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Hutchinson stuns Derby with two-point conversion in final minute

Published Nov. 16 at 11:30 p.m. | Last updated Nov. 17 at 7:50 a.m.

After Hutchinson coach Randy Dreiling congratulated several players, patting their helmets or shoulder pads after the Salthawks’ 29-28 win at Derby in the Class 6A semifinal, he made an emphatic statement, even punctuating it by punching the air.

“This is what we do!” Dreiling yelled to his team Friday night at Derby.

The players, and fans surrounding them, responded with raucous cheering.

What Hutchinson does is win state titles, and the Salthawks are in line for their eighth title in the last nine seasons when they face Shawnee Mission West on Nov. 24 at Washburn’s Yager Stadium in Topeka.

How Hutchinson capped its win over Derby, though, was just as a much of a resounding statement as Dreiling’s final point to his players.

At the Derby 1 on first and goal, Dreiling called timeout with 57.7 seconds remaining and the Salthawks trailing 28-21. That’s when he told his offense it was going to eschew the point-after kick and go for two and the win.

“They were excited for it,” said Dreiling, who informed hi assistants of the plan as Hutchinson started its drive at the 6:02 mark of the fourth quarter. “… It’s three yards, and we average seven on the season. We oughta be able to get three.”

Quarterback Trevor Turner admitted feeling shock at Dreiling’s decision.

“It’s just risky to go for it,” said Turner, who completed 9 of 12 passes for 183 yards, threw for a touchdown and ran for two. “It’s either do or die.”

But this is Dreiling — an extremely confident and intense coach. Was it really that surprising?

Turner laughed.

“Not really because he’s bold and he’s going to go for it all,” Turner said,.

Teammate Tanner Higgins agreed.

“That’s just Coach Dreiling for you,” Higgins said. “He’s a great coach.”

After Turner leaped into the end zone for the 1-yard touchdown run, he took it into the end zone, finding a huge hole to the right side for the one-point lead.

“We thought they might (go for two), but that’s a gutsy call to put the season on the line for one play,” Derby coach Brandon Clark said.

For Derby senior Kellen Sims, watching it happen was difficult.

“You’re looking on that and you’re praying,” he said. “All you can do is sit there and pray.”

Derby still had 50.8 seconds, but quarterback Chandler Shantz was sacked by Jarod Gagnebin and then had a deep pass intercepted by Hutchinson’s Tanner Higgins.

Shantz scored on runs of 1, 1 and 17 yards and threw a nine-yard pass to DeAndre Goolsby with 6:05 remaining for the 28-21 lead. Shantz had 27 carries for 151 yards and threw for 73.

“We asked (Shantz) to do a lot tonight and he carried this team,” Clark said.

Hutchinson (10-2)0147829
Derby (10-2)777728

D—Shantz 1 run (Williamson kick)

H—Smith 3 run (Lemons kick)

D—Shantz 17 run (Williamson kick)

H—Gaines-Grissom 57 pass from Turner (Lemons kick)

D—Shantz 1 run (Williamson kick)

H—Turner 1 run (Lemons kick)

D—Goolsby 9 pass from Shantz (Williamson kick)

H—Turner 1 run (Turner run)

Individual statistics

Rushing– Hutchinson, Turner 21-85, Smith 16-52, Brower 6-43, Likes 4-23, Higgins 1-(-7). Derby, Shantz 27-151, West 11-74, Sims 2-4..

Passing – Hutchinson, Turner 9-12-183-0. Derby, Shantz 5-11-73-1.

Receiving – Hutchinson, Gaines-Grissom 5-140, Dower 1-22, Higgins 3-21. Derby, Goolsby 3-53, Sims 2-20.