EL DORADO --Second-ranked Butler scored 53 unanswered points -- 36 of them in the game's final 16 minutes -- and rolled to a 60-14 victory over Fort Scott Community College at BG Products Veteran's Sports Complex Saturday night.
Fort Scott (1-1 Jayhawk Conference, 1-2 overall) led 14-7 before Butler (2-0, 3-0) started the scoring barrage with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Billy Cosh to Javess Blue with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
A 40-yard scoring connection from Cosh to Blue started the Butler scoring blitz with 3:57 left in the third period. That score made it 31-14.
Butler hasn't lost in conference play since the 2009 regular-season finale at Fort Scott, which the Greyhounds won that day 14-10. The Grizzlies have won 15 consecutive conference tilts since then.
Colton Morrison started the game at quarterback and it appeared that the initial game plan was to play him under center all the way. But he injured his throwing hand sometime during the first quarter and gave way after throwing just three passes.
Dreamius Smith gave Butler the initial lead by scoring on a 74-yard run on the third play from scrimmage. Morrison answered on the Greyhounds' first play of the ensuing possession by hitting Jared Dangerfield on a 78-yard pass play.
The 'Hounds claimed the lead when Willie Bland intercepted Cosh and took it back 56 yards to the house with 8:37 left in the first. That was the Greyhounds' third defensive touchdown of the season. Unfortunately, that's one more TD than the offense has scored this season.
Blue's first TD tied the score after one period. Fort Scott looked to reclaim the lead, sending Mark Whitlock out to attempt a 36-yard field goal with about eight minutes to go in the half. The attempt was blocked and floated to the end zone. Butler's Jimmie King decided to pick up the ball at his own 1 and was able to run it back to the Fort Scott 3. The defense managed to keep the Grizzlies out of the end zone but Robert Rawlings gave Butler the lead with a 19-yard field goal with 6:23 to go in the second.
Butler blocked another Whitrock field-goal try from 26 yards late in the period. The ball caromed back almost 15 yards before Max Martinez was able to scoop it up and run it 60 yards for the score with nine seconds left in the half, making it a 24-14 Grizzly lead.
The first-half stats were fairly even as both teams had 222 total yards. Owen Jordan had come into the game to replace the injured Morrison under center and performed fairly well completing 7 of 13 passes for 75 yards.
Fort Scott's defense held up well against Butler for most of the third period. But the offense was unable to sustain a drive -- the 'Hounds managed just 3 first downs in the second half, 2 of which came on their first possession -- and the defense eventually wore down.
Blue's second TD catch got Butler going and backup tailback Derrick Thomas scored on a 39-yard run with 20 seconds left in the third to boost the Grizzlies' lead to 38-14.
Trey Hallman hauled on a 19-yard TD pass from Cosh with 7:41 on the clock in the fourth. The Greyhounds blocked the extra point. Tommy Sanders returned an interception less than a minute later for Butler to make it 51-14.
Rawlings kicked a 22-yard field goal with 5:10 to go. Third-string tailback Ty Suggs scored on an 18-yard run with exactly four minutes to go, though Rawlings missed the extra point.
Butler outgained Fort Scott 536 yards to 287. The Grizzlies gained 277 yards rushing to just 96 for the 'Hounds.
Cosh completed 17 of 32 passes for 259 yards. Jacob Hurla caught five of them for 68 yards, Chris Fields four for 51 and Blue three for 128.
Smith rushed for 133 yards on 14 carries while Thomas gained 88 on 15 rushes.
Stanley Hagan, the Jayhawk Conference's leading rusher coming into the game, was held to 74 yards on 28 carries, just a bit over 2 1/2 yards per carry. Butler held him to seven yards on 10 rushes in the second half.
Morrison completed 2 of 3 passes for 88 yards before his injury forced him out of the game. Jordan completed only 4 of 17 second-half passes for 28 yards.
Dangerfield caught 4 passes for 98 yards for Fort Scott. Courtney Ward caught three for 42 yards, showing a willingness to go over the middle for the tough catch.
The Greyhounds will play at home the next two weekends. Saturday's opponent will be Coffeyville, which held the No. 17 ranking in the NJCAA's pre-season poll. But the Red Ravens have stumbled to an 1-2 start that includes a season-opening 58-26 loss at pre-season No. 10 Hutchinson and a 35-7 loss to then No. 7 Trinity Valley at home. Coffeyville defeated Air Force Prep, 29-23, last Saturday at Colorado Springs.
Saturday's game kicks off at 1 p.m.
FORT SCOTT.... 14 0 0 0 -- 14
BUTLER........... 14 10 14 22 -- 60
|Team stats||Fort Scott||Butler|
B -- Smith 74 run (Rawlings kick), 14:01 [3, 83, :56]
FS -- Dangerfield 78 pass from Morrison (Whitrick kick), 13:44 [1, 78, :11]
FS -- Bland 56 interception return (Whitrock kick), 8:37
B -- Blue 66 pass from Cosh (Rawlings kick), 3:55 [3, 71, 1:16]
B -- FG Rawlings 19, 6:23 [4, 1, 1:17]
B -- Martinez 60 blocked field goal return (Rawlings kick), :09
B -- Blue 40 pass from Cosh (Rawlings kick), 3:57 [4, 66, :59]
B -- Thomas 39 run (Rawlins kick), :20 [7, 80, 2:47]
B -- Hallman 19 pass from Cosh (kick blocked), 7:41 [8, 50, 4:35]
B -- Sanders 33 interception return (Rawlings kick), 6:49
B -- FG Rawlings 22, 5:10 [7, 32, 1:33]
B -- Suggs 18 run (kick failed), 4:00 [2, 29, :33]
RUSHING: Fort Scott -- Hagan 28-74, Jordan 7-23, Cage 1-0, Dangerfield 2-minus 1. Butler -- Smith 14-133, Thomas 15-88, Suggs 5-49, Allen 4-27, team 1-minus 1, Cosh 5-minus 19.
PASSING: Fort Scott -- Morrison 2-3-0-88, Jordan 11-29-2-103. Butler -- Cosh 17-31-2-259, Smith 0-1-0-0, Harrison 0-3-0-0.
RECEIVING: Fort Scott -- Dangerfield 4-98, Ward 3-42, Hagan 2-8, Rooks 1-33, McPhaull 1-12, Patterson 1-0, Ellis 1-minus 2. Butler -- Hurla 5-68, Fields 4-51, Blue 3-128, Everett 2-2, Hallman 1-19, Elliott 1-minus 2, Smith 1-minus 7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Fort Scott -- Whitrock 36 (blocked), 26 (blocked).