The Dodge City Community College offense took a while to show up Saturday, but when it did, it scored three touchdowns in rapid succession in the fourth quarter against the Iowa Central Tritons.
The Conqs defense gave up a couple of big plays but did a fantastic job overall, said DCCC coach Ricky Coon.
The Conqs took a 21-39 loss and have work to do on offense, defense and special teams.
"We have to stop giving up big plays," Coon said.
While the score may not reflect the defense's effectiveness, a defense breakdown of the last five games looks good, Coon said. It's a winning defense statistically, he said.
The defense held Iowa Central to an average of 2.6 yards a carry. On the ground, it held Iowa Central to 56 yards on 42 attempts. But Iowa Central's total yardage was 323, and most of that came on two plays.
The big plays were a problem. The defense was strong on all but three snaps, and it cost the team each time, Coon said.
The defense effort was not showing up on the score board because the offense was not able to score.
Against Iowa Central, the offense was committed to the run because it wasn't getting enough pass protection.
All three of the Conqs' scores were rushing touchdowns and all came in the fourth quarter.
"We won the fourth quarter," Coon said. "But we have to get started a little earlier on defense."
Getting three scores in the fourth quarter was a boost as getting some points on the board helps boost team moral, Coon said.
But it takes an entire team effort to win a game, the coach said, and the offense, defense and special teams all had issues against Iowa Central.
"We gave up too many plays on defense. This was a team loss," Coon said.
But Coon remains optimistic. He said the defense is improving, and the entire program is improving in a lot of ways.
The Conqs face a tough opponent when they take on the Hutchinson Community College Dragons at noon Saturday, Oct. 19.
"It's going to be a challenge for us," Coon said. "I'm excited to play them at their place. It's a gauge of where we're at."
Three Conqs have been sidelined with concussions, including quarterback Jase Orndorff. Their status will be evaluated this week, Coon said.
Against Hutch, the Conqs have to limit the big plays on defense. They have to take better care of the ball on offense and avoid interceptions. The Hutch defense is good, Coon said, so the offense has to move the ball and maintain possession to keep the Dragons' offense off the field.
In the Iowa Central game, the Conq defense held the Tritons to one touchdown in the first quarter and two in the second, including an 85-yard pass play, but Iowa Central was unable to convert any of its PATs, including one that was blocked and a two-point attempt with an incomplete pass.
In the third quarter, Conq defense held Iowa to one touchdown, but the DCCC offense had not gotten on the board. The teams traded interceptions in the third.
But in the fourth quarter, both teams' offenses got busy. Dodge scored three touchdowns, including one after a blocked kick, and was successful on three PATs.
Iowa Central countered with two touchdowns of its own in quick fashion for a final score of 21-39.
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