DODGE CITY, Kan. – Damarcus Smith and Michael Gallup both established single-game records as No. 14 Butler won a 53-36 shootout at Dodge City on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Smith set a Butler record for most passing yards in a game with 526 while Michael Gallup set the record for most receiving yards in a game with 287. Smith threw for five touchdowns in the game, while Gallup had three receiving touchdowns.
The duo also teamed up for one of the longest plays in Butler history – a 96-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
"Damarcus was great. He had a lot of time to sit back and throw today and has a lot of receivers who can stretch the field." Butler coach Troy Morrell said. "Michael Gallup was phenomenal, too. He caught some screens and was breaking tackles. He is a dynamic player and he is just a freshman. He is going to be special. They were a dangerous combo today."
Their efforts were part of a Butler offense that rolled up 627 yards but needed them to hold off a Dodge City team that was as close at eight points in the fourth quarter and had 619 yards of offense itself.
It was Dodge City that scored first in the game. After Butler fumbled into the end zone for a touchback, Dodge City drove the field, going 80 yards on 14 plays, capped by a 4-yard run by Keymonne Gabriel.
Butler got back in the red zone again on its second drive, but this time had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by AJ LaRocca and still trailed 7-3.
Butler would get a 13-yard pass from Smith to Julian Burris and then got the 96-yard pass form Smith to Gallup to go ahead 24-7. Just before the half, Dodge City would get a 26-yard field goal to make it a 24-10 game at intermission.
Butler got the ball to start the third quarter and went 75 yards in just five plays, getting a 58-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Gallup for the biggest lead of the game at 31-10.
Dodge City and Butler traded touchdowns on a 15-yard run by Mark Thompson and a 5-yard run by Chris Carson that left the margin at 21 points (37-16.)
The Conqus would get an a pair of touchdown runs by the quarterback Deondre Ford, one from 18 and the other from four yards out, to get within eight at 37-29 with 9:23 to go in the game, but the extra point on the second score was blocked and returned 98 yards the other way by Butler's Bakari Triggs.
That return put Butler up 39-29 and the Grizzlies scored two straight touchdowns. The first was a 62-yard touchdown reception by Gallup and the second was an 18-yard run by Dalton Buehler that sealed the game for Butler.
Dodge City would get a late touchdown with 1:12 to play but couldn't recover the onside kick attempt and Butler ran out the clock to end the game.
"We knew it was going to be a shootout," Morrell said. "That's how it has been for Dodge all year. They've been putting up points on everybody. I was glad the defense held them to what they did and the offense was rolling."
In addition to the big games by Smith and Gallup, Butler also got 107 yards rushing and a touchdown by Chris Carson and four receptions for 98 yards from McKinley Johnson.
Butler is now 5-2 overall and is in second place in the Jayhawk Conference at 3-1. The Grizzlies will be home next weekend to face arch-rival Coffeyville. Butler has won four straight after starting the season 1-2. Coffeyville is currently 3-2 and 2-1 in the conference standings with a game tomorrow at Bethel College JV.
"It'll be a great game," Morrell said. "They're hungry to beat us and we're hungry to play them."