EMPORIA, Kan. | Right from the get-go, Hutchinson proved why it has won four consecutive state titles.
Actually, better make it five. The Salthawks used a punishing ground game and a physical defense to wear down St. Thomas Aquinas in a convincing 38-0 victory in the Kansas 5A state championship on Saturday at Welch Stadium.
Hutchinson, which moved down to 5A this season after winning the last four 6A state titles, didn’t waste any time establishing its ground attack against the Saints. The Salthawks, who didn’t pass once, held a comfortable 24-0 halftime lead, thanks to large part to the hard running of junior fullback Josh Smith (39 carries, 257 yards and three touchdowns).
But while Hutchinson, which gained 493 yards on the ground, didn’t have any trouble moving the ball on the ground, the same can’t be said for Aquinas.
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The Saints, who came into the game averaging 30 points a contest, threw four interceptions and gained only seven first downs.