By Joel Muhs / Sports Editor

The script has flipped on the Hutchinson Community College football team, as the defending national champions dropped their second consecutive game on Saturday night to open the season, losing to Jayhawk Conference rival Butler 43-23.

HutchCC drops to 0-2 on the season after completing a perfect record the season before. The loss for the Blue Dragons marked the first loss to Butler since the 2017 season, and the lack of consistent energy played a role in the loss for HutchCC.

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“I thought at times it was good, but at times it just wasn’t there and we didn’t match the intensity,” Blue Dragons coach Drew Dallas said about the energy on the field during the game. “We got to figure out a way to get that corrected and come back with that fire and that passion a little bit to want to improve and to want to go out and compete and win.”

The Blue Dragon’s jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on their first offensive possession, but the Grizzlies had an answer throughout the game and took a 21-17 lead at half before taking control in the second half. Even with the poor start, HutchCC has a chance to come away with a conference championship at the end of the season, but it starts with getting their first win.

“We got to win the next opportunity we get, and that’s really all we can do,” Dallas said on how to get the season back on track. “You can’t make them all up at once. It’s one of those deals we’re going to have to get better throughout the course of every practice. Make sure that when we come to practice on Monday we’re getting better that day, then come back on Tuesday we find a way to get better on Tuesday and the same thing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We can’t climb the mountain in one step, we got to go step-by-step and just continue to get better throughout the process.”

The Blue Dragons will have two weeks to work out kinks, as they enter their only bye week of the season. Although it’s a different storyline, HutchCC still has the opportunity to hoist a championship trophy, whether it be a national trophy or conference trophy. However, it all starts with righting the ship against conference foe Fort Scott on September 25th at Gowans Stadium.

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