Butler Stays Undefeated, Earns Playoff Bid

Staying on top is often harder than getting to the top.  The top-ranked Butler Grizzlies (7-0) wanted to dispatch any ideas the Independence Pirates may have had for an upset early in the contest.  BCCC Freshman RB Kenny Wilson started the game with a bang as he returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for the first of nine Grizzly touchdowns on the night. 

The kickoff return led to a barrage of 34 first quarter points and a convincing 65-2 Jayhawk conference win.

The first quarter was highlighted by a pair of touchdown passes by sophomore QB Zac Taylor. The first being a 12-yard scoring strike to WR Anthony Parks, the second one was a 49 yard bomb connecting with sophomore WR Brian Murph.  Freshmen tailbacks Ryan Torain (SM Northwest) and Kenny Wilson (Liberal) also landed a 1-2 punch in the first as each scored on impressive runs.  Torain zigzagged 16 yards for the Grizzlies second touchdown of the game, whereas Wilson burst 62 yards around left end to score BCCC's fifth touchdown of the first quarter.  Big plays helped the Grizzly cause in the second quarter.  Soph. WR Matt Jacobsen hauled in Taylor's third touchdown pass of the night, a 31-yard toss to put the Grizzlies up 40-0 early in the second quarter.  Fr. Ryan Torain scored his second TD of the night as he outraced the Pirates 79 yards to paydirt just before halftime giving BCCC the 47-0 halftime advantage.  The reserves got some much needed playing time in the second half and outscored the Pirates 18-2 over the final two quarters for the final 65-2 margin.

Butler scored on nine of its fourteen drives during the game and outgained the Pirates by 360 yards (507-147).  Taylor was razor sharp hitting 11 of 15 passing attempts for 207 yards and 3 touchdown passes in only two quarters of work.  Torain carried the ball 13 times for 114 yards and scored twice.  Wilson carried the ball only 6 times but for 71 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.  Murph led the receiving corps with 6 catches for 158 yards and 3 touchdown receptions.

Defensively the Grizzlies harassed the Pirates all night.  Indy managed only 147 yards of total offense including a net 26 yards rushing.  The "Craz Dawgs" caused 6 ICC turnovers (4 fumbles and 2 Int's), and had 3 QB sacks for a (-29) yards.  Sophomore DE Justin Tomerlin dominated up front with 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss (-22 yards) and 2 QB sacks (-21 yards).  Sophomore JR Webber has been the steadiest of the Grizzly linebackers and this game was no exception.  Webber had 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss (-9 yards), 1 QB sack (-4 yards) and a forced fumble.  All told, 25 different Grizzlies were in on tackles in the contest.

The win over Independence was Butler's 19th consecutive victory and assures them homefield advantage throughout the Region VI playoffs.  The Grizzlies close out the regular season on the road against Fort Scott next Saturday night.


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