Colby, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The seniors at Colby High School ran extra drills even after their coach dismissed practice this week. All the extra work paid off.
Playing in front of their home crowd, Colby (1-2, 1-1 GWAC) broke a sixteen game losing streak beating Hugoton (1-2, 0-2 GWAC) 27-12. Colby last win also came against Hugoton in a 21-0 shutout nearly two years ago.
The story of the night was Colby quarterback Joshua Matchell. The senior who last year went 1-8 passing for -6 yards in a 56-0 loss at Hugoton, decided this time to let his legs do the talking. Matchell broke open the game with a 72 yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and added a one yard before halftime. Both Joshua and Ben Matchell combined for 290 of Colby 390 rushing yards.
Colby used primary a run game after Joshua Matchell was intercepted on the third play of the game by Kellen Watkins for his second pick of the year. Hugoton had great field position at the Colby 25, but were sent back by a couple of penalties and their offense never fully recovered until the second half. In the first half, Hugoton had just 30 rushing yards and 55 yards total.
Down 14-0, Hugoton started out well to begin the third quarter, but running back Michael Baeza was stripped of the ball by linebacker Ben Matchell halting what looked to be a promising drive. The next day Hugoton had the ball they were able to score when quarterback Parker Titus found Kellen Watkins down the middle for a 43 yard touchdown pass. Hugoton missed the extra point and were down 14-6.
Colby answered and was able to generate back to back scores Ben Matchell’s one yard touchdown run with 2:20 left in the third made it 21-6 Colby and Brady Holzmeister’s 35 yard run with less than three minutes to go sealed it. Hugoton would add a late touchdown on a 26 yard pass from Titus to Baeza, but that is how it would end.
Some positives for Hugoton in the loss was the development of their passing game. Quarterback Parker Titus was 13-23 for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both Ulises Armendariz and Michael Baeza combined for 143 receiving yards on 9 catches. Baez had one of the team’s two receiving touchdowns.
Hugoton will have their homecoming game next week against Goodland, while Colby fresh off their first win in nearly two years will travel to Ulysses.