Butler jumped out to an early 6-0 behind the running of freshman Tailback Brandon Barnett and the passing of sophomore QB Paul Eck…the 8 play drive ended with a 7 yard TD run by Barnett. The game stayed that way until midway through the 2nd quarter when a punt snap was mishandled, giving the Broncbusters a first and goal inside the 1 yard line…it was the first, and still the only, time in 2 games that an opposing offense has been inside the Grizzly 35 yard line…the ensuing 1 yard TD run was the first, and only, score given up by the Grizzly defense this season.
Butler showed what kind of moxie this team has and responded immediately with their own scoring drive, however the Grizzlies scoring drive covered not one, but 65 yards in 10 plays, giving them a 12-7 lead…the 2 point conversion failed, but the Grizzlies never looked back and never trailed again. The final 24 yards of the drive were covered by a perfectly thrown ball from Eck, to sophomore WR Quinn Cunningham.
The first half ended with the Grizzlies leading 12-7, but the scoreboard alone did not tell the whole story…the Grizzlies held a 2 to 1 margin in plays, as well as a 151 to 28 edge in total yards…of the Broncbuster's 4 first half first downs…2 of them were by penalty.
The 2nd half began with a bang for Butler…on the 3rd play of the half, Eck connected with sophomore WR Wallace Franklin for a spectacular 54 yard TD…however, back at the line of scrimmage was an ugly yellow penalty flag…the TD was called back and the Grizzlies eventually ended the drive with a punt…however, the negated TD was a foreshadowing of things to come…it was not the only time that Butler would strike for 6 during the 3rd quarter…the Grizzly defense continued to play at chaos tempo…forcing a quick 3 and out, and then on the next Garden possession sophomore LB David McDowell stripped the ball from a Buster receiver…the fumble was recovered by sophomore DE Daniel Howard, and from there the Grizzlies were in business. It took Butler 8 plays to move the ball 46 yards. Eck once again connected with Matt Wykes, this time for 12 yards and a Grizzly TD…Wykes ran a beautiful double-move route, leaving the Garden CB grabbing for air and Eck threw a perfectly catchable ball. The completion was Eck's 3rd TD pass of the young season. Following another Broncbuster punt, the Grizzly air corps was ready to take flight again…Eck and WR Wallace Franklin hooked it up again, this time for 83 yards and another Butler TD and just like that Butler took a 26-7 lead into the 4th quarter. The completion not only showcased the speed of Wallace Franklin, who ran right past the Garden DB's, but also the arm strength of Paul Eck, who hit an extended Franklin in stride, as he raced alone towards the endzone. Up front, the big uglies were led by sophomores Chet Hartley and Scott Haverkamp…Hartley graded out at 95% and Haverkamp at 87%, as they led an offensive line that dominated the Broncbuster defensive front, which was regarded by many as the best in the nation.
The offensive line provided a solid pocket of protection for Eck and cleared the way for Grizzly RB's all night long…not to be outdone, sophomore TE Rodney Armstrong graded out at 93% and in addition to supplying bone-jarring blocks all night long, Armstrong hauled in a crucial 4th down pass and carried it deep into Garden territory…the completion set up Butler's final touchdown of the night….it was Eck's 3rd TD pass of the young season.
The Craz Dawgs continued to swarm the field throughout the second half, attacking and confusing the Garden City offense all night long. The Buster's were unable to develop any type of rhythm and they did not cross the Butler 35 yard line. After another Grizzly stop, sophomore QB Clint Ellis led an 8 play 38 yard scoring drive, which ended with a Joe Paletta field goal, making the score 29-7.
The next Garden City drive ended with freshman Free Safety JD Douglas' first career interception…and one series later, the game ended for the Broncbusters pretty much the way it started…with 3 plays and a punt…after sophomore LB Tommy Phelps' tackle for loss and 2 incomplete passes, the game was in-hand.
Once again Paul Eck did a great job managing the game and directing the Grizzly attack…Paul was 18-34 passing, for 284 yards, 3 TD's, and no interceptions. Eck's QB rating through the first 2 games is an impressive 140.17…the receivers were led by Wykes and Franklin, who each had 6 receptions and a TD…Franklin had the big 83 yard hook up that spelled the beginning of the end for the Broncbusters. Quinn Cunningham added 4 catches and TD, giving him 2 TD receptions for the season. Brandon Barnett led the rushing attack, with 47 yards, including a 7 yard TD run, but it was sophomore RB Darrin Seiwert who had the run of the night, an impressive 30 yard run, during which he shook off 6 would-be tacklers, and drug another 3 before eventually going down. The Grizzlies were 3-4 in redzone opportunities (now 7-8 on the year) and were 9-18 on third downs.
On defense the Grizzlies flew around all night long, unleashing Chaos Tempo on the unsuspecting Broncbusters.…the Butler D caused 2 more turnovers, and limited the high scoring, explosive Garden City offense to 172 yards. On "money downs" Garden City was 3-14 and never once moved the ball inside the Butler 35 yard line. Once again, the defense was led by Austin Panter, who had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 QB hurry. Linebacker David McDowell was also very active on defense…the sophomore recorded 9 tackles and 1 QB hurry. Sophomore CB Kendrick Harper was solid on the edge with 7 tackles and 2 pass break-ups and provided blanket coverage all night long. Freshman Free Safety JD Douglas did not skip a beat from last week, adding 5 tackles, one interception, one tackle for loss, one QB hurry and one pass break up to the defensive effort! The front was led by sophomore DE Chris Lyle and freshman DT Tyler Jessen…Chris had 6 tackles and a sack and Tyler had 6 tackles and led an interior that held Garden City to 30 yards rushing.
It was another good victory for the Grizzlies, over an extremely talented, confident and well coached opponent, who will surely be ranked highly at season's end…Butler showed marked improvement from week 1 to week 2 and will need more of the same this week, as they face the once beaten Dodge City Conquistadors…Dodge once again has an explosive offense and a very stingy defense. Last year an underdog Conquistador team ended Butler's 4 year conference win streak, as well as their 6 year home conference win streak. Stay tuned…this has all the makings of another fantastic football game!