The No. 4-ranked Butler Grizzlies were stunned at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on Saturday, falling 23-21 to visiting Highland after the Scotties scored the go-ahead with eight seconds to play in the game.
The loss is the first for Butler in a home game since 2005 and the first-ever loss for the Grizzlies in 11 games played in the new stadium.
The game-winning score came on a 5-yard pass from Brandon Bergeron to Desmond McGee in the back corner of the end zone. It capped a game in which Highland built a 17-0 lead and then saw Butler come all the way back to lead 21-17 late in the contest before the late-game dramatics.
Butler fell behind early as Highland scored on a 3-yard run by Marlon Mitchell with 2:45 left to go in the first quarter. The Scotties added a 31-yard field goal with 1:31 to go in the first half and Highland led 10-0 at the break. It is the second time this season the Grizzlies have been held scoreless in the first half.
Highland added to its lead early in the second half. The Scotties intercepted a short Butler pass and returned the ball deep into Grizzlies territory. One play later, Highland's Brandon Peters cashed in a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 17-0.
The Grizzlies eventually responded. Butler kept the ball on the ground and pounded the Highland defense, going 59 yards in 11 plays capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Miles Thomas to make it 17-7.
Butler got the ball back promptly on a 35-yard interception return by Tyler Hayes. Two plays later, Chris Carson ran in from two yards out to make it 17-14.
Butler would take advantage of another interception in the fourth quarter and score another touchdown on a four-yard run by Chris Carson to give Butler its first lead at 21-17 with 8:55 to go in the game.
Butler had the momentum and seemingly had the game in control, especially after Bergeron was sacked by Nick Cook and Ulric Jones and fumbled near midfield with 5:02 to go.
Butler, though, would fumble the ball back to Highland with 3:21 to play. The Scotties then embarked on their game-winning drive.
Butler falls to 4-1 overall, 3-1 in Jayhawk Conference play. Highland improves to 3-2 overall, 2-1 in conference play. The Grizzlies are off this weekend and will travel to Garden City for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 5.