By Aubreigh Heck
Reigning NJCAA football champion Hutchinson Community College finished fifth in the final rankings of the season, eight points behind No. 4 Snow College.
This means the Blue Dragons will not advance to the national playoffs, which includes four teams for the first time this season.
The Blue Dragons started the season off in a rut, but then continued to finish with an 8-2 record, and win the Jayhawk Conference championship.
Hutchinson, who had a shortened offseason due to playing in the national championship game in June, started the season off with a 17-10 loss against Coffeyville. They proceeded to win their next three, including a forfeit win over Butler, and then lost against Independence 33-28.
The Blue Dragons later faced off against Indy during the KJCCC playoffs, and defeated the Pirates 42-0.
Five of the Blue Dragons’ games came against teams ranked in the final poll.
The top four of the NJCAA final poll includes No. 1 Iowa Western, No. 2 New Mexico Military Institute, No. 3 Northwest Mississippi, and No. 4 Snow.
The Blue Dragons will likely compete in the Salt City Bowl against a team to be announced.