Hutchinson 29, Snow 27: Expected shootout is defensive battle in junior college national championship game

It was expected to be a shootout, but it was anything but as the Hutchinson Community College squeaked out a 29-27 win against Snow College on Saturday afternoon in the junior college national championship game at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.

The game was decided with just 1:11 left in the fourth quarter when Hutchinson intercepted the Snow College pass and preserved the two-point victory.

The fourth quarter was frantic for both teams as Hutchinson took its first lead of the game with 12:48 remaining, when they scored a touchdown to take the 22-21 lead. The Dragons opted to go for the two-point conversion that was broken up in the endzone by Snow.  Hutchinson added another touchdown with 7:34 remaining to go up 29-21.

Snow had a chance late and scored a touchdown with 4:50 remaining, but the two-point pass attempt sailed high and was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 29-27.

Hutchinson then used a combination of timely first downs on the ground and by penalty to keep the ball out of Snow’s hands. It got to fourth down, and the Dragons went for it on a fake punt, but were flagged for an illegal formation.

That gave Snow one last chance, but that was thwarted by the interception.

Hutchinson ends the season with a perfect 9-0, while Snow falls to 7-1. Both teams were ranked, respectively, No. 1 and No. 2 in the junior college rankings.

Hutchinson running back Tye Edwards was named the game’s most valuable player after rushing for 141 yards and two touchdowns. 

Both teams were offensive juggernauts entering the game with Snow good for 52.1 points a game, while Hutchinson is right behind at 47.7 points per game. But, obviously, both fell well short of those marks.

Snow led the game at the half, 14-10, after scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter as the Badgers looked like they were going to run away with it rolling to 131 yards of total offense in the first quarter, but Hutchinson found its defense in the second quarter and held Snow to just 79 yards, while the Dragons put together 176 yards of offense of their own, but only scored 10 points.

Both teams missed field goals in the second quarter as well. The weather didn’t help either team as the first half was played with a light to heavy rain depending on the quarter. It mostly cleared up for the second half.

This won’t be the last time the national championship game will be held in Little Rock as War Memorial Stadium will host again in 2022 and 2023.

Hutchinson in Kansas and Snow, in Ephraim, Utah both had Arkansans on their respective rosters with Stevie Young on the offensive line for Hutchinson, while Caezar Warren plays for Snow.

Extra points

  • Fort Smith Northside’s Stevie Young was the starting right tackle for Hutchinson in the game. Young is a sophomore and 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds. Young is looking to continue his college football career at Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State and Alabama-Birmingham.

  • Caezar Warren is a 6-foot, 220 pound, sophomore running back for Snow. Warren played his high school ball at Joe T. Robinson in west Little Rock. Warren saw action on special teams but didn’t play any running back in Snow’s high-flying four and five wide receiver offense. 

  • Hutchinson Community College is in Hutchinson, a city about 30 minutes northwest of Wichita, while Snow College of Ephraim, Utah is about two hours south of Salt Lake City.

  • Attendance for the game was 1,410 but the real action was on the second floor of the press box at War Memorial where Snow College alumni had set up base camp, with a full bar and concession stand. It was a party atmosphere on par with Chuck E. Cheese and looked like one, with all the children milling about.

  • Uniform watch: Hutchinson, where Alvin Kamera of the New Orleans Saints played, is technically red and blue, but jerseys and pants were both solid black with white helmets. Snow, uses Syracuse’s distinctive “S” as its helmet logo and leaned hard into the Syracuse Orange again with solid orange jerseys and pants, with a white helmet.

  • Mascots: Hutchinson is the Dragons, because Kansas’s unofficial state motto is “Here be Dragons” while Snow is the Badgers, because Utah is famous for those. No, really. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Taxidea Taxus, or Badger, are all over the state.

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