Late touchdown dooms No. 12 Butler in 7-3 loss to Dodge

Late touchdown dooms No. 12 Butler in 7-3 loss to Dodge

The Butler football team surrendered a late touchdown, falling to Dodge City 7-3 in a matchup of nationally-ranked teams on Sunday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.

The game had originally been scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, but persistent thunderstorms with lightning forced two delays and then a postponement until Sunday.

No. 18 Dodge City scored the only touchdown of the game with 25 seconds remaining on a 1-yard run by Tyler Minor. The score was set up by a 12-play, 60-yard drive that took 2:59 off the clock.

The big play in the Conquistadors' scoring drive was a 20-yard pass to Austin Watkins. The ball actually bounced off the hands of another Dodge receiver and bounced into the air, allowing Watkins to make a catch and get to the 2-yard line, setting up the 1-yard run. Dodge City had both a third-down and fourth-down conversion on the drive.

No. 12 Butler had taken a 3-0 lead with a 37-yard field goal by Chris Diddle with 14:12 remaining in the second quarter.

On its next possession, Butler drove 68 yards to the Dodge City 13. Butler opted to go for it on 4th and 2 instead of trying a 30-yard field goal, but came up one yard shy on a run by Trenton Autry.

Butler did try another field goal on the following drive after getting to the Dodge City 10-yard line, but Diddle's attempt was missed just wide to the right.

The Grizzlies took the opening kickoff in the second half and got a 95-yard kickoff return from C.J. Sims for an apparent kickoff that would have put Butler ahead by two scores. Instead, Butler was flagged for a penalty away from the play, bringing the ball back 35 yards.

Butler then drove to the 1-yard line, but a tackle for a loss set up a third-down play. Running back Isaiah Truss fumbled on the next play, allowing Dodge City to take over.

Early in the fourth quarter, Dodge City had a chance to score, but the Conquistadors also fumbled inside the 5-yard line, this one recovered by linebacker Tony Jones.

Butler and Dodge City each punted seven times in the game. Butler had 163 yards of total offense, while Dodge City had 235. Dodge City was 4-of-17 on third-down conversions (24 percent) while Butler was 1-of-12 (eight percent).

David Isreal was 13-of-25 passing for 126 yards and an interception on the final play of the game. Kevon Abrams, the leading rusher in the NJCAA in yards per game, was held to 26 yards on 11 carries. C.J. Sims had five catches for 72 yards.

Defensively, Fontez Davis and Sean Bernard were each credited with nine tackles apiece while Tony Jones had eight tackles.

Butler is now 2-2 on the season and 2-1 in Jayhawk Conference play. The Grizzlies will be on the road on Saturday to take on No. 5 Garden City (4-0, 3-0) at 7 p.m.

NOTES: Butler has not scored an offensive touchdown in nine quarters... With last week's 49-7 loss at Iowa Western, Butler has been held to seven points or less in consecutive games for the first time since 1997 (Sept. 13 at Coffeyville, 35-7; Sept. 20 vs. Hutchinson, 17-7)... The loss snapped Butler's 11-game winning streak over the Conquistadors. Prior to Sunday, Dodge City last defeated the Grizzlies 23-17 in a Region VI semifinal game at El Dorado on Oct. 30, 2005... Butler and Dodge City combined for 10 points, which is the lowest total points scored between the two teams since Dodge won a 6-0 contest in El Dorado on Sept. 25, 1976.