Hutchinson’s flexbone offense didn’t control time of possession.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective.
Senior fullback Alec McCuan ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns, the Salthawk offense relied on big plays to rack up over 400 rushing yards, and Hutch powered past Salina South, 42-17, Friday night at Salina Stadium. Hutch defeated South for the sixth consecutive time in the series to improve to 5-1 on the season. The Cougars dropped to 1-4.
Unlike the second half, Salina South was in control for the first 24 minutes. The Cougars took the opening kickoff and marched 59 yards down the field, 37 on a touchdown pass by sophomore quarterback Weston Fries to junior tailback Brandt Cox.
Hutch answered with a 16-play, 65-yard drive, which included a pair of fourth down conversions. McCuan scampered into the end zone from five yards out, knotting up the score at 7-7 with 1:52 left in the opening stanza.
The Salthawks would run just five plays for the remainder of the half. One resulted in an 83-yard TD run by McCuan to put Hutch on top 14-7 with 6:12 to play in the half.
Two other plays were turnovers, the last giving South the upperhand late in the half.
Before then, Salina South cashed in on a 13-play, 65-yard drive. Fries found senior receiver Colin Schreiber on a huge 4th and 8 deep in Hutch territory to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, he dropped a dime of a pass to sophomore Te’Jon McDaniel for a 20-yard score.
With three timeouts and 84 seconds left, the Salthawks had plenty of time to score. That’s when the turnover happened. Senior cornerback AJ Johsnon ripped a pass away from the intended target, setting up Salina South at the Hutch 24-yard line. The Cougars couldn’t punch the ball into the endzone. Instead, they settled for a 29-yard field goal from freshman Kaden Budke to give South a 17-14 advantage at the break.
The start to the second half looked promising. Salina South’s defense plugged up the middle on a quarterback sneak, forcing the Salthawks to turn the ball over on downs at the Hutch 33.
Unfortunately, South went in reverse, ultimately punting the football away.
Hutch’s next four drives – touchdowns. Hutch started with an 8-yard sweep to Noah Khokhar. Salina South answered by plunging inside the Hutch 15. Following an injury to Cox, the Cougars were unable to reach the goal line.
A 62-yard run by McCuan set up a six-yard score for the senior fullback late in the third. Khokhar found the end zone again, this time from 61 yards out. Senior quarterback Myles Thompson wrapped things up with a 17-yard scamper.
Hutchinson accumulated 432 rushing yards with three guys reaching the century mark.
Cox logged over 100 yards before his injury, finishing with 110 on 26 carries. Fries was 20-of-42 passing for 200 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Senior Jackson Hayes received the Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game. Junior center Carter Lambeth had the H&R Block of the Game.
Salina South stays in town, hosting Newton next Friday. Coverage begins with Freddy’s and Mokas Pregame Show at 6:45pm on Y93.7.
*Photos by Tanner Colvin