After missing the first NJCAA Div. 1 football playoffs last year, the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference has half of the four-team field this year’s postseason.
It came as no surprise that Hutchinson finished first with a perfect 10-0 record and the country’s top attacking goal, while Coffeyville was far more nervous until the Red Ravens learned they were holding onto fourth place and last in the playoffs.
Hutchinson (10-0) takes on Coffeyville (8-2) at Gowans Stadium in the national semifinals on Saturday 3 December at 2pm. 2 Northwest Mississippi (10-1) on Sunday, December 4 at 5 p.m. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.
The 2022 NJCAA Div. 1 national championship game will be played on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Hutchinson stayed at No. 1 on the national rankings after his thrilling 29-28 win at Iowa Western on November 12. The Blue Dragons were down 28-17 with less than nine minutes to go but won the game in Dramatic Fashion when Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan blocked a punt and Jaimelle Claytor picked it up and returned it 40 yards to win the game.
Led by Alabama wide receiver Malik Benson, Hutchinson has the most explosive offense in the country with 40.9 points per game and 428.9 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Laible is third in the nation with 20 passing touchdowns, while Benson is second in the country with 80.9 yards per game.
Coffeyville bounced back from a 2-2 start and won six straight games, including a convincing 23-7 win over Iowa Western on Nov. 5 that helped propel the Red Ravens past Snow College for fourth and final place to jump. Coffeyville’s defense has held opponents to 13.2 points throughout their winning streak, led by sophomore linebacker Amir Renwick, who is averaging 8.9 tackles and 3.5 sacks per game.
Next Saturday’s semi-final showdown will be a replay of the September 24 game, which Hutchinson won 14-9 and scored the game-winning touchdown, with 1:17 remaining after a run by Dylan Kedzior.