Hutchinson, Garden City football to battle in top-5 battle Sunday

Local Sports

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – For the third-straight season, the Hutchinson Community College football team will square off against Garden City as Top 5-ranked teams in the NJCAA national rankings.

This year’s matchup features the No. 1-ranked Blue Dragons (3-0, 2-0) and the No. 3-ranked Broncbusters (4-0, 3-0) at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Gowans Stadium.

Hutchinson had an unexpected week off last Saturday when Fort Scott was forced to cancel last week’s game. Before that, the Blue Dragons defeated Arkansas Baptist 48-8 two weeks ago at Gowans Stadium.

Garden City had three lopsided wins over Arkansas Baptist, Highland and Fort Scott before rallying in the fourth quarter last weekend to win 14-10 at No. 7 Independence last week to move to 4-0.

Sunday’s game features the top two defensive teams in the Jayhawk Conference.

Hutchinson ranks No. 2 in the KJCCC in scoring defense (9.3 ppg), third in total defense (225.7 ypg), fourth in passing yards (151.0 ypg) and third in rushing defense (74.7 ypg). The Dragons are tied for third with eight quarterback sacks.

Garden City is No. 1 in scoring defense (6.3 ppg), total defense (204.3 ypg), rushing defense (38.5 ypg) and quarterback sacks with 16. The Busters are seventh in the KJCCC in passing defense (165.8 ypg).

The previous two meetings Top 5 meetings in 2018 and 2019 both went to Garden City in close games that went down to the wire.

At Gowans Stadium in 2018, the Busters were No. 2 and Dragons were No. 4. Garden City drove 84 yards in 14 plays and scored with 18 seconds left to defeat Hutchinson 24-21. One year later at Garden City, the Blue Dragons were No. 4 and Garden City No. 5. Leading by two points late, the Dragons thought they had a fourth-down stop, but a controversial call on a catch on fourth down gave the Busters new life and kicked a 40-yard field goal as time ran out for a 20-19 win over the Blue Dragons.

Sunday begins a tough two-game stretch for the Blue Dragons. After Sunday’s matchup with No. 3 Garden City, the Blue Dragons travel to No. 9 Independence next Sunday, May 2.

Sunday’s matchup between Hutchinson and Garden City will be the 79th in a series that dates back to 1947. Hutchinson is 38-40 all-time against the Busters.

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