The Butler Grizzlies celebrated their annual Homecoming event Saturday night with a 63-3 rout of the Dodge City Conquistadors at Galen Blackmore Stadium with the key word for the home squad being “finish”.


The Butler Grizzlies celebrated their annual Homecoming event Saturday night with a 63-3 rout of the Dodge City Conquistadors at Galen Blackmore Stadium with the key word for the home squad being “finish”.
From the first to the last play, the Grizzlies displayed a physical dominance that eventually wore down the Conqs in the Jayhawk Conference showdown.
“We finish strong and that’s what we set out to do in this game is to finish every play strong,” said Butler coach Troy Morrell. “I felt like we did that sometimes in the first half, but not consistently. I think we did a better job of that in the second half.”
The Grizzlies (5-0, 3-0) scored early and often and used almost every way to take advantage of the outmatched Dodge City squad including three special team miscues by the Conqs that eventually turned into Butler touchdowns; and the running game came together through a soggy field.
“One of our other goals was to have some consistency in our running game,” Morrell said. “Our offensive line did a good job of creating some seams and our backs did a good job of pushing up in there and not letting one guy make the tackle.
“And you have to tip your hat off to the special teams. They gave us some points and created some momentum on the field.”
The Conqs (0-4, 0-3) got so demoralized with how the special teams and their offense dropping more than a dozen passes in the first three quarter that the defense succumbed to its exhaustion as the Grizzlies scored four touchdowns in eight snaps of the ball in the final stanza.
The Grizzlies’ ground game gained 337 yards against the Conqs’ defense with 203 coming in the final quarter. Jasper Sanders carried the ball five for 154 yards and two touchdowns for Butler in the final stanza, while Levi Kindel scored on short-yard touchdowns in both of his touches of the ball.
Ben Axon and former Dodge City High star Jace Banner also scored rushing touchdowns for the win.
“We watched the film all during the week, so we knew what we were going to do up front,” said Axon, who gained 68 yards on the night. “We needed to get everybody in the rotation so it benefits the rest of the team. We had a lot of work and got the guys in there.
“It came out today wanting to establish the run with the rain and the wind that came. We were able to do that today.”
Butler quarterback Zach Mettenberger was 14-of-23 for 184 yards and two touchdown passes as the Grizzlies finished with 528 total yards. Mettenberger threw a 22-yard pass to Brett Soft in the opening quarter and a tipped 19-yard pass to Marcus Kennard in the third period.
Dodge City had a chance to tie or take the lead midway through the first half after DeRahn Williams fumbled the ball at the Grizzlies 8. The Butler defense clamped down and the Conqs had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by to cut their deficit to 6-3.
Kindel scored one of his touchdown a play after Kendall Wren returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to the Dodge City 1. Butler’s special team blocked a punt early in the second quarter and Tyrrell Miller picked it up at the 10 and scored to make the score 20-3 at halftime.
The Grizzlies gave up only 168 total yards of offense on the night. Dodge City quarterback Bryan Parnes was able to keep from being sacked by the Grizzlies’ defense, but he finished 12-of-36 for 88 yards in the game. Parnes had the bad luck of having more than a dozen passes dropped by his receivers.
The next action for the Grizzlies will be next Saturday when they travel to Garden City for a matchup with the Broncbusters with the kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.