Butler holds off Hutchinson for 21-17 victory

Butler holds off Hutchinson for 21-17 victory

The Butler Grizzlies won their third consecutive game with a 21-17 win over the Hutchinson Blue Dragons on Saturday night at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.

Butler (5-3 overall, 4-2 conference) led Hutchinson 21-14 at the half and held on despite being shut out in the second half.

The Grizzlies took advantage of three first-half interceptions from the Blue Dragons, but also turned the ball over twice themselves.

Both teams scored their first touchdowns with their defense. Butler's Fontez Davis intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown with 9:08 left in the first quarter that gave Butler a 7-0 lead.

Butler later fumbled a snap and the ball bounced into the end zone where it was recovered by Hutchinson linebacker DJ Smalls. That tied the game 7-7 with 5:41 left in the first quarter.

Butler would get another interception late in the first quarter when Elijah West picked off a pass and returned it to the Hutchinson 6-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback David Isreal threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Josh Wilkes, putting Butler up 14-7.

Late in the half, Butler put together its best drive of the game, going 80 yards in 12 plays and chewing up more than six minutes of game time. The drive was capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Kevon Abrams.

Butler led 21-7 with 1:14 left in the half and seemed to be in position to lead by two scores at the half. However, Hutchinson competed a 61-yard pass to Gary Cross to the Butler 1-yard line, setting up a Tre Griffin touchdown two plays later to put the Blue Dragons down by seven before the break.

Neither team would score another touchdown in the second half, with the lone score coming on a 27-yard field goal by Hutchinson with 3:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Butler punted 10 times in the game, while Hutchinson punted nine times.

Offensively, Butler was led by running back Kevon Abrams, who ran 27 times for 109 yards. Myron Mitchell had two catches for 37 yards. David Isreal completed 7-of-17 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, linebacker Tony Jones had 14 tackles, including a sack and five tackles for loss. Linebacker Sean Bernard added 12 tackles.

Butler will play its final home game of the season next Saturday at 7 p.m. against Ellsworth (Iowa).

NOTES: Butler leads the overall series 47-45-1 against Hutchinson. The Grizzlies improved to 26-23-0 in games played in El Dorado... Abrams was the first Grizzly 100-yard rusher in six games. Abrams was the last Butler running back to go over the 100-yard plateau when he ran for 244 yards against Coffeyville back on Sept. 10.