Butler football ended a three-game losing streak with a 26-8 home victory over No. 14 Highland on Saturday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
The Grizzlies (3-3 overall, 3-2 conference) trailed 8-3 after the opening quarter, but scored 23 points over the final three quarters while keeping Highland scoreless.
Butler got on the board first with a Luke Winter 28-yard field goal with 3:58 left in the first quarter. A defensive pass interference call and a David Isreal 23-yard scramble were the key plays on the 62-yard drive to put Winter in position for the first of four field goals on the evening.
However, Highland responded with an 8-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a Marquis Terry 3-yard touchdown run just before the quarter ended. The Scotties added a two-point conversion run by Terry to take an 8-3 lead.
Following Highland's touchdown, the Scotties managed just eight total offensive yards on 11 plays for the remainder of the first half. Butler's defense forced two three-and-out drives and two turnovers in five possessions.
Winter added another field goal from 32 yards out in the second quarter to pull the Grizzlies within two points. Isreal hit C.J. Sims on a 19-yard pass on a 3rd-and-26 from the Highland 34 to get Winter into range.
Two possessions later, Butler took advantage of short field position with an Isreal 20-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Currie at the 7:43 mark of the second quarter. The end-zone score ended a streak of 14 quarters without an offensive touchdown by the Grizzlies.
Winter added a 37-yard field goal just before halftime to put the Grizzlies up 16-8 at the break.
On Butler's opening drive of the second half, Tyler West rumbled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown to put the Grizzlies up 23-8. The score was set up by a West 23-yard run on the play before.
Winter capped the scoring for Butler with a 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and finished with 14 points on the night.
Isreal completed 14-of-22 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown, while Isaiah Truss led the Grizzly running attack with 53 yards on 12 carries. Sims was Butler's top receiver with 44 yards on six receptions.
The Grizzlies outgained Highland 285 to 259, but Butler's defense limited the Scotties to convert just 1-of-11 on third-down attempts. Butler was 8-of-19 (42 percent) on third downs.
Butler hosts Air Force Prep in a non-conference contest next Saturday. Kickoff from BG Products Veterans Sports Complex is at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Butler leads the overall series against Highland by 30-11-1 and has won 22 of the last 24 meetings against the Scotties... The Grizzlies moved to 5-2 overall under Tim Schaffner in games against NJCAA-ranked teams.