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Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-When Jimmy Johnson was hired to coach the Dallas Cowboys in 1988, America’s Team finished 1-15. Three years later he won the Super Bowl.
In 2007 Rion Rhoades left Ft. Scott to become the new head man at Hutchinson; they went 2-7. Three years later they won 10 games. Four years after that they won the Jayhawk Conference.
In December of last year, Jeff Sims left Indiana to become the 21st head coach at Garden City. His blueprints to build a one-win Broncbuster program are in order, but he’s still waiting on the architect.
All Saturday night proved was that the construction is far from finished.
Treyvon Paulk rushed for a game-high 136 yards, including a dazzling 54-yard touchdown scamper, and the Hutchinson defense held Garden City to a season-worst 77 total yards as the Blue Dragons stormed back to beat the brown and gold 49-14 at Broncbuster Stadium.
“I’ve learned you can’t compliment junior-college players,” Sims said afterwards. “I tried to throw these guys a bone last week and it backfired.”
Oh it did, big time.
“These guys had their worst week of practice by far,” Sims said referring to his defense. “It was horrible.”
Hutchinson (4-3, 2-3) ripped through Garden City’s defense like tinfoil; averaging seven yards per carry.
And yet the Broncbusters found themselves in a position to pull away from the Blue Dragons early in the game.
Trailing 7-0 late in the first, Hutchinson starting quarterback Dimonic McKinzy lost the grip on a pass that sailed up the right sideline. Lonnie Johnson picked it off and returned it 14 yards to the Blue Dragons 19. Two plays later, the most fortuitous hop of the night helped Garden City reach the end zone.
On second-and-7 from the Hutch 16, freshman Jayru Campbell took the snap and rolled right. Hutch defensive lineman Terrance Summers chased him down, put both hands around Campbell’s waist and knock the ball free. As it rolled towards the sidelines, wide receiver Lawyer Davis picked it up and raced 15 yards to the end zone. Kevin Olney missed the extra point, and Garden City trailed 7-6.
Talk about luck.
After forcing the Blue Dragons into a three-and-out on their next possession, Garden City (1-6, 1-3) got the ball back at their own 30. On the very first play, freshman Venus Triplett ripped off his longest run of the season: a 29-yard gainer that set the Broncbusters up at the Hutchinson 36. After Campbell called his own number for a 17-yard run to the Hutch 3 later in the drive, everything was in order. Two plays later, the one-time Michigan State commit was in the end zone on a one-yard plunge. Backup quarterback Luke Walstad ran in the two-point conversion, and Garden City had a 14-7 advantage with 11:30 to play in first half.
“We have good football players,” Sims explained. “They’re just extremely young.”
Up a score, his young squad forced the Blue Dragons into another three-and-out. Now they had their chance to take command of the game. Only one thing got in the way: their offense.
Over the next 41 minutes, Garden City managed only two first downs; that included a stretch of six straight three-and-outs-a streak that ended late in the third only because of a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Hutch.
Meanwhile the Blue Dragons offense took command of the game, scoring the final 42 points in emphatic fashion.
Paulk’s 54-yard touchdown run midway through the second tied the game. Then Alabama-transfer Tyren Jones put Hutchinson on top for good with a 21-yard dash to pay dirt with 5:12 to play in the second quarter. Jones adding scoring runs of two and 27 yards. Sprinkle in McKinzy’s 10-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the fourth and Blaik Middelton’s second touchdown later in the period: a 22-yard scoring run, and the Blue Dragons had a convincing 35-point victory.
“If I had the type of offensive line that Hutch has, I would have ran for 100 yards,” Sims said. “They’re the biggest difference in this game.”
That line set the tempo early in the game, when the Blue Dragons marched 47-yards on their opening drive. Only Johnson’s sensational interception prevented Hutchinson from scoring early.
But once they got the ball back, the beef proved to be too much for the Broncbusters once formidable defensive front. Middelton carried four times on the drive for 30 yards; the final three he went untouched into the end zone to give the Blue Dragons a 7-0 lead. He finished the night with 103 yards rushing on 17 carries and two scores.
Jones added 122 yards on 18 totes while third stringer Tre Griffin carried the rock 12 times for 105. McKinzy completed 5-of-10 passes for 35 yards and two picks. Kylen Binn was 4-of-10 for 65 yards.
Campbell finished 9-of-19 for 78 yards and an interception for Garden City. Triplett tallied 31 rushing yards on 11 carries while Jeff Thomas caught two balls for 34 yards.
Notes: Hutch set a school record with 488 rushing yards eclipsing the previous mark of 460 against Dodge City back in 2009…The seven rushing touchdowns by Hutch is tied for second most in a single game in program history…It’s the first time Garden City has been held under 100 total yards in more than five years…Garden City lost its seventh straight home game and dropped their sixth straight overall for the first time since 2011…The Broncbusters were just 2-of-14 on third down…Garden City allowed eight sacks…Hutch beat the Broncbusters for the eighth straight time and the fourth in a row in Garden…Hutch outgained Garden 588-77 and had 18 more first downs (25-7)…The 588 total yards allowed by Garden City is the most since giving up 662 to Butler last season; also gave up 651 to Coffeyville in the season finale
Next up: Garden City at Ft. Scott-Saturday, October 17 12:30 p.m. pregame; 1 p.m. kick on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and tuneinradio app: KWKR