HUTCHINSON, Kan. — No. 16 Butler recorded its largest margin of victory over a top-10 team since 2010 with a 38-10 road victory over No. 9 Hutchinson on Saturday at Gowans Stadium.
The Grizzlies (6-2 overall, 4-2 conference) handed Hutchinson (6-2, 3-1) its first loss in Jayhawk Conference play. The 28-point margin was the Grizzlies' largest over a top-10 ranked team since Butler defeated then-No. 5 Hutchinson 48-0 on Nov. 14, 2010 in the Region VI Championship game.
Butler's defense limited Hutchinson's high-powered offense to a season-low 10 points and 171 yards of total offense. For the fifth straight contest, the Grizzlies' pass defense limited the opponent to under 100 passing yards, as the Blue Dragons managed just 92 yards in the air. Hutchinson failed to convert on 12 third-down attempts against Butler.
Butler grabbed the early momentum with a 14-0 lead just 4:04 into the contest. Grizzly linebacker Hassan Belton sacked and stripped Hutch quarterback Cam Jones of the ball, then DeMario Burnett picked up the loose ball for a 16-yard touchdown.
Hutchinson finally got on the board with 35 seconds left in the opening quarter on a 30-yard field goal.
Butler answered back with a 13-play, 89-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown sneak by Helbig to put the Grizzlies up 21-3. The Grizzlies were helped by two Hutchinson personal fouls and a 19-yard pass from Helbig to Prince on 4th-and-5 to the Dragons' 1-yard line.
Hutchinson scored on its opening possession just 46 seconds into the second half with a quick three-play, 65-yard drive. Dezmon Jackson capped the drive with a 30-yard touchdown run down the near sideline.
Butler then scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, beginning with a 16-yard touchdown strike from Steven Frank to Prince with 12:40 left in the quarter. On the Grizzlies' next drive, C.J. Sims caught a 6-yard pass from Helbig to end a 9-play, 58-yard drive. Luke Winter added a 41-yard field goal with the wind at his back to end the Grizzlies' scoring.
The Grizzlies gained 307 total offensive yards, with 181 yards on the ground. Kevon Abrams led Butler with 66 rushing yards on 21 carries, while Prince had three receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Prince now has seven touchdown receptions, which leads all Jayhawk Conference receivers. Helbig completed just 7-of-14 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Butler recorded five sacks and had 10 tackles for losses. Will Honas, Hassan Belton and David Burton each had seven tackles to lead the Grizzlies. Belton had two sacks and a pass breakup to go along with his first-quarter forced fumble to set up the first touchdown.
Butler will stay on the road with a non-conference contest at Ellsworth (3-4) on Saturday. The Panthers are coming off a 16-14 road loss at Fort Scott. Kickoff from Iowa Falls is at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Butler now leads the overall series 48-45-1 against Hutchinson and has won the last 11 straight games at Gowans Stadium... The Grizzlies have limited opponents to just 3-of-39 passing on third-down conversions in the last three contests.q