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Maize South Storms Back to Eliminate Salthawks


By Brad Hallier


MAIZE, Kan. – The Hutchinson Salthawks had everything rolling on Friday in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Their defense was stout, their run offense unstoppable, and they built a 20-point lead.

It wasn’t enough, however, as Maize South stormed back to snag a 21-20 win, ending Hutchinson’s season with a 7-3 record.

The Salthawks had already beaten Maize South, 28-23, this season on the road. History seemed ready to repeat when Hutch dominated the opening 18 minutes.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hutchinson was on the move, and 33 seconds into the second quarter, Kade Smith scored from 10 yards out.

It took the Salthawks just 63 seconds to score again, as Robert Hunter ran to the end zone from 43 yards out. Then, with 6:02 before halftime, Skyler Graham scored from 26 yards out, giving the Salthawks what seemed to be a commanding 20-0 lead.

The Salthawks, however, wouldn’t score again. Maize South closed to within 20-7 by halftime and led by the end of the third quarter.

Hutchinson finished with more offensive yards (364-323) and won the turnover battle 2-1. Smith led the way offensively with 133 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Zion Burgess added 100 yards.