hutch but faceoff

 The NJCAA national championship in Pittsburg is still ten weeks away, but #1 and #2 face off this week in regular season play. And, while several top five teams have lost this season, the top five remains the same with all of those teams winning this past weekend.

This year is the first time since Oct. 19, 2010 that two KJCCC teams have had the top two spots. That week, it was #1 Butler and #2 Hutchinson. Hutchinson earned their first No. 1 ranking in the NJCAA poll for the first time in their program's history earlier this season.  Followed by more history for the program with number one in consecutive weeks. 

This Sat., Sept 28, Hutchinson (#1, 4-0) will hosts Butler (#2, 5-0) at 12 p.m. Hutchinson is coming off a bye week, while Butler is coming off a 31-10 win over Dodge City (0-4). Hutchinson's Blue Dragons are calling for a "Red Storm" to "#BreatheFire", asking fans to wear red to the game and fill Gowans Stadium.

This will be one of the biggest football games of the NJCAA season and certainly worth the trip to Hutchinson to watch.  Tickets are $5 for general admission and $8 for reserved seating. 

Butler is averaging 215 yards rushing, 204 yards passing, and 35 points on offense, while Hutchinson is just behind them with 208 yards rushing, 198 yards passing, and 33 points per game.

The NJCAA Football Championship game will be held Thurs., Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. CST at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kansas. Hopefully one of these two almost local team will be in the championship game.  Tickets for that game are already on sale and can be purchased by calling (620) 235-4796, or visiting NJCAAFootballChampionship.com and clicking "Tickets."

Also in the top 20 from Kansas are Garden City, ranked (#14, 3-2) and Fort Scott ranked (#18. 3-1). Garden City hosts Fort Scott this Sat., Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. Garden City is coming off a win over early season favorite, Iowa Western (now 1-3, unranked but receiving votes); while Fort Scott is coming off a win over Independence Community College (2-2, unranked but receiving votes).

Other top 20 teams in the NJCAA include: Northwest Mississippi (#3, 4-0) is at Holmes (1-3) on Thurs., Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Northwest Mississippi is coming off a 19-15 win over #10 Copiah-Lincoln (3-1). It took a defensive stand late in the fourth quarter to escape with the victory, which included back-to-back sacks by Robert Hentz II and Justin Jackson. Holmes College is coming off their only win of the season, a 14-6 victory over Northeast Mississippi (2-2).

Mississippi Gulf Coast (#4, 4-0) is at Copiah-Lincoln (#10, 3-1) on Thursday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. Mississippi Gulf Coast is coming off a 20-14 win over Jones College (#17, 2-2).

East Mississippi (#5, 3-1) hosts East Central (3-1, unranked but receiving votes) on Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. East Mississippi is coming off a 41-23 win over Mississippi Delta (0-4). East Central is coming off a 35-0 win over Pearl River (1-3). This is a big game for both schools. East Mississippi has won every game since losing in week one to Hinds (#16, 3-1). East Central's only loss of the season so far is to Northwest Mississippi, who faces East Mississippi next week, on November 3.

Other ranked teams facing other ranked opponents: Trinity Valley (#13, 3-1) hosts Cisco College (3-1, unranked but receiving votes) on Sa., Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. Trinity Valley is coming off a loss to Blinn College (#8, 4-1); while Cisco is coming off a 51-37 loss to Navarro College (2-3, unranked but receiving votes).

For the complete poll from September 23, 2019, visit NJCAA.org/sports/fball/polls.

Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau Contributed

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