Butler to play Trinity Valley in Citizen's Bank Bowl

Butler to play Trinity Valley in Citizen's Bank Bowl

PITTSBURG, Kan. – For the second year in a row, the Butler Grizzlies will finish their season with an appearance in the Citizen's Bank Bowl at Carnie Smith Stadium – facing an opponent they used to play to start their seasons in the early-2000s.

The Grizzlies, ranked third nationally in the final NJCAA poll of the regular season, are 10-1 and won successfully defended their Jayhawk Conference and Region VI championships this season. They will face a Trinity Valley team that is ranked 10th nationally after an 8-2 regular season that saw them finish second in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.

The game will be played on Sunday, Dec. 4 with a 1 p.m. kickoff.

"We are incredibly excited about the match-up for our bowl game," said Dean Mann, owner and chairman of Citizens Bank. "Butler and Trinity Valley are high-caliber teams, and we are proud to bring such a great event to Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas. The first two years of the bowl provided a tremendous opportunity for area football fans to see the best of what junior college football has to offer, and this year will follow that tradition."

Both teams have a history of national championships. Butler has won six national titles, the most recent being back-to-back crowns in 2007 and 2008. Butler is the only program in NJCAA history to twice win back-to-back, as the Grizzlies also pulled the feat in 1998 and 1999. Trinity Valley won national championships in 1994 and 1997.

Butler and Trinity Valley have played each other four times, with the game being each team's season opener in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Butler lost the first meeting, 14-13, at Galen Blackmore Stadium – one of only two games Troy Morrell's teams have ever lost in El Dorado.

Butler won the next three meetings – 30-22 in Athens in 2003, 32-10 in Athens in 2004 and 26-17 in El Dorado in 2005.

The two teams had two common opponents this season, each facing Navarro (Texas) and Independence. Butler lost at Navarro 23-16 in overtime in the season opener, while Trinity Valley beat Navarro 55-51 in a high-octane affair on Oct. 29 but lost to Navarro the very next week in the conference playoffs by a 42-16 score, playing without their injured starting quarterback.

Both teams easily handled Independence. Trinity Valley beat the Pirates 63-0 in their season opener, while Butler beat Indy 63-3. Trinity Valley started the season 8-0 before a 40-37 loss to then No. 1-ranked Blinn (Texas).

The game will be played at Carnie Smith Stadium (8,000), home field of the NCAA Division II power Pittsburg State.

Tickets are available at the Pittsburg State University ticket office, and through PSU's online ticketing. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students K-12 in general admission seating. Reserved club seating on both the west and east sides of the stadium is available for $15 per ticket. More information on the game can be found at www.citizensbankbowl.com.

Other Butler bowl game notes:

* This is the 13th time in the past 14 years Butler has played in a postseason bowl game. Overall, this will be the 24th bowl game in school. Butler is 13-10 all time in bowl games, including three straight wins before falling last year by a 13-12 score to Navarro (Texas) in the national championship game.

* This will be the fifth time Butler has played in a bowl game in the state of Kansas. The previous bowl games were the 1981 Rodeo Bowl in Arkansas City, the 2004 and 2006 Dalton Defenders Bowls held in Coffeyville and last year's Citizen's Bank Bowl. Butler is 2-2 in those games, beating NEO for a national championship in 1981, losing a national championship game to Pearl River (Miss.) in 2004, beating Vermilion (Minn.) in 2006 and losing a national championship game last year to Navarro.

* Butler coach Troy Morrell is 5-5 in bowl games, having led the Grizzlies to the postseason in 11 of his 12 seasons as head coach. He has an overall record of 125-16.

* This is the first bowl appearance for Trinity Valley since 2005, but the Cardinals have won seven straight bowl games, dating back to the 1988 Texas JUCO Shrine Bowl in which Trinity Valley handled Hinds (MS) by a 66-35 score.

* Trinity Valley is 1-1 against Kansas teams in bowl games, losing to Coffeyville in the 1984 Jayhawk Bowl and defeating Garden City in the 1997 Red River Bowl, which served as the national title game that year.

* Butler is 2-1 against Texas teams in bowl games, defeating Ranger 21-11 in the 1983 Roaring Ranger Bowl and Tyler 27-14 in the 1984 Garland Shrine Bowl while losing to Blinn 35-14 in the 1987 Texas Classic Bowl.

* This is the third Citizen's Bank Bowl. The first two years, the games were sanctioned as the NJCAA National Championship game, with Blinn beating Fort Scott for the title in 2009 and Navarro edging Butler last year. Past games have featured notable football talent, including Heisman Trophy winner and current NFL quarterback Cam Newton (Blinn), and Nebraska Husker standout Lavonte David (Fort Scott). Five players from last year's Butler team went on to programs in Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conferences, including Zach Mettenberger at LSU, Marcus Kennard at Texas Tech and Cornellius Carradine at Florida State.

Butler's bowl appearances:
1951 Coffey Bowl (Coffeyville) Butler 12, Coffeyville 9
1981 Rodeo Bowl (Arkansas City) * Butler 21, NE Oklahoma A&M 14
1983 Roaring Ranger Bowl (Ranger, Texas) Butler 21, Ranger (TX) 11
1984 Garland Shrine Bowl (Garland, Texas) Butler 27, Tyler (TX) 14
1985 Valley of the Sun Bowl (Phoenix, Ariz.) Phoenix (AZ) 43, Butler 13
1986 Dixie Rotary Bowl (St. George, Utah) Dixie State (UT) 36, Butler 33
1987 Texas Classic (Tyler, Texas) Blinn (TX) 35, Butler 14
1989 R.C. Cola Bowl (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Butler 24, Iowa Central 0
1990 East Bowl (Johnson City, Tenn.) Butler 23, Lee's McRae (TN) 8
1993 Mineral Water Bowl (Excelsior Springs, Mo.) NE Oklahoma A&M 52, Butler 50
1996 Valley of the Sun Bowl (Phoenix, Ariz.) Glendale (AZ) 45, Butler 26
1998 Real Dairy Bowl (Pocatello, Idaho) * Butler 22, Ricks (ID) 18
1999 Dixie Rotary Bowl (St. George, Utah) * Butler 49, Dixie State (UT) 35
2000 Cannon Empire Bowl (Garden City, NY) Butler 30, Nassau (NY) 20
2001 Golden Isles Bowl (New Brunswick, Ga.) * Georgia Military 31, Butler 19
2002 Dixie Rotary Bowl (St. George, Utah) Dixie State 31 (UT), Butler 18
2003 Dixie Rotary Bowl (St. George, Utah) * Butler 14, Dixie State (UT) 10
2004 Dalton Defender's Bowl (Coffeyville) * Pearl River (MS) 35, Butler 14
2005 Top of the Mountains Bowl (Salt Lake City) Snow (UT) 17, Butler 14
2006 Dalton Defender's Bowl (Coffeyville) Butler 57, Vermilion (MN) 0
2007 Top of the Mountains Bowl (Salt Lake City) * Butler 56, Snow (UT) 27
2008 Top of the Mountains Bowl (Salt Lake City) * Butler 37, Snow (UT) 30, 2OT
2010 Citizen's Bank Bowl (Pittsburg) * Navarro (TX) 13, Butler 12

Trinity Valley's bowl appearances
1948 Little Oil Bowl Wharton 49, TVCC 0
1958 Industrial Bowl Del Mar (CA) 14, TVCC 12
1959 Hospitality Bowl Pearl River (MS) 30, TVCC 0
1962 Texas JUCO Bowl TVCC 30, Trinidad (CO) 13
1965 Junior Rose Bowl Fullerton (CA)20, TVCC 15
1966 Junior Rose Bowl TVCC 40, Pasadena (CA) 13
1967 NJCAA Bowl Arizona Western 20, TVCC 7
1968 Wool Bowl Grand Rapids (MI) 24, TVCC 0
1983 Garland Shrine Bowl NE Oklahoma A&M 11, TVCC 10
1984 Jayhawk Bowl Coffeyville (KS) 35, TVCC 34
1988 Texas JUCO Shrine Bowl TVCC 66, Holmes (MS) 35
1993 Real Dairy Bowl TVCC 42, Ricks (ID) 13
1994 Texas JUCO Shrine Bowl* TVCC 24, NE Oklahoma A&M 17
1997 Red River Bowl* TVCC 42, Garden City (KS) 16
1999 Red River Bowl TVCC 48, Navarro (TX) 14
2002 Heart of Texas Bowl TVCC 33, Jones (MS) 22
2005 Pilgrim's Pride Bowl TVCC 24, Northeast Mississippi 14