In the opening game of the 2018 KJCCC football season, the Independence Pirates rolled through Dodge City for a 38-20 win Thursday night on the road against the Conquistadors.

In non-conference action Thursday, Coffeyville was edged by Iowa Western, 19-6, and Hutchinson downed Ellsworth (Iowa), 30-12.


Independence 38, Dodge City 20

The fifth-ranked Pirates averaged 6.5 yards per play as they racked up 387 yards of offense and jumped out to a 24-10 lead at halftime. Then, the Pirates added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, including the second scoring connection from QB Chase Hildreth to Markiese King, the latter going for 68 yards to effectively put the game out of reach at 38-10.

Hildreth finished 16-of-26 passing for 201 yards and three scores. The Conqs used a pair of QBs, with Drew Harris going 10 of 17 for 128 yards and a score and John Lux was 7 of 13 for 69 yards and a pick.

The Pirates were 8 of 16 on third downs, while Dodge City was held to 1 of 12.


Iowa Western 19, Coffeyville 6

Neither team averaged more than 4 yards per play on offense during Thursday’s defensive battle in Coffeyville.

But the visiting second-ranked Reivers converted nine of their 18 third downs on offense, while the Red Ravens managed just 3 of 14.

Both teams used multiple quarterbacks, but Iowa Western's TJ Starks was the most effective, going 14 of 22 for 121 yards, two touchdowns and a pick.

Iowa Western’s rushing attack managed 157 yards, while Coffeyville was held to 32 yards on 38 attempts (0.8 ypa).

The Red Ravens’ only score came on Carson Proctor’s 70-yard toss to Andre Thomas-Cobb in the third quarter.


Hutchinson 30, Ellsworth 12

A pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Erin Collins — the former coming from 9 yards out and the latter from 46 — sealed the Blue Dragons’ win over the visiting Panthers.

It was the second and third touchdown runs of the game for Collins, who also had a 1-yard burst in the second quarter that gave the Dragons a 16-6 lead. He finished with 104 yards on 17 carries.

After his opening score, the Panthers answered with a pair of field goals to cut the lead to 16-12, before Collins’ final two scores.

Hutchinson outgained Ellsworth, 348 to 212, and picked off four Panther passes. The only edge Ellsworth had was going 5 of 19 on third down to Hutchinson’s 1 of 13.


Saturday's matchups

Two more conference tilts are slated for Saturday as Butler travels to Iowa Central for a noon kickoff and Fort Scott hits the road to Highland for a 3 p.m. battle with the Scotties. Garden City won't open its season until Sept. 1 when the Busters host Dodge City in a 7 p.m. game at Broncbuster Stadium.