Butler Grizzlies 'burn it down' in 41-7 win over Highland Scotties

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
AJ King (left) and Darius Lassiter (right) celebrate a touchdown on Saturday, Oct. 9 in Highland, Kansas. Lassiter finished with five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.

HIGHLAND, Kansas — The Butler Grizzlies trailed Highland 7-0 in the first 76 seconds of the game. That would be the last big play for Highland as the Butler defense flexed for one of their best games of the season, holding the Scotties scoreless the remainder of the way. 

Butler in turn, scored 41 consecutive points as the Grizzlies rolled to a 41-7 victory over the Highland Scotties. 

It's almost as if Butler was burning it down; bringing marauder mentality they had against Hutch earlier this season.

That first drive, much like last week against Coffeyville, showed Butler respond in a different way. They marched seven plays in three minutes to put the game back even at 7-each.

Butler is now 3-2 on the season. 

It was a mix of multiple players — and quarterbacks — that saw explosive plays turn into points. 

"It was an all around team win today," Butler head coach Tim Schaffner said. "We have some stuff to work on but we are really happy with how things turned out today."

KJ Shankle had a 2-yard score on Butler's next possession to give the Grizzlies the g-ahead score.

They would never trail again. 

After taking a 20-7 lead into the break, Butler would break it open in the third with three touchdowns, including Knight's first touchdown pass as a Grizzly. He found Daevon Robinson for the 24-yard touchdown pass on the first drive coming out of halftime. 

"That's a good team and they're getting better," Falley said. 

Paris Brown cutback, leaving two Scotties diving at his feet as he scampered into the end zone for the 41-7 lead with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter. 

It's a confidence builder Butler has needed after playing a brutal schedule to start the season. They have played three ranked teams in their first four games, including the defending national champions, where Butler won 43-23. 

"Building confidence in games like this are really important," Butler Head coach Tim Schaffner said. "It's easy for these games to go side ways if you're not ready."

Butler center Seth Falley agreed.

"These games and the next two weeks are trap games," Falley said. "We have to be ready to go every game."

Jacob Knight, a transfer from James Madison, saw action for the first time this season as Butler experimented with two quarterbacks against a Highland defense that struggled to stop the wind, let alone the offense.

Between Screws and Knight, the Grizzlies had over 200 yards passing and two touchdowns. The best part? No turnovers. 

"We know he's [Jacob Knight] has worked really hard and he earned the reps he got today," Schaffner said. "He'll get his chances over the next couple of weeks"

Butler had six different players score a touchdown, providing lethal offensive attack from across the field. Lassiter, one of the NJCAA's leaders in touchdown receptions, caught another, giving him seven on the season, second in the NJCAA.

"When we're playing together as a unit, we're really tough to beat," Falley said. 

Defensively, Butler forced turnovers and hit hard, limiting what the Scotties could do all game. While Highland (1-4) ran multiple quarterbacks at the Grizzlies, they were ready, stopping the read option and forcing Highland to throw into tough situations. 

"We've been really focusing and working on our consistency in practices," Bralen Taylor said. "Our goal this week was to fly around in practice, everybody do their job and know your assignment. We did that today."

The Grizzlies defense came in allowing 363.4 yards per game, limiting Highland to only 137 on the afternoon, including less than 70 in each half. 

"We need to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time," Taylor said. "We need to keep doing all the little things right, paying attention to the details throughout the week. It's doing whatever you got to do to be ready for each day."

It should get easier for Butler as they will host a non-NJCAA team, McDougle Prep Institute on Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. It's a good chance to hone in one some things that are not working. Then, they hop back into conference play the following week. 

"You have to make sure that you set the tone," Falley said. "You have to go out and give no doubt that you are the better team on the field, that's what we have to do."

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.