SALTHAWKS POUND MAIZE
This was the kind of game the Hutchinson High football team has become widely know for. Run the ball. Pound the ball. Try to stop it (but you won't). There was little Maize could do stop the onslaught of yards the Salthawks collected Friday at Gowans Stadium during Hutchinson's 35-7 win. Hutchinson ran the ball a soul-crushing 77 times for 584 yards. The Salthawks also gathered 32 first downs, flirting with the state record of 37 that they set in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs against Topeka last year. "I think we were able to run the ball very well," said sophomore Brody Smith, who gained 194 yards. "The linemen blocked very well, and we were confident running the ball." And yet, there was some concern. Yes, Hutchinson won by 28 points, and the game never seemed to be anything but a Hutchinson rout. But the Salthawks also fumbled twice, missed a field goal, struggled in the passing game, and committed nine penalties, most of which came on offense and stunted drives. "The reality is we had too many drives where we fumbled, had a couple bad passes or penalties," Hutchinson coach Ryan Cornelsen said. "When you move the ball that easy, you've got to score every time and we didn't. Too many drives stalled out." Yet, the Salthawks dominated from the opening drive. Four of their touchdown drives lasted at least 10 plays. They didn't break many long runs, save for Smith's second-quarter 48-yard touchdown run. But the Salthawks gained chunks of yards. "Everybody loves the big plays, but when you get 4, 5, 6 yards a play, that's what makes an offense go," Hutchinson linebacker Colton Fee said. "People may not like it, but I love it." Hutchinson's defense didn't spend much time on the field, as Maize ran just 41 plays. Quarterback Braydon Payne connected on just 3 of 21 passes, but a good number of those incompletions were good passes that were dropped. Maize's only touchdown drive came after a Hutch fumble, and it went 23 yards. "I definitely felt like, for the most part, the defense hosted a shutout," Cornelsen said. "We still gave up too many big plays, and that's something we need to shore up." The running game, at least, is in typical Salthawk mode. THE QUICK HIT KEY STAT: Hutchinson had 32 first downs to Maize's seven. Not hard to figure out why Hutchinson won. THE TURNING POINT: Despite the first-half dominance, Hutchinson led just 21-7 at halftime. The Salthawks, however, opened the second half with a 16-play, 77-yard drive that lasted nearly seven minutes, and Brody Smith's 11-yard TD run gave Hutch a 28-7 lead. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sophomore running back Brody Smith had his breakout game, toting the ball 24 times for 194 yards and four touchdowns. HE SAID IT: "We saw what we have to adjust to when we play a team like this. Next week, we'll see smash-mouth football, and we'll see what we have to do against a team like that going into districts." - Hutchinson coach Ryan Cornelsen. UP NEXT: Maize (0-5) returns home to take on winless Newton, while Hutchinson (4-1) welcomes Salina Central.
The Hutchinson News | 10/2/2015
The Hutchinson News | 10/2/2015