Butler will get rematch with Iowa Western in Graphic Edge Bowl

Butler will get rematch with Iowa Western in Graphic Edge Bowl

It will be a rematch of the 2012 NJCAA National Championship Game when the 2013 edition of the Graphic Edge Bowl takes place on Sunday, Dec. 8 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Last year's national champion, No. 3 ranked Iowa Western (10-1), takes on No. 5 Butler (9-1) in a matchup of conference champions.

Iowa Western's only loss this year came to No. 1-ranked Georgia Military College, which will play No. 2 East Mississippi to determine this year's national champion.

The Reivers offense was explosive this year, with the team averaging 48 points per game in the regular season. Moreover, the offense was also well rounded.

Quarterback Connor Bravard and running back Akise Teague have been key cogs in the Reivers ability to put up points. 

Bravard is averaging 234.3 passing yards a game and has 23 touchdowns this year. Teaque has been a dominant force on the field, averaging 132.6 rushing yards a game, and has rushed the ball into the end zone 12 times this season.

Reivers head coach Scott Strohmeier is thrilled for the chance to compete against Butler in the bowl game.

"Butler's tradition speaks for itself," Strohmeier said. "We are excited for the chance to play against such a quality opponent."

The Butler Grizzlies (9-1, 6-1 KJCCC) will top off another successful season with a chance to avenge their loss to Iowa Western last year in The Graphic Edge Bowl.  Butler head coach Troy Morrell is looking forward to another challenge.

"Playing No. 3 ranked, and defending national champion, Iowa Western will be a tremendous challenge for our program this year," Morrell said.  "Special thanks to The Graphic Edge and their continued support of this bowl game.

The Grizzlies are use to playing in high-stakes games, as they have played in 11 national championship games in their history — winning six of them since 1981.

This year the Grizzlies have relied on a range of talented offensive and defensive players, such as linebacker Phillip Williamson, who leads the team in sacks with 7.5, and running backs Ty Suggs and Chris Carson, who together have found the end zone 13 times.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Graphic Edge Bowl," Morrell said.  "Being part of a bowl game in junior college football is special and something that our players, coaches, administration, students and fans will all cherish."


Other Butler bowl game notes:

* This is the 15th time in the past 16 years Butler has played in a postseason bowl game. Overall, this will be the 26th bowl game in school history. Butler is 14-11 all time in bowl games, including the loss last year in Iowa.

* This will be the third time Butler has played a bowl game in Iowa. The Grizzlies played in Cedar Falls in 1989 in the R.C. Cola Bowl, beating Iowa Central 24-0. The R.C. Cola Bowl was the predecessor to the current Graphic Edge Bowl.

* Butler coach Troy Morrell is 6-6 in bowl games, having led the Grizzlies to the postseason in 13 of his 14 seasons as head coach. He has an overall record of 146-18. He has the second most wins among active coaches in NJCAA football, trailing only Gene Murphy of Holmes (Miss.) who has 153 wins in 20 seasons.

* This is the fourth bowl appearance for Iowa Western. In 2010, Iowa Western lost to Snow College in the Top of the Mountains Bowl. This is the third straight year for Iowa Western to play in the Graphic Edge Bowl.

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 * 
2011 Citizen's Bank Bowl (Pittsburg) Butler 21, Trinity Valley (TX) 17
2012 Graphic Edge Bowl (Cedar Falls, IA) Iowa Western 27, Butler 7 * 

Iowa Western's bowl appearances
2010 Top of the Mountains Bowl (Salt Lake City) Snow 48, Iowa Western 36
2011 Graphic Edge Bowl (Cedar Falls, IA) Iowa Western 62, Rochester (MN) 0
2012 Graphic Edge Bowl (Cedar Falls, IA) Iowa Western 27, Butler 7  * 

*indicates NJCAA National Championship Game