Since 1998, Butler has only lost to the Coffeyville Red Ravens twice. Those two games? Both have come in the last five years. Whether the level of competition has been up to par or not, one thing is, this is a rivalry that dates back to 1929. Only Fort Scott’s head-to-head with Butler predates this one. There’s a lot of history and a lot of classic games in the series.
In the last five years, four of the five games have been decided by three point or less. Even last season, where Butler won 22-0, the score was only 7-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
Butler head coach Time Schaffner has been quoted in saying “no one knows when it started, it’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys.”
While they’ve been playing football since the a month after the stock market crashed, you can probably narrow it down to the 1980s when the rivalry really took off. Butler won their first national title in 1981. Coffeyville found their first two years later in 1983.
So, Coffeyville isn’t the same as they’ve been in the past. Their histories have gone separate ways since 1998. Butler has rolled onto this national power, becoming one of the winningest programs in NJCAA history. Coffeyville. Well, we’ll just say they’ve been relevant.
There are some spectacular game story lines, especially over the last few seasons.
Then, there are the personal ones. Current Coffeyville head coach Aaron Flores coached at Butler from 2005-2010, helping Butler win a couple of rings in the process. Schaffner was the defensive coordinator on those units, Flores the offensive lead man.
Once again, the two teams are in different directions but as you’ve seen in the past, you cannot really rely on records. In 2002, Butler the underdog, on the road against Top 10 Coffeyville. Butler rolls into Veterans Stadium, beating Coffeyville 17-14. They would later beat them for the KJCCC Championship as well, en route to a No.7 final ranking.
Butler did it again in 2003. as both teams were No-1 (Butler) and No. 2 (Coffeyville). Grizzlies escaped with a 1-point victory. Butler would win a national title that season.
In 1993 after Coffeyville beat Butler in the regular season, it was the Grizzlies turn for redemption in the KJCCC Championship game. Butler beat the Red Ravens 42-26.
Butler ended Coffeyville’s conference reign in the late 70s and early 80s. After the Red Ravens won three straight KJCCC championships, it was Butler who knocked them off in 1981. Coffeyville would return to form in 1982 and 1983.
The conference was often decided by this game. From 1975-1993, Butler or Coffeyville won a share of the conference crown. In the playoff format, Butler or Coffeyville won the championship.
The last couple of seasons the games have been close and despite both teams not being at their best, the games have been quite entertaining.
The winner may not decide the conference if either team wins. However, if Coffeyville can stun the Grizzlies, it may decide it against Butler’s favor.