Tigers fall to Hutchinson Salt Hawks 33-21 in State Championship Game

Jordan Huesers, Jordan McEntee, Co-Editor, Sports Editor

Editor’s Note: This is the brief about the championship loss that appeared in the December issue of the Tiger Print.
The football team fought against the Hutchinson Salt Hawks on Nov. 26, but fell short in the end, with a score of 21-33.
The Tigers remained scoreless in the first quarter, while the Salt Hawks scored 20 points.
However, in the second quarter, senior Justin Fulks ran 75 yards for a touchdown, putting the Tigers on the board. At the end of the first half, the Tigers trailed 27-7.
Near the end of the third quarter, Fulks again scored a touchdown, advancing the Tigers to a score of 27-14.
BV headed into the fourth quarter knowing they would need two touchdowns to make a comeback.
With 3:41 left, Fulks ran the ball in for another touchdown, leaving the Tigers down by only six points.
At the very end of the game the Salt Hawks scored a touchdown, and the Tigers fell short of the victory.
“We were just really sad we couldn’t come up with the win because we worked so hard all season, and we just came up one game short,” quarterback senior Kyle Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said the team had great chemistry and was able to come together and build relationships over the course of the season.
“It was tough after the game,” he said. “Everyone was upset that we couldn’t finish the season with the goal we set at the beginning. It hurt, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I think everyone realized we had a great season.”Editor’s Note: This is the brief that appeared after the championship loss.
The wind whipped brutally as the cheerleaders fought to raise the run-through banner before the game.
It read, “THE END WE HAD IN MIND,” referring to late coach Greg House’s memorable quote. However, the team didn’t exactly finish with the end they had in mind — winning back to back state titles. The Tigers fought against the Hutchinson Salt Hawks, but fell short in the end, with a score of 33-21.
The Tigers spent a few minutes with the ball on their first possession, but couldn’t make much progress up the field because of the wind, and they were forced to punt the ball.
With the next possession, the Salt Hawks put up seven points on the board with a 20-yard touchdown run with 6:21 left in the first quarter.
Less than two minutes later, Hutchinson got the ball back and made another touchdown run from the 40-yard line. They missed the extra point, but extended their lead to 13-0.
With only 17 seconds left in the first quarter, the Salt Hawks had the ball only inches from the goal line, and the Tiger defense made a solid stop. However, on the next play, the Hutchinson running back lept over the pile of linemen for another Salt Hawk touchdown, making the score 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Senior Justin Fulks put the Tigers on the board with a 75-yard touchdown run 20 seconds into the second quarter.
For several minutes, BV and Hutchinson went back and forth switching possessions.
With 7:45 left in the first half, senior Cole Foster recovered a fumble by Hutchinson at the Tigers’ 19-yard-line. However, a quick holding call on the next play pushed the Tigers back to their own 3-yard-line. On fourth down, they attempted a punt from inside the end zone, but it was blocked by Hutchinson and recovered for another touchdown for the Salt Hawks. The scoreboard read 27-7.
With 4:55 left in the half, senior Kyle Zimmerman attempted a long throw down the field for a touchdown, but the ball was intercepted by Hutchinson at the 3-yard-line. The final score of the first half was 27-7.
Four minutes into the second half, the Tigers had a strong series, moving down the field with several passes down the field. They were at the 25-yard-line at fourth down with one yard to go, and they went for it. They got the ball to the 14-yard-line, then threw another pass to senior Sean Skaggs at the 3-yard-line.
On the next play, Zimmerman ran the ball ran the ball into the end zone but fumbled, so the points did not count and the Salt Hawks gained possession at the 20-yard-line. This call got the players and fans extremely fired up.
The Tigers thought they were going to get the ball back with three minutes left in the third quarter when they recovered a fumble at the 40-yard-line, but the officials ruled that the player was already down and gave the ball back to Hutchinson.
With one minute left in the quarter, BV forced the Salt Hawks to punt the ball from the 40-yard-line.  The Hutchinson kicker bobbled the ball, and he was tackled at the 40, giving the ball to the Tigers.
On the very next play, Fulks ran the ball in 40 yards for a Tiger touchdown, making the score 27-14.
BV went into the fourth quarter knowing they would need to pull out two touchdowns to be able to make a comeback.
Most of the fourth quarter was tough defense, with neither able to put up any points.
With only four minutes left in the game, Zimmerman threw a pass up the middle to Skaggs, who was taken out by two Hutchinson defenders and pass interference was called.
The Tigers moved up to the 20-yard-line, and Zimmerman then ran the ball in to the 3-yard-line.
With 3:41 left, Fulks ran the ball in for a BV touchdown, advancing the score to 27-21.
They kicked the ball to the Salt Hawks, and they kept the ball, moving it slowly up the field. Minutes and seconds ticked off the clock, and the Tigers needed the ball back to have any chance of scoring one more touchdown.
Less than a thirty seconds remained, and Hutchinson was stuck at fourth down. They went for it, and instead of just gaining the few yards they needed to keep the ball, they ran the ball in for a touchdown, putting up the score of 33-21. They tried for a two point conversion to run the clock out, but didn’t get the ball in.
The game ended with a score of Hutchinson 33, BV 21, and the Tigers were awarded the 5A State Runner-Up trophy.