The Butler football team pulled away in the second half to defeat Coffeyville by a final score of 45-13 on Saturday at the BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, the 22nd consecutive victory for Butler over its archrival.
Butler hasn't lost to Coffeyville since a 35-7 loss to the Red Ravens in 1997. Butler has beaten Coffeyville in each of the last 15 regular season games and also seven times in the Region VI playoffs since then.
The win also gives the Grizzlies, ranked No. 2 in the latest NJCAA poll, an 8-0 record including a 6-0 mark in Jayhawk Conference play. Butler will meet Hutchinson, also 6-0 in conference, next week at 7 p.m. at Gowans Stadium to determine the conference championship.
The Grizzlies scored first on a 30-yard run by Dreamius Smith to take a 7-0 lead. Coffeyville promptly answered with a 16-yard pass from quarterback A.J. Derby to Justice Berry for a touchdown, but the extra point was missed, making the score 7-6.
Butler went ahead 14-6 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Derrick Thomas, but once again Coffeyville had an answer, this time on a six-yard pass from Derby to Dominique Reed that made the score 14-13.
The Grizzlies regained momentum on a fourth-down play midway through the second quarter. Facing fourth and 15 deep in their own territory, punter Ty Suggs sprinted up the right side of the field for 50 yards, picking up a first down.
One play later, Billy Cosh threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Steven Walker, and the Grizzlies led 21-13.
The Grizzlies would add a 32-yard field goal by Robert Rawlings on the final play of the first half and led 24-13 at the break.
The second half would be all Butler. The Grizzlies got a three-yard touchdown run from Derrick Thomas to make it a 31-13 game and then Billy Cosh and Javess Blue connected for two more touchdowns, one from 11 yards out and the other from 31 yards out, for the final margin.
Cosh completed 37 of 52 passing attempts for 316 yards in the game, his top passing performance of the season. Javess Blue caught 16 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Dreamius Smith had two carries for 51 yards and a touchdown, while Derrick Thomas had 20 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns and Ty Suggs had 11 carries for 80 yards.
Defensively, Marcus Dillard led the way with two interceptions. Blake Bean had 11 tackles and Tate Omli had 10.