Butler holds off Ellsworth to finish regular season at 8-3

Butler holds off Ellsworth to finish regular season at 8-3

The Butler football team held off Ellsworth in the second half of a 40-28 win at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex to finish the regular season with an 8-3 record.

Now the Grizzlies will await a possible bowl bid. Bowl selections will be announced early next week.

The Grizzlies never trailed in the contest and at one point led by 20 points, but Ellsworth challenged Butler in the fourth quarter and got within six points late before the Grizzlies were able to hold on.

Butler quarterback Damarcus Smith threw interceptions on two of the first three possessions of the game, but the defense held each time. Butler also missed a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Eventually, however, Butler would break through to score first on a 21-yard pass from Smith to Bryce Chavis to give Butler a 7-0 lead with 7:34 left in the first period.

After an interception by Kolby Fennewald was returned 34 yards, Smith threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup. The extra point attempt was blocked, but the Grizzlies led 13-0.

Butler then went up 20-0 following a 68-yard run by Chris Carson right up the middle with 12:13 left in the first half.

Ellsworth would get a touchdown near the end of the half to make the score 20-7 and scored on a 36-yard pass play on the first drive of the third quarter, getting within 20-14.

Butler would answer that drive with pair of touchdowns on a 1-yard run by Chris Carson and a 63-yard pass from Damarcus Smith to Anthony Johnson that made it a 34-14 game with 7:30 to play.

Ellsworth then scored 14 straight points. The first touchdown was a 1-yard run by Zabreion Gunter with 3:15 left in the third quarter and the second was a 6-yard run by quarterback DeMarius Davis with 3:52 left in the game.

Butler was able to put together a drive that covered 75 yards in 11 plays and took 3:25 off the game clock and also put six points on the scoreboard when Derek Lee ran into the end zone from two yards out. The extra point was again blocked, but Butler had the 40-28 lead.

Ellsworth drove deep into Butler territory in the closing seconds, but a pass play was incomplete in the end zone on the final play of the game.

Butler's Chris Carson had the most productive day of his two-year Butler career, rushing 14 times for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Damarcus Smith completed 17 of 35 pass attempts for 237 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. Michael Gallup had five catches for 51 yards while Marquel Wade had three catches for 64 yards.