If there is one thing Salthawk fans have gotten used to during the past decade of dominance on the football field, its that they simply don't give games away.
A Randy Drieling coached football team is usually a fundamentally sound football team, but it's safe to say they'll be kicking themselves after the fifth installment of Rockhurst vs. Hutchinson.
Hutchinson dominated on the first series of the game, setting the tone for the game. The Salthawks needed only six plays to go 61 yards, and ended with a Trevor Turner quarterback keeper to put Hutch up by a touchdown.
Next came the defense for Hutch, and they didn't want the offense to have all the fun. It was a dominating start to the game which saw the Salthawks take a 17-0 lead after the first four possessions.
In what may have been a bit of foreshadowing for Rockhurst, the Hawklets scored 10 points in just over one minute allowed them to only trail 17-10 at the half.
"We had a lot of opportunities to score in the first half, and they did some things at times that just turned the momentum of drives," said Hutch coach Randy Drieling.
Hutchinson answered the bell in the third quarter, going 80 yards in just 6 plays to take a 14 point lead.
Rockhurst answered with a drive of their own, but the Hutch defense stiffened when it needed to, and the Hawklets only managed a field goal to cut the lead to 11, 24-13.
Once more, Hutch answered as Will Smith took a handoff in for a 5-yard touchdown with 11:48 left in the game, and the Salthawks held an 18-point advantage.
Rockhurst again scored, this time using a flea flicker to get down the field, and the game was back to 11 points, but like they'd done every time before, Hutch began another methodical drive to hopefully put the game away.
Instead, Smith was stripped near the goalline, and as if it couldn't be written any better, the ball bounced perfectly into the waiting arms of Mitch Koeppen, who returned it the Hutchinson 15 yard line.
It took only two plays for the Hawklets to score, and after a successful two-point conversion, it was suddenly a 4 point Hutch lead.
It was a surprise to no one when Rockhurst attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the surprise came when they successfully recovered the kick.
With renewed energy, Rockhurst finished off the 22-point comeback. With 1:40 left in the game, the Hawklets finally led for the first time all game, and Hutchinson was unable to find the scoreboard again.
It was the fourth win for Rockhurst in what is now a 5-game series.
"Nothing changes, we're going to go back to work Monday with the ultimate goal of where we want to be, and, ya know, it's just a heck of a lot easier when you're coming off a win. It just didn't happen, it should have happened tonight," said Dreiling. "We probably gave it away a little bit.
This is the third ranked team in the third different state that Rockhurst has played. They previously lost the the second-ranked team in Missouri, and the second-ranked team in Arkansas.
Now Hutchinson (2-1) must get back on track with a game at Newton on September 21.