Butler Edges Trinity Valley in Opener

The #3 Butler Grizzlies opened their 2005 season with a solid 26-17 win over the #15 Trinity Valley Cardinals, Saturday night in El Dorado. Missed opportunities and missed tackles led to the narrow margin of victory. The Grizzlies (1-0) started slowly as a turnover led to a TVCC field goal midway through the 1st quarter putting the Cardinals up 3-0.

Butler responded with a 5 play 66 yard drive capped off by QB Paul Eck's (Mississippi bounceback) first collegiate touchdown pass of the season.  Eck connected with freshman WR Broderick Hunter from 45 yards out to give BCC at 6-3 advantage with 5:22 to go in the first quarter.  The Cardinals struck quickly going 80 yards on 3 plays in just over a minute as RB Eric Ransom sprung loose for a 64 yard touchdown run to give Trinity a 10-6 lead. The Grizzlies were forced to punt on their next possession but a turnover by the return man set Butler up with a first and goal from the TVCC 8-yard line.  Sophomore RB Ryan Torain covered the 8 yards on the next play leaping into the endzone,  Paletta added the extra point to give the Grizzlies 13-10 lead.

Trinity would close the scoring in the first half with their last touchdown of the game.  Butler's final first half drive would stall at the Cardinal's 1-yard line so the Grizzlies trailed 17-13 at intermission. Some stout Butler defense and a couple of Paletta field goals would give the Grizzlies a slim 19-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. The combination of Paul Eck to Broderick Hunter would strike again to extend the BCC lead to 26-17.  Eck hit Hunter on a 12-yard scoring pass with 11:00 to go in the 4th quarter to account for the final scoring margin.

After a shaky first half the Grizzlies "Craz Dawgs" defense held the Cardinals to only 91 yards of total offense on 6 possessions and no touchdowns in the final 2 quarters.  Sophomore FS Toddrick Verdell led the Grizzlies with 8 total tackles, a fumble recovery and 2 pass break-ups. Sophomore LB Jonathon Reese recorded 8 tackles (7 UA & 1A) and had 2 QB sacks and caused a fumble.  Sophomore CB Blake Bueltel collected 5 tackles and had an interception return of 45 yards.

The BUCO offense was led by freshman QB Paul Eck, who was a solid 12 of 25 for 215 yards and 2 touchdown passes in his first collegiate start. Freshman WR Broderick Hunter 4 passes for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore WR Anthony Parks caught 3 passes for 94 yards.  The Butler running games was led by a pair of sophomore running backs. Ryan Torain carried the ball 18 times for 80 yards and a touchdown while Kenny Wilson had 63 yards on 11 carries. The 426 yards of offense was assisted by a pair of sophomore OL in Mike Davidson and OT Sherrone Moore. While Moore graded out at 88% it was Davidson graded out at 91% and held All-American candidate DT Freddie Barnett (Arkansas signee out of HS) to one tackle.

The Grizzlies open Jayhawk conference play this weekend as the Dodge City Conquistadors (1-0) come to El Dorado fresh off a huge win over Hutchinson, 55-38.

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