For the first time in 213 games, Butler football was shut out at home as the Grizzlies lost to Iowa Central 7-0 in the regular season finale Saturday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
The Grizzlies' last shutout loss at home came on Oct. 21, 1978 in a 12-0 loss to Highland. Meanwhile, Iowa Central ended a 25-game losing streak while picking up its first win ever over Butler.
Despite winning the yardage battle 239 to 86, Butler's offense failed to get into the end zone. The Grizzlies managed more punts (9) than first downs (8) on the day.
Iowa Central's defense provided the game's only score when Jackson Martens intercepted a desperation pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.
Butler's best chance to reach the end zone came late in the third quarter on a 41-yard run by C.J. Sims, who avoided getting tackled in the backfield and had an open lane to the end zone. However, Sims fumbled the ball into the end zone from the 2-yard line when he was tackled by Iowa Central's Darryl Kelley. The Tritons recovered the ball to avoid the potential game-tying score.
Sims was Butler's lone offensive threat as he finished with 90 total offensive yards. He carried the ball three times for 58 yards and caught six passes for 32 yards. Chris Helbig completed 16-of-30 passes for 114 yards.
The loss potentially damages Butler's chances for a postseason bowl appearance, despite entering the game ranked seventh in this week's rankings. Matchups are expected to be announced early next week.
NOTES: Butler is now 4-1-0 all-time against Iowa Central… Today's loss was Butler's first defeat at home against an Iowa school since the Jayhawk Conference formed a scheduling alliance with the ICCAC in 2014. The Grizzlies are 5-1 at home against Iowa schools.