSON. 7 8 14 8 -- 37
FORT SCOTT.. 7 0 0 7 -- 14
|Team stats||Hutch||Fort Scott|
H -- Mayes 25 blocked punt return (Mesh kick), 10:45
FS -- Ward 11 pass from Jordan (Whitrock kick), 2:45 [10, 79, 4:05]
H -- Cook 22 pass from Lane (kick blocked) 7:17 [4, 60, :59]
H -- Safety, Flowers tackled Hagan in end zone, 4:35
H -- Lane 2 run (Mesh kick), 3:20 [3, 42, :31]
H -- Campbell 35 interception return (Mesh kick), 2:05
FS -- Hoskin 36 pass from Hagan (Whitrock kick), 13:06 [3, 80, 1:06]
H -- Johns 12 pass from Barnes (Mesh run), 7:01 [5, 18, 2:09]
RUSHING: Hutchinson -- Lane 31-228, Mayes 5-17, team 1-minus 1, Barnes 9-minus 50. Fort Scott -- Hagan 21-41, Ward 3-13, Rooks 4-5, Cage 3-4, Fenelon 2-0, Jordan 5-minus 14.
PASSING: Hutchinson -- Barnes 14-25-1-94, Lane 1-2-0-22. Fort Scott -- Jordan 18-47-4-173, Hagan 1-1-0-36.
RECEIVING: Hutchinson -- Johns 6-50, Johnson 3-38, Cook 3-24, Lane 2-4, Mayes 1-0. Fort Scott -- Ward 7-42, Hagan 4-76, Hoskin 4-55, Gans 1-17, Gougler 1-13, Rooks 1-6, Ellis 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Fort Scott -- Whitrock 32 (blocked).