By Joel Muhs
The top-ranked Hutchinson Community College football team is off to a strong start in its Spring campaign. Saturday’s 41-10 thumping of Butler added to the Blue Dragons’ impressive start, as they leaned on 385 yards of rushing to help down the Grizzlies.
Back-up running back Anwar Lewis accounted for 73 of those yards in an unusual way.
Lewis, a redshirt freshman from Pensacola, Florida, came into the Butler game with 45 rushing yards after averaging nine yards per carry against Coffeyville. That rushing total would soon swell, as Lewis ripped off a 73-yard touchdown on the last play of the first half, which gave the Blue Dragons a 28-3 lead heading into halftime.
“They called inside, so in order for me to score I was going to have to make a play,” Lewis said. “In my head, I didn’t really know what was going. There was only nine seconds left and I was just trying to get a big run in,” Lewis said.
Sophomore quarterback CJ Ogbonna remembers the play well, especially since Lewis had told him he was going to take it to the house before the play was even called.
“The play before, he got the ball and got like 10 yards and he came back and was like ‘Please call an outside zone – I’m going to score this time’,” Ogbonna said. “When he said it, I was hoping he was for real, but I was thinking we’re just going to run the ball inside and take it into halftime. And then he got it and just started going.”
Not only did the run give the Blue Dragons a 25-point lead at halftime, but it also marked the first collegiate touchdown for Lewis, who noted the good feeling that came along with it, but also the drive for more.
“It feels good, for real. But I’m just really hoping for more,” Lewis said
It’s these types of plays that remind a team that it takes much more than starters to contribute and win football games, as Lewis is one of many back-ups that make up the HutchCC team.
“Everybody adds to our team because they all help through our preparation,” Ogbonna said. “Someone like (Lewis), he’s good, so when he gets in he’s going to want to show what he wants to do. He goes hard all the time and we have a lot of backup players that are really good.”
Lewis finished the game with 63 yards, which adds to a total of 108 yards on the season. A 73-yard touchdown may not happen every game, but rest assured, Lewis will be ready to go whenever his number is called upon.
“My coach always says, ‘Don’t count your reps to make your reps count’, so every time I get in I gotta make a play to show I’m here for a reason,” Lewis said.