HUTCHINSON 41, SOUTH 7
In some ways the match-up was closer than the what the final score portrayed, but it did reflect the fact that the Hutchinson Salthawks took advantage of their possessions and opportunities much better than the Salina South Cougars did on Friday night, as Hutch moved their record to 3-3 with a 41-7 win over the Cougars (1-5).
Neither team scored in the first quarter. Hutch had the best opportunity, coming within inches of the goal-line before being stuffed on 4th & Goal. South would move the ball to near midfield before penalties killed the drive.
The Salthawks, normally a run-heavy team, used the passing game to create big plays and they struck first when quarterback Nic Lange threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kellen O’Sullivan on a 4th & 5 play. Hutch took the 7-0 lead with 7:23 left in the second quarter.
While the Cougars were unable to establish the run or get much consistency out of the passing game, they seemed to be in position to be only down by one score going into halftime. Hutch was backed up with 1st & 17 at their own 20, but Lange fired a deep ball to Noah Khokhar and it resulted in an 80-yard touchdown with 1:46 left in the half. The PAT was blocked and Hutch would take a 13-0 lead in to halftime.
Hutch went back to the ground game in the second half. Fullback Zach Hogan broke loose for a 44-yard TD run to put the Salthawks up 20-0.
South would then mount their only successful scoring drive of the night. A 28-yard pass from quarterback Weston Fries to Carson Power set up Ian Andalon’s one-yard touchdown run, and with 2:58 left in the third, the Cougars trailed 20-7.
The Salthawks would answer almost immediately, 65 seconds later in fact. Hogan shot through the middle of the field and raced in for a 72-yard touchdown. It was 27-7 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, Hutch got a 5-yard TD run from Khokhar and a 26-yard interception return by Nolyn Cunningham twenty seconds apart to wrap up the scoring.
The Cougars will travel to Newton next Friday.