CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The 2013 Butler football season came to an end Sunday with a 6-0 loss to Iowa Western in the Graphic Edge Bowl, marking the first time the Grizzlies have been shut out in more than 20 years.
Butler, which had never previously been shut out in Troy Morrell's 14 seasons as head coach, was last held scoreless in a 36-0 loss to Garden City in 1991. The shutout snaps a 256-game consecutive streak in which the Grizzlies had not been shut out.
No. 3 Iowa Western got two field goals in the first half, once in each of the first two quarters. Those scores proved to be enough to defeat the fifth-ranked Grizzlies despite a heroic defensive effort. Despite converting on 10 of 18 third downs and compiling 396 yards of total offense, the Reivers never were able to put the ball in the end zone.
Despite the shutout, Butler had its chances to score. The Grizzlies had a dropped pass in the end zone in the end of the first half, missed a field goal going into halftime and nearly returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Butler also had a late drive get all the way to Iowa Western's 22-yard line before stalling out on downs.
Butler ends its season at 9-2. It is only the sixth time in 14 seasons under Morrell that the Grizzlies have lost multiple games in a season – the first time since going 8-3 in 2009. Butler had been 11-1 in each of the past three seasons.
Akise Teague, the running back for Iowa Western, was the named the outstanding offensive player of the game with 33 carries for 156 yards. Butler linebacker Nick Cook was the top defensive player in the contest with 13 tackles and a sack for a loss of 10 yards.