Fourth-quarter rally lifts Junction City to 2A state crown
LITTLE ROCK - Dhante Gibson rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and Brady Hutcheson threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes, as Junction City rallied from a 22-12 deficit in the third quarter to top Hazen 36-22 to win the 2A state championship Friday night at War Memorial Stadium.
Down 10 in the third quarter after a 58-yard scoring strike from Blayne Toll to Quincey McAdoo, the Dragons began their comeback with Hutcheson throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kevontae Haynes with Gibson's two-point conversion making it 22-20.
After the Dragons' defense forced a punt, Junction City took the lead with Jack Smith drilling a 25-yard field goal with 11:20 to play in the game.
After forcing another punt, the Dragons needed just two plays to extend their lead with Hutcheson connecting with Jakiron Cook on a 63-yard touchdown that made it 29-22.
A sack by Semaj Levingston on fourth down gave the Dragons the ball back, and Gibson sealed the victory with a 30-yard touchdown run with Smith's extra point making the final margin.
Hutcheson went 6-of-12 passing for 156 yards with two scores.
Cook had 95 yards rushing and 63 yards receiving and two scores in the win.
In for six: Junction City running back Jakiron Cook (4) runs for a 58-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of the Class 2A state championship game Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Trailing 22-12 in the third quarter, Junction City scored the game's final 24 points to top Hazen 36-22 to win the 2A state title.