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Nolan’s 3 Interceptions Paces Dragons to Top 5 Victory

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

FORT DODGE, Iowa – Freshman defensive back Ryan Nolan tied a Blue Dragon single-game record with three interceptions to pace another staunch defensive effort and carry the No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College football team top a Top 5 road victory on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

The top-ranked Blue Dragons won their second-straight road game against a nationally ranked opponent after a 27-2 victory over No. 5 Iowa Central on Saturday.

BOX SCORE

The Blue Dragons improved to 3-0 and will have the first of two bye weeks next Saturday before playing host to Coffeyville in their Jayhawk Conference opener on September 23 at Gowans Stadium.

All three of Nolan’s interceptions came in the third quarter.

Hutchinson led 10-2 at halftime, but Iowa Central was marching top open the second half. Getting to midfield, Nolan stopped that Triton drive with an interception at the Blue Dragon 29. With the Dragons leading 17-2 and ICCC at the Hutch 39, Nolan got interception No. 2 at the Dragon 25. Nolan’s third pick of the quarter came at the Hutchinson 49 and was returned to the Iowa Central 16. That play led to a Blue Dragon field goal.

Nolan tied Jaylon Myers for the Blue Dragon single-game interception record. Myers had three interceptions against Coffeyville in 2014. Nolan also had three passes broken up.

The Blue Dragon defense forced five overall takeaways on Saturday – Demonte Gaston had an interception and Jordan Scruggs had a fumble recovery. This is the first game with four interceptions and five overall turnovers since October 22, 2022 at Garden City.

Hutchinson limited Iowa Central to just 75 yards rushing and 266 total yards.

Offensively, quarterback Samari Collier rushed for 107 yards and threw for 176 and scored a combined three touchdowns. Collier is the first Blue Dragon quarterback to both run and pass for 100 yards in a game since Mark Wright (195 passing, 121 rushing) against Butler on September 28, 2019.

Collier threw for two touchdowns of 16 yards to Oran Singleton in the second quarter and 16 yards to Tristan Smith in the fourth quarter. He broke containment and weaved his way 29 yards for a rushing touchdown in the third quarter.

The Blue Dragons rushed for 206 yards and had a season-high 176 passing yards against the Tritons.

Brandon Epton had 11 carries for 45 yards. Singleton had season highs of four receptions for 48 yards. Zeriah Beason had three catches for 80 yards and Smith had three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore kicker Cole Segraves hit two field goals in the game of 40 and 25 yards. That moved Segraves into second place on the Blue Dragon career field goal list with 17 career field goals. He moved past Wayne Williams (1981-82) and Michael Mesh (2011-12) on the career list.

Defensive end Walter Bob Jr. had a team-high six total tackles with a tackle for loss and quarterback hurry. Malik McConico had five tackles. Daniel Brown had two quarterback sacks totaling 24 yards.

The Blue Dragons caught a bit of good fortune early. After taking the opening kickoff 75 yards in 16 plays, the Dragons were going to kick a 24-yard field goal, which was blocked and landed in the end zone. Iowa Central returned it for what it thought was a touchdown, but because the blocked kick landed in the end zone, it was a touchback for the Tritons.

Later in the first quarter, the Dragons were pinned at their own 1-yard line and was caught for a safety on the first play of the series. The Tritons led 2-0 with 22 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Blue Dragons held Iowa Central on downs and forced a punt on the Tritons’ first two second-quarter possessions. The Blue Dragons got on the scoreboard when Segraves’ 40-yard field goal with 8:10 to play gave Hutchinson a 3-2 lead.

After forcing another Triton punt, the Dragons marched 80 yards in seven plays, converting a third-and-5 and third-and-10 in the series. Singleton caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Collier with 36 seconds left in the first half to take a 10-2 lead at halftime.

After Nolan’s first interception of the third quarter, the Blue Dragons needed six plays to cover 71 yards, scoring on Collier’s 29-yard scramble for a 17-2 lead with 9:47 to play in the third quarter.

The Blue Dragons upped the lead to 20-2 with 14:06 to play in the fourth quarter on Segraves’ 25-yard field goal. The Blue Dragons closed out the scoring with Smith’s 16-yard touchdown reception from Collier for a 27-2 lead with 4:54 remaining in the game

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 14-2 against nationally ranked opponents and 11-2 against Top 10 opponents in the Drew Dallas era. … The Dragons are 2-0 against ranked opponents this season. … The Blue Dragons are 8-1 all-time against Iowa Central, including 4-0 in Fort Dodge. … The Blue Dragons were 7 of 17 on 3-down conversions to ICCC’s 1 of 9. … Blue Dragon punter Steffon Forbes had two first-half punts that averaged 54.0 yards per punt and were downed inside the ICCC 5.

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