Hutch CC brings home football national title

Whenever a sports program at Hutchinson Community College experiences success, it goes far beyond the walls of the athletic department.

The Blue Dragons have the backing and support from the entire city of Hutchinson. It has created a special connection.

So when Hutch took down Snow 29-27 in the NCJAA national football championship on June 3, it was a win for everybody.

“The community of Hutchinson, our school, and our athletic department work hand in hand so well,” said Hutch head coach Drew Dallas. “We have a great support system from all around Hutch and it is a great honor to bring home national championship that represents not only our football program’s hard work, but also the hard work and support of everyone involved in our program.”

Several of the Blue Dragons’ coaches, including Dallas, have connections to the state of Kansas. Dallas was a Salina Central graduate in 2004, defensive coordinator Tate Omli graduated from Ell-Saline, receivers coach Kody Cook graduated from Louisburg and also played at Hutch CC, as did assistant Jarod Sanders Jr.

The staff and players had to be flexible this season due to the pandemic and Dallas said all he wanted his program to do is worry about the day in front of them and not think about the future.

“Our sole focus was on controlling the things we could control,” said Dallas. “We didn’t know what tomorrow, the next week, or next month would bring so we continue to just focus on being great at the task at hand and not worrying about he future.  That mentality carried over into our season with a 1-0 mentality week by week.”

Things looked bleak for Hutch in the third quarter against Snow, as the Blue Dragons trailed 21-10. But they scored 19 unanswered points to take control of the game.

Hutch’s running game was particularly strong as it ran for 233 yards, including 139 from the game’s Most Valuable Player, Tye Edwards.

“Our staff really appreciated the quality of opponent we were preparing for,” Dallas said. “We knew based off of film study that they were well coached and disciplined.  We knew that we would have to establish our run game and minimize their run game to be able to come out on top.  Throughout the course of the game, our physicality started to wear on them and we were able to take the lead in the 4th quarter and finish out the game because of that.”