May 24, 2024

Blunders cost Conqs in season opener with Independence

Dodge City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Mistakes throughout the season opener cost the Dodge City Community College football team as they fell to no. 5 Independence 38-20.

The mistakes started early for the Conquistadors, on the second play of the game when quarterback Jordan Jones ran an option 60 yards to the 5-yard line. Jones did not return after the play due to undisclosed injury. Following the run the DC3 defense held the Pirates to a 23-yard field goal to move in front 3-0.

On the ensuing kickoff  the ball was kicked short and fumbled at the Conqs 15 yard line, where Independence recovered. Fortunately the DC3 defense forced a turnover on downs. However on the first offensive possession quarterback John Lux threw an interception. The pirates then cashed in on a 13-yard rushing touchdown by Shermari Jones to increase the lead to 10-0 with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

Late in the first quarter the DC3 offense showed their first sign of life when Drew Harris hit Tyrice Richie on a 51-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 10-7, but that’s as close as they’d get.

Independence scored two touchdowns early in the second quarter to seize control. Chase Hildreth hit Roy Livingstone for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11:52 to go in the second to stretch the lead to 17-7. On the next Conqs possession punter Devonta Guillory dropped a snap that allowed the Pirates to start with the ball at the DC3 36-yard line. On the next play Hildreth found Markiese King for a 36-yard touchdown pass, making the score 24-7.

On the last drive of the half the Conqs offense moved into field goal range and Guillory made a 36-yarder to end the half, cutting the deficit to 24-10.

The mistakes for DC3 continued early in the second half. On the opening possession a bad snap on a punt gave the Pirates the ball at the Conqs 5-yard line, a few plays later Corinthian Cunningham scored on a 5-yard run to increase the lead to 31-10. Midway through the third quarter Hildreth found King on a short pass that he turned into a 68-yard touchdown and put Independence up 38-10.

DC3 did score the last 10 points of the game on a 32-yard field goal by Guillory and a blocked punt by Myles Henderson that was recovered by Khalil Yow for a touchdown.

Independence(1-0) was led by backup quarterback Chase Hildreth who was 16-26 for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Markiese King had a big night as well with fou receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. The defense held Dodge to just 293 yards, forced three turnovers and had five sacks. Tamarion Johnson had two sacks and Jermaine Johnson, the number one ranked juco player in the country, had one and a half sacks.

Tyrice Richie led the Conqs offensively with six catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. Drew Harris was 10-17 passing for 128 yards and a touchdown.

DC3(0-1) will return to action Saturday Sep. 1 at Garden City. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. with the pregame at 6:30 on Z98 and westernkansasnews.com.