When the Dodge City Community College Conqs rolled into Hutchinson for their game against the No. 4 HCC Dragons, they knew it was going to be a tough battle. At first, the Conqs battled bravely and scored a field goal in the first quarter and for a brief time had more yardage than the Dragons.
But Hutchinson got busy and showed why it is ranked No. 4 as it rolled over the Conqs 85-3.
The Dragons scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. They scored three more in the second, but the Conqs defense did force a three and out and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. The score at halftime was DCCC 3, HCC 42.
The Dragons' juggernaut continued when they ran the opening kickoff of the second half back for a 95-yard touchdown run with just 14 seconds off the clock. Dodge was unable to move the ball and had to punt. The Dragons returned the punt for a 75-yard touchdown.
Hutch's defense did manage to get a turnover on downs, but the Dragons were just too much, scoring five touchdowns in the third for a 76-3 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Hutch special teams did block a PAT in the third.
There was a running clock in the fourth quarter, but the Dragons managed to get another touchdown and a safety for a final score of DCCC 3, HCC 85.
"We didn't take care of the ball," said Conqs coach Ricky Coon. "We gave up almost 30 points without the defense on the field."
Garden City had 16 drives and nine of them started in Conqs territory. Four of those drives started in the DCCC red zone.
The Conq defense did have some success when they had a longer field to work with. Seven Dragon drives started in their own territory and the Conqs stopped them on four of those drives.
"When you start in your territory, it's tough to score," Coon said.
For the Conqs offense, it was three and outs and turnovers against a stubborn Hutchinson defense, and special teams gave up over 300 yards.
"It came down to us turning the ball over and not being able to move the ball," Coon said. "We had less than 200 yards of offense."
Coon said the team has to continue to work on fundamentals. His staff will continue to stress that message to the team and tell them to trust the process.
"You have to continue to deliver a constant message," Coon said. "That's what it's all about to get us on the right track."
The Conqs finish the regular season with two home games. Highland Community College is in town Oct. 26 and Fort Scott has the Nov. 9 game. Both games start at 1 p.m.
Highland is the only team to defeat the Dragons this year, but Coon said he didn't think it would have Hutchinson's depth of talent.
Still, Highland will be a tough challenge and the Conqs have to do three things: Take care of the ball, score points and don't give up big plays on defense, Coon said.
"We have to play better to have a chance," Coon said.
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