The Butler football team rolled a fourth consecutive victory – all at home – by handling Ellsworth (Iowa) 41-27 at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on Saturday.
The Grizzlies never trailed in the game, scoring the first 14 points and eventually led by as many as 22 points in the second half.
Butler, ranked 18th nationally this week, got its first two touchdowns on long runs by Kevon Abrams. The redshirt freshman from Florida scored his first touchdown on a 64-yard breakaway run down the left sideline. On the first play after a short Ellsworth punt, Abrams broke free again, this time racing 32 yards for a score. Butler led 14-0 with 7:48 left in the first quarter.
Ellsworth would get a 24-yard run by quarterback Lamont Toney to make it a 14-7 game at the end of the first quarter.
Isreal connected with Wilkes again for another touchdown pass, this one a 64-yard score. Wilkes caught the ball and sidestepped a defender, then raced the rest of the way for the score.
An Ellsworth field goal on the final play of the first half made the score 27-12 at the break.
The only score in the third quarter was a 39-yard pass from Isreal to Myron Mitchell, giving Butler its biggest lead at 34-12, with 12:46 remaining in the period.
A long scoreless streak was broken when Butler was tackled in the end zone, giving Ellsworth a safety with 9:12 left in the game. Ellsworth would get a touchdown pass from Toney to Juwan Petit-Frere to make it a 34-21.
Butler's final score would come from the defense, as linebacker Jake Seurer intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown with 4:17 to go. It was Butler's third interception of the game.
Ellsworth (4-5 overall) closed the scoring, getting one final touchdown with six seconds remaining.
Kevon Abrams led the Butler offense, rushing 15 times for 225 yards – an average of 14.6 yards per carry. It is his second-highest output of the season, trailing only a 244-yard effort vs Coffeyville.
Jake Seurer, Tony Jones and Sean Bernard had nine tackles apiece for Butler, while Bernard had a pair of sacks for the Grizzlies. Cole Morris also had two sacks. In addition to Seurer, Octavious Morgan and Elijah West also had interceptions. West has four interceptions to lead Butler in that category this season.
Butler (6-3 overall, 4-2 conference) will play their final Jayhawk Conference game of the season next Saturday at Independence. With a win, Butler would secure second place in the conference standings. The Pirates (3-4, 2-3) defeated Hutchinson 21-18 on the road on Saturday.
NOTES: Butler improved to 2-3 all-time against Ellsworth. The Grizzlies are now 2-1 against Ellsworth in games played in El Dorado... Butler matched its season-high in points scored with 41 points. The Grizzlies scored 41 in the season opener at Fort Scott in a 41-35 win... The Grizzlies finish the home season with a 5-1 record at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. Under head coach Tim Schaffner, Butler is 10-2 in home games.