HUTCHINSON - Bishop Carroll opened the second half of its Class 5A semifinal at Hutchinson just like it needed to, forcing Hutchinson to punt after three plays on two straight series.
It was a statement that Carroll's defense needed to make against Hutchinson's high-powered running game. Especially after the Eagles fell behind by two touchdowns in the first half and gave up two runs of 60-plus yards.
But following both those defensive stops, Carroll made crucial turnovers, and the game started to unravel.
Hutchinson's Josh Smith rushed for 302 yards, and Hutch scored on three straight possessions in the second half as it defeated Carroll 42-21 at Gowans Stadium. (Smith broke Kerry Gamble's 2005 record of 296 yards that he set in Hutchinson's 24-7 state championship game victory over Olathe East)
Hutchinson (12-0), which has won five consecutive titles - including four in Class 6A - will play Gardner-Edgerton in the 5A title game Nov. 28 at Emporia State.
Read about how the game progressed in this article by Joanna in The Wichita Eagle