Defense dominates in 37-0 win over Garden City

EL DORADO, Kan. – For the fourth week in a row, the Butler defense didn't allow an opponent to score on its way to a 37-0 win over Garden City on Saturday at Galen Blackmore Stadium, giving Butler its 15th consecutive win over the Broncbusters in what used to be an annual showdown to determine the Jayhawk Conference championship.

While its defense was posting another shutout, the Grizzlies took a while to light up the scoreboard. Butler missed a field goal in the first quarter and didn't score until a 71-yard pass play from Chandler Whitmer to Kendall Wrenn with 4:49 left in the second quarter.

The Grizzlies then took advantage of back-to-back fumbles by Garden City, turning the first into a 1-yard touchdown run by Cody Parmely with 2:58 left in the first half and the second into a 19-yard touchdown pass from Whitmer to Tyler Dunham with 2:15 left in the half.

In a matter of less than three minutes, the Grizzlies turned a scoreless game into a 20-0 lead that they would take into halftime.

Butler again failed to score in the third quarter, but would get a 23-yard field goal from Connor Frazell just one minutes into the fourth quarter to make it a 23-0 lead.

The Grizzlies would score two more touchdowns, one on a 22-yard pass from Whitmer to Javess Blue with 9:38 to play and the other on a 26-yard run by Dreamius Smith with 5:26 to play.

Butler's defense, meanwhile, continued to stymie Garden City. The Broncbusters never sustained a drive longer than 34 yards and had only six first downs. Butler held Garden City to 21 yards rushing on 23 carries and just 103 yards of total offense.

"Our defense was outstanding, it was won the game for us overall," Butler coach Troy Morrell said. "I was really proud of our guys. They were able to contain their offense with a mobile quarterback, a running back who has been shown to make a lot of plays and a dynamic receiver. I was proud of our guys for shutting them down."

Butler's defense has gone 16 straight quarters without allowing a touchdown. The only two touchdowns scored against Butler in the past four weeks came on a fumble returned against the Butler offense and a punt return by Dodge City against Butler's special teams. Butler has allowed just 22 yards of rushing in those four games.

The Butler offense piled up 581 yards, including a season-high 335 yards of passing by quarterback Chandler Whitmer, 123 yards of rushing by Jasper Sanders and seven receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown by receiver Kendall Wrenn.

"We moved the ball all over the field, we just were not very good in the red zone and just didn't finish," Morrell said. "That was the most frustrating thing from the offensive side."

Butler is now 5-1 on the season, 4-0 in Jayhawk Conference play. The Grizzlies will travel next week to winless Independence for a 7 p.m. kickoff.