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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 11/15/2012 8:38:11 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal correspondent

Hutchinson will attempt to win its fourth state title in school history next week after its 28-14 win against Becker Thursday night.

The Tigers kept their undefeated record intact, despite having to fight off a prolific aerial assault from Becker. A strong and steady run game along with an opportunistic defensive performance was more than enough to ensure the victory for Hutchinson.

Both teams made it clear early what their game plans were – beginning with Becker; the Bulldogs converted their first nine first downs through the air, 15 of 16 overall.

Becker quarterback Tommy Benson completed 22 of 33 passes, finding his favorite target, senior Joel Hopkins, with 14 of those balls. It was a five-yard pass to senior Brett Watercott that got the scoring started, giving Becker an early 7-0 lead.

Hutchinson responded with a scoring drive of its own, with all of its plays being on the ground. Tigers quarterback McKinley Anderson tied the score with a 5-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers would take control of the game from there. On the second play of its next offensive possession, Hutchinson took the lead with an explosive 86-yard touchdown scamper by senior wide receiver Mitch Petersen.

A long Becker drive late in the second quarter was halted after a Benson pass was picked off by Petersen. Hutchinson then kept the ball for the rest of the half, capitalizing on a 10-play, 89-yard drive with its first passing play of the game. Anderson hit junior Tory Adams for a 14-yard touchdown pass with just seconds remaining in the first half.

Becker (10-2) got it within a touchdown by using some timely trickery. Hopkins caught a pass from Benson and as he was being taken to the ground he lateraled the ball to Eric Dudek, who took it the rest of the way for the score.

Hutchinson once again responded quickly. McKinley Anderson broke free for a 58-yard run deep into Becker territory. Two plays later, he scored from the 1-yard line, giving his team a 14-point advantage that would stand for the rest of the game.

Hutchinson awaits the winner of Friday’s game between Princeton and Holy Family. The state title game will take place at the Metrodome on Friday, Nov. 23 at 4 p.m.


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