The No. 2-ranked Butler football team rolled to a 72-12 win at Dodge City on Saturday, easily posting the most points ever by a Troy Morrell-coached team in a season opener.
The Grizzlies scored 21 points in the first quarter and 28 points in the third quarter on their way to a 10-touchdown evening. Butler scored in all three phases, getting eight touchdowns from the offense, two touchdowns from the defense and a blocked extra point that was returned for a two more points by the special teams.
Butler scored on its first possession on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Billy Cosh to Dreamius Smith less than four minutes into the contest. Dodge City answered with a 69-yard touchdown pass of its own from Logan Singhisen to Ervin Swonger, but the extra point kick was blocked, making the score 7-6.
Butler then went on to score the next 56 points in the contest, starting with a 67-yard pass from Cosh to a wide open Javess Blue. A 38-yard interception return for a touchdown by Torrell Saffold made the score 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Just one touchdown was scored in the second quarter, that coming on a 7-yard run by Dreamius Smith.
Butler's first touchdown in the third quarter was another defensive score, as Max Martinez intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards to the end zone. Dreamius Smith scored his third touchdown of the game, this one on an impressive 55-yard run down the right sideline. Fullback Tyrell Everett scored on a 1-yard plunge and Billy Cosh capped his night with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Thomas.
Reserve quarterback Tyler Harrison scored Butler's first touchdown of the fourth quarter on a one-yard keeper that made the score 63-6.
The Grizzlies appeared to be done with the scoring, but after Dodge City scored a touchdown in the waning moments of the contest, the extra point was blocked. Defensive lineman Tim McGaha scooped up the ball and returned it the length of the field for two points.
The final score came as the Grizzlies were trying to run out the clock. Running back Ty Suggs, however, burst through a big hole on the right side of the line of scrimmage and ran 74 yards untouched to the end zone to cap the scoring.
Individually, Billy Cosh finished the night completing 20 of 27 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Dreamius Smith ran 12 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns and also caught four passes for 71 yards and another touchdown. Javess Blue was Butler's leading receiver with five catches for 100 yards and a score.
The 72 points more than doubles Butler's previous high output in a season opener under Troy Morrell, which had been a 32-10 win over Trinity Valley (Texas) in 2004. This is the first time in Morrell's 13-year head coaching tenure that the Grizzlies had played a Jayhawk Conference school in a season opener. Previously the Grizzlies had played teams from Oklahoma or Texas to start the season.
Butler will play a Texas team next weekend when the Grizzlies make their debut in the new BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in El Dorado against No. 5-ranked Blinn.