EL DORADO, Kan. – Robert Rawlings hit a game-winning field goal in the sixth overtime period to lift Butler over visiting Hutchinson 19-16 on Saturday night at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, giving Butler the outright Jayhawk Conference championship.
The Grizzlies, ranked eighth nationally, claim their fourth-straight conference title and 12th title in the past 13 years. Butler will now be the top seed in the upcoming Region VI playoffs and will have home-field advantage throughout, starting with a game against Highland on Sunday, Nov. 3. That game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Going to overtime tied 13-13 on Saturday, Hutchinson and Butler both failed to score in the first four overtime periods. Hutchinson missed on four consecutive field goals, while Butler missed three field goals and threw an interception on a halfback pass thrown by Ty Suggs. In the fifth overtime, both kickers made field goals, pushing the game to the sixth overtime period at 16-16.
Hutchinson tried another field goal attempt, but this one was blocked by the Grizzlies, setting the stage for Rawlings' heroics. He split the uprights with a 21-yard kick, sending the Grizzlies sprinting to the middle of the field to celebrate the conference title.
Butler was only able to force overtime after overcoming a 13-0 halftime deficit. Hutchinson scored on its first possession of the game, a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Frankie Seuer. Later in the quarter, the Blue Dragons scored on a 40-yard pass from Seuer to Jabril Soloman, but the extra point hit off the upright.
Hutchinson had possession to start the second half, and the Grizzlies gained some momentum when Dominik White intercepted a pass deep in Hutchinson territory. Three plays pater, quarterback Hunter Vaughn threw a pass in the flat to fullback Miles Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown pass to make the score 13-7.
With 2:42 left in the third quarter, Ty Suggs took a snap in the wildcat format and rumbled 70 yards for the game-tying score. The extra point was missed, setting the stage for overtime.
In the fourth quarter, Hutchinson drove inside the red zone before stalling at the Butler 18-yard line. The attempted field goal was short. Butler tried to finish the game, but a desperation field goal from 47 yards out by Robert Rawlings was partially blocked.
Individually, Ty Suggs had 25 carries for 125 yards, while Chris Carson had 11 carries for 75 yards, mostly in overtime. Hunter Vaughn completed 15 of 22 passes for 102 yards with an interception. On defense, Tyler Hayes had 13 tackles, including 12 solo stops. Brandon Dozier had nine solo tackles.
Butler is now 7-1 on the season and finish 6-1 in conference play to win the conference title outright. The Grizzlies have won 14 conference titles in the past 16 seasons.