McMillian’s career day on the ground, Grizzly defense leads 11th-ranked Butler to road win at NEO

McMillian’s career day on the ground, Grizzly defense leads 11th-ranked Butler to road win at NEO

MIAMI, Okla. – Butler sophomore running back Jaisean McMillian rumbled for 144 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and the Grizzly defense held Northeastern Oklahoma A&M to 148 total yards in a 32-7 Grizzly win at Red Robertson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

McMillian (Mobile, Ala.) rushed for 144 yards on 15 carries, a 9.6 yards per carry average, to go with two touchdowns, all career-highs. Butler (3-1) rushed for 242 total yards on the day, only the second time they have eclipsed 100 rushing yards as a team this season with the other being week three in the win over Independence with 122 rushing yards.

The Grizzlies moved to 3-1 overall this season with the non-conference win over the Norsemen. They turn their attention back to KJCCC play as the No. 1 ranked Hutchinson Blue Dragons travel to El Dorado on Saturday, Sept. 30 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The game serves as longtime Butler assistant coach Steve Braet's induction into the Butler Athletics Hall of Fame as well as the 20-year reunion for the 2003 national championship winning football team. Braet's induction will begin at 6:30 p.m. from the stadium.

The Grizzlies got the scoring started in Miami on their opening 75-yard drive that was capped off by a 19-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore quarterback Tanner Murray (Houston, Texas). Murray finished the day 10-of-19 in the air for 128 yards and an interception. He rushed twice for 25 yards and the touchdown.

The next points came courtesy of freshman kicker Aiden Battle (Leavenworth) in the second quarter as he booted a 44-yard field goal through the uprights to make it 10-0. Battle had a career day as he was 3-3 on field goals as well as knocking through all three extra points. The 44-yard field goal was his career-high.

NEO scored its first point of the season later in the second quarter when quarterback Bryce Bodkin rushed in a one-yard touchdown to make it 10-7. It would be the only scoring the Norsemen did on Saturday.

Battle nailed a 39-yard field goal to make it 13-7 later on the quarter. Following that, Butler made it 15-7 when the NEO center snapped the ball over Bodkin's head deep in their own territory. He swatted it out of the back of the endzone to avoid Grizzly sophomore defensive lineman Hiram Stready (St. Matthews, SC) from recovering it for a touchdown as he was in hot pursuit. Butler led 15-7 going into halftime.

Butler forced an NEO punt on the first possession of the second half. Following that, McMillian raced his way for a 57-yard touchdown to make it 22-7 in favor of Butler. McMillian would later add his second touchdown, this one a five-yard score, to put the Grizzlies ahead 29-7 late in the third quarter.

Battle knocked in a 22-yard field goal to make it 32-7 in the fourth quarter, the only points by either team in the period.

Sophomore running back Vinny Smith (Manhattan) carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards with a long of 11 as well as adding a 22-yard reception. Freshman wide receiver Justin Stephens (Maize) led the way for the pass catchers with five receptions and 74 yards. Freshmen punter Chevy Edwards (Melbourne, Victoria) had four punts, averaging 43.0 yards per punt with two falling inside the 20-yard line. Freshman wide receiver Dominick Foster (Warren, OH) had a 35-yard kickoff return, his second return of over 30 yards this season after he had a kick return for 46 yards in the win over Highland.

Defensively, four Grizzlies led the way with four tackles a piece. Sophomore defensive lineman Malcolm Alcorn Crowder (Whitman, Mass.) had two tackles for loss including a sack while sophomore linebacker Armahn Hale (Akron, OH) recovered a fumble that Stready forced. The Grizzly defense allowed just 46 passing yards and 102 rushing yards while holding NEO to 3-of-13 (23%) on third downs.