By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
In big games, there are always a couple of players that make a difference.
On Saturday at Gowans Stadium, in top-ranked Hutchinson Community College’s 35-27 win against No. 2 Butler, Latrell Bankston was one of those players. He registered seven tackles and two quarterback sacks.
While Bankston himself had a good game, so did the defense as a whole.
“We feel like we have the best run defense,” Bankston said.
The stats are there to prove that. The defense held Butler to 69 rushing yards the entire game in 42 attempts. That averages out to be 1.6 yards gained per rush. The defense against the pass allowed 339 yards on 20 completions out of 39 attempts for the Grizzlies. Overall, the defense allowed 408 total yards on 81 plays.
The Blue Dragons, by contrast, accumulated 407 yards on 13 fewer plays. The importance of the “Red Storm Game” was immense, and Latrell came to play.
“All four quarters were really intense,” Bankston said. “This is what we live for.”
The two sacks he had were in the fourth quarter, during Butler’s final drive, and helped seal the win for the Blue Dragons. Overall, Bankston has nine total sacks on the season. He’s also averaging 4.8 tackles a game and has 19 tackles.
In those final plays of the game, Blue Dragons coach Rion Rhoades said to his defensive lineman, “I need you here.”
Rhoades puts a lot of trust in Bankston to make big plays when it matters most.
After the hype of the game on Saturday, the Blue Dragons can now focus on the rest of the season.