The Butler Grizzlies football team, went on the road to the home of the Coffeyville Red Ravens, their historic rival and the top seed in the Jayhawk Conference playoffs and avenged an early season loss to the Ravens, winning in a rout, 48-7, at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sunday. It's the first ever time an 8 seed has knocked off the 1 seed in the KJCCC playoffs.
Butler's offensive dominance was powered by quarterback Gavin Screws, who had his best game of the season when the Grizzlies needed it most. Screws finished the day with 274 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He would lead the Grizzlies to 48 unanswered points after Coffeyville scored their first, and only, touchdown of the contest in the first quarter.
Butler dominated the Red Ravens in almost every meaningful stat. The Grizzlies outgained Coffeyville 572-175 in total yards of offense. The Grizzlies held Coffeyville to 2 of 13 on third down conversions and gave up just 11 first downs on the day. Coffeyville's Star Thomas, who averages 71 yards per game and had 227 yards of rushing when the two teams met in El Dorado last month, was held to -2 yards on just four carries. Butler gave up 248 yards on the ground in the first matchup but held the Ravens to just 30 today. They also forced a fumble and blocked a Ravens punt to set up a crucial field goal at the end of the first half to put Butler up 20-7. It was a stifling performance all around.
Offensively, Butler has been balanced all season, and they used a variety of weapons to score again today. Butler has used a committee at running back all year and they came through again. Caden Cox and Kevontae McDonald both found the end zone, and Adarius Thomas didn't score but led the team in rushing, with 86 yards on just 11 carries. AJ King starred in the receiving category, totaling 145 yards on six catches, including a 70-yard touchdown that made the game 27-7 and killed off any hope of a Ravens comeback. Darius Lassiter also tallied 53 yards on five catches including a diving catch in the end zone to put Butler on the scoreboard early.
With the emphatic win, the Grizzlies will move on to the semifinals of the playoffs and will return to Garden City next Sunday, November 14 where the winner will punch their ticket to play at Riverfront Stadium in Wichita for the KJCCC championship.
Game notes: Butler gets one game closer in the all-time series with the Red Ravens now at 45-49-2… Gavin Screws passes for four touchdowns, a career high…. For five straight games, the Butler defense has held opponents to under 100 yards rushing, giving up just 30 today…