Butler Grizzlies win third straight game with an impressive 70-point blow out
EL DORADO, Kansas — With the way Kansas scared Oklahoma, the Butler Grizzlies had every reason in the world to be locked into this one and boy were they locked in.
Butler rattled off 45 consecutive points before Fort Scott added a field goal at the end of the half. That was more than enough for the Grizzlies, as they ran off with the 73-3 win on Saturday night.
The win improves Butler to 5-2 on the year and secures them no worse than fourth in the Jayhawk with only one week to play.
Butler's offense has been on fire the last couple of weeks, scoring 41, 86 and now 73 points since they were held to 21 against Coffeyville. They've done it with high efficiency, too. They've scored on 11 of 12 possessions. They punted only once.
"We've limited turnovers," Butler head coach Tim Schaffner said. "We're taking care of the ball and it's obvious."
With a plethora of running backs on display, Butler punished the Fort Scott front seven. Four different players had at least 50 yards rushing. Paris Brown, who didn't start seeing significant time until two weeks ago stepped up, leading Butler with two scores and 78 yards. Butler will need more of that from Brown as KJ Shankle is out for some time with a foot injury.
It didn't matter, though, whether Butler was running or throwing. The Grizzlies quarterbacks combined for 20 of 32 passing for 399 yards, including some dagger strikes to four different receivers for touchdowns.
In all, Butler had 746 yards of total offense on the night. That's only 119 yards off the school record.
It's the first time Butler has scored 50 or more points in back-to-back games since 2015, when they scored 52 on Hutch and 70 on Fort Scott. The 200 points Butler has scored over the last three games are the most in a stretch since 2012, when Butler scored 60 on Fort Scott, 84 on Independence and 61 on Highland (205).
It's the fourth time Butler has scored 70 or more against Fort Scott and it's the 11th time they've scored 50 or more against the Greyhounds (1-7)
Sophomore Gavin Screws was especially impressive for Butler and continues to ride a wave of efficiency this season he didn't have last season. He was 12 of 20 for two touchdowns and 217 yards. He didn't turn the ball over and made plays with his feet, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter.
"He's just executing," Schaffner said. "It's not like he's doing anything superhuman but he's making the right read and right check. It also helps when you can turn around and hand it to six guys."
Screws agrees and understands the task at hand.
"I felt like last year I tried to do a little too much," Screws said. "This year, I was trying to do it because we asked me to be efficient, not turn the ball over, which I think I've done a little better job that past few weeks."
During their three-game winning streak, there has only been one turnover and it's allowed the defense to fire off.
"Let's help the offense and offense help us back," Jaxon Gibbs said. "What's what we're counting on."
Fort Scott struggled to move the ball and resulted to quick kicks on fourth down, trying to catch Butler unprepared, something that was was the least of the concern for Butler. They were able to attack the Fort Scott offense with reckless abandon and made them pay.
Fort Scott had 121 yards of offense and turned it over once, showing how either good Butler's defense is or how bad the offense at Fort Scott has divulged.
The win sets up a seeding match up with Garden City next week out in Western Kansas. While Garden City hasn't been a welcoming place for Butler over the last few seasons, as they haven't won there since 2014, Butler will need to bring the same type of intensity and offensive explosiveness they've had over the last three weeks.
"We're ready," Gibbs said. "We've been counted out a lot of the times and we're ready to come back."
Garden City dismantled previously unbeaten Coffeyville 33-33 on the road to set up the match up. If Butler wins, they'll host Dodge City in the first round of the KJCCC playoffs on Nov. 7. A loss and Butler will host Hutchinson on the same date.
"They know what's been waiting at the end of the rainbow, so to speak," Schaffner said. "We can address it for the first time but they know what's waiting with this game."