Kansas teams atop NJCAA rankings

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Two Kansas community colleges have forced themselves to the front of the pack on the Road to Pittsburg for the NJCAA national championship. Hutchinson (#1 in the latest NJCAA Coaches Poll, 3-0) went into Council Bluffs to knock off Iowa Western (#15, 1-2) with a score of 34-27; and, Butler (now #2, 3-0) jumped to an early lead and never looked back in their 33-7 win over Highland (1-2).

It’s the first time since October 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 just last week. With their win over Iowa Western, that’s more history for their program – number one in consecutive weeks.

Hutchinson had 10 quarterback sacks in their game against Iowa Western, five of those plus an interception in the fourth quarter. Hutchinson head coach Rion Rhoades now has 92 wins in Hutchinson, and 99 overall. He’ll go for win number 100 this Saturday at Fort Scott Community College (#17, 2-0). Fort Scott has quietly climbed the polls after beating Highland, then Coffeyville, and are coming off a bye week. Fort Scott forced five interceptions in their game against Coffeyville.

Despite a slow start with only 23 yards on their first two drives against Highland, Butler finished with 423 total yards of offense – their third straight game with more than 400 yards of offense. Butler has kept defenses guessing, and they’ve outscored opponents 111 to 33 during the first three weeks of the season.

There are several games to keep an eye on this week. Thursday, September 12: 7 p.m. #12 Hinds (2-0) at #18 Jones County (1-1). Saturday, September 14: 12 p.m. #10 Iowa Central (2-1) at DuPage (1-1; unranked but receiving votes); 1 p.m. #9 Lackawanna (1-0) at #7 Snow (2-1); 2 p.m. #19 Georgia Military (2-1) at ASA Brooklyn (2-0, unranked but receiving votes); 7 p.m. #1 Hutchinson (3-0) at #17 Fort Scott (2-0); #3 Kilgore (3-0) at Cisco (2-0; unranked but receiving votes); and, 7 p.m. #20 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (1-1) at #13 Trinity Valley (2-0).

For the complete poll from September 9, 2019, visit NJCAA.org/sports/fball/polls.

The NJCAA Football Championship game will be held Thursday, December 5 at 5 p.m. CST at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kansas. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (620) 235-4796, or visiting NJCAAFootballChampionship.com and clicking “Tickets”.

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