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Just after Kutztown's Duke Makina was given a yellow card for kicking the ball away from the mark of a Dartmouth penalty, the Big Green quick tapped with five seconds left deep inside its own 22-meter line and quickly made ground via a John Abraham breakaway.
Abraham linked up with Hughes past midfield and the junior scored towards the right touchline to make the score 14-12.
"We rely on our playmakers a lot, especially in critical moments of the game," Dartmouth's Kevin Clark said, pointing to Hughes. "This is the best one we've got, this is the best one in the country. We make sure to get it to him in space with time to attack with John (Abraham) on his outside. John can fly."
Hughes slotted the conversion kick from the far right, ending the game in a 14-point tie.
"I practice (kicking) the full-width," Hughes said. "I like to think I can make a kick from any part of the 22 there. When you're in practice, you're trying to imagine 'this is to tie the game. This is to win the game. These are the cup final kicks that you have to make. That is the different between winning and going home early."
Bruce Dolan scored the go-head try for Kutztown, who entered the game after beating Notre Dame 26-12.
"You kind of have to keep a soft defense," Kutztown Niku Kruger said. "So they can do the moves they want and come into you. Unfortunately they did really well to get the ball out wide. We just didn't have enough men on defense and they got around us."