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Dragons Score Late to Topple Red Ravens

By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. – For about 58 minutes of Saturday’s Jayhawk Conference-opening road game against Coffeyville, it looked like the Hutchinson Community College football team was reliving the nightmare of a year ago at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Sophomore running back Dylan Kedzior made sure the No. 2-ranked Blue Dragons didn’t suffer the same tough outcome.

Kedzior scored the go-ahead 3-yard touchdown with 1:17 in regulation, and Jalik Thomas‘ interception on the ensuing Coffeyville possession secured a 14-9 victory over the Red Ravens.

The Blue Dragons improve to 4-0 overall and are 1-0 in the Jayhawk Conference. Coffeyville is 2-2 overall and 2-2 in the KJCCC. The Blue Dragons play host to No. 10 Butler at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Gowans Stadium.

The Blue Dragons extend their winning streak to 10 games, which ties for the third-longest winning streak – matching streaks in 1973 and 1974 and 2019-2020/21.

One year ago in the 2021 season-opener, the Blue Dragons turned the ball over seven times, twice in the red zone in a 17-10 loss that snapped a 10-game winning streak.

Saturday, the Blue Dragons turned the ball over five times, all lost fumbles, including a scoop-and-score by the Red Ravens that cut the Dragon lead to 7-6 after the extra point was missed.

One of the Blue Dragon turnovers led to a Forrest Taylor 35-yard field goal with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, which put the Red Ravens up 9-7.

Kedzior, who missed the last two games because of injury, entered the game midway through the fourth quarter. The third-year sophomore totaled 85 of the Blue Dragons’ 124 total rushing yards, including a 21-yard carry and the game-winning touchdown.

The Blue Dragon defense turned in a tremendous performance holding Coffeyville to three offensive points and 221 total offensive years. The Red Ravens rushed for 78 yards and passed for 143. The Dragons had four takeaways – Thomas had an interception and fumble recovery, Jaden Mosley had an interception and Javar Strong had a fumble recovery. Linebacker Terry Kirksey had a team-high 11 total tackles. Strong had 10 tackles.

The Blue Dragons rolled up 303 total yards offensively – 179 passing, 124 rushing.

Quarterback Dylan Laible was 20 of 30 passing for 179 yards and his 52nd career passing touchdown.

Sophomore Malik Benson had seven receptions for 94 yards and a 54-yard touchdown. Marcello Bussey had six catches for 20 yards.

Despite two first-half turnovers, the Blue Dragons took a 7-0 lead when Benson took a short pass from Laible and worked his way down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown with 4:53 left in the second quarter.

After a defensive stop and Coffeyville punt, the Blue Dragons turned the ball over, losing a fumble at the Raven 15, which was returned by Bishop Fitzgerald for a Raven touchdown. The extra point was missed and the Dragons led 7-6 with 1:35 to play in the second quarter.

Coffeyville missed a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Dragons also got a huge defensive stop when linebacker R.J. Evans sacks Coffeyville quarterback Isaiah Velez to force a punt.

The Dragons took over on their own 28 with 5:47 to play.

Laible was 4 of 4 passing and Kedzior had six carries as the Blue Dragons the lead with a 72-yard, 10-play drive that took 4:30.

Two plays into Coffeyville’s next possession, Thomas interception a Velez pass and the Dragons were able to run the clock out.

GAME NOTES – The Dragons still trail in the all-time series 31-56-4, but have won 13 of the last 15 games with Coffeyville. … The 23 combined points are the fewest in series history since 1983. … Malik Benson moved past Miguel Johns and Jatavius Steward into third place in the Blue Dragon career receiving yards list with 1,553 yards. … With seven receptions, Benson moves into the career Top 10 in receptions with 64 career catches.

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