No. 3 Butler blanks Iowa Central 42-0 for second straight shutout

No. 3 Butler blanks Iowa Central 42-0 for second straight shutout

The No. 3-ranked Butler football team posted a second straight shutout in a 42-0 win over Iowa Central at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.

The shutout, coupled with a 39-0 won at home against Air Force Prep last week, marks the first time since 2008 that the Grizzlies have had shutouts in back-to-back weeks. It is the first time since 2002 that Butler has had shutouts in consecutive weeks at home.

While Butler was shutting down Iowa Central on defense, the special teams and offense were doing plenty of scoring. Butler scored on the very first play of the game as Byron Pringle returned the opening kickoff 93 yards to put Butler ahead 7-0 with 14:47 to play in the first quarter.

After Butler forced an Iowa Central punt, the offense went to work for the first time, going 56 yards in six plays, capped by a six-yard touchdown run by Kobe McCrary that made it 14-0 with 10:05 left in the first quarter. 

Butler would not score again in the first quarter, but added two more touchdowns before the half. Quarterback Colton Howell scored on a 1-yard keeper with 9:55 left in the second quarter to make it 21-0.

Later in the period, he connected with Byron Pringle with a nice pass down the sideline. Pringle caught the ball in stride and raced to the end zone for a 72-yard scoring play that put Butler up 28-0 with 2:13 left in the half.

Iowa Central had the ball to start the third quarter but fumbled on the first play of the drive. Four plays later, Butler scored on a 3-yard run by Colton Howell and the lead grew to 35-0.

Iowa Central had its best chance to scoring in the fourth quarter. Following a Butler fumble, the Tritons moved the ball into the red zone for the first time. Facing first down at the Butler 13, quarterback Corey Bertini threw a pass that was intercepted at the 2-yard line by linebacker Jake Seurer. He returned the ball 70 yards to the Iowa Central 28.

One play later, Kobe McCrary burst into the end zone with a 28-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring, making it 42-0 with 7:38 to play.

McCrary finished the game with 17 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He has at least two scores in each Butler game this season and leads the NJCAA with 14 touchdowns on the year.

Howell was 12-of-23 passing for an even 200 yards with a touchdown and an interception – the first interception by a Butler quarterback this season.

Butler had seven different receivers with a catch in the contest, three of the catches by Julian Burris.

Defensively, Butler was led by Tony Jones, who had six tackles, including a pair of quarterback sacks. Tramal Ivy had five tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. Butler held Iowa Central to just 156 yards, an average of 2.8 yards per play.

The Grizzlies (6-0 overall, 3-0 conference) will face a marked increase in level of competition over the next two weeks, starting with a home game next Saturday against No. 17 Dodge City before going on the road to No. 2 Coffeyville on Oct. 17.