Grizzly freshman running back Brock Sturges had 193 total yards and two touchdowns as No. 2 Butler stayed undefeated with a 31-10 home conference win over Dodge City on Saturday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
Sturges, the NJCAA's current rushing leader with 605 yards and seven touchdowns, gained 143 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown and caught a 50-yard score for the Grizzlies, who moved to 5-0 for the first time since 2015.
The Butler win sets up a potential #1 vs. #2 showdown next Saturday at noon against No. 1 Hutchinson (4-0 overall, 2-0 conference), who had a bye. Hutchinson moved into the top spot in the NJCAA rankings for the first time in school history three weeks ago and has held down the top spot ever since. \
The 1-2 matchup would be just the fifth time two Jayhawk Conference schools faced off while holding down the top two spots in the NJCAA polls since 2000, with Butler playing in all five games. The last 1-2 meeting between KJCCC schools came on Oct. 23, 2010, as #1 Butler routed the #2 Blue Dragons in a 28-0 contest at Galen Blackmore Stadium. Butler would go on to defeat Hutchinson again in the Region VI title game and play in the NJCAA National Championship, losing 13-12 to Navarro (Texas) in Pittsburg.
Butler (5-0 overall, 3-0 conference) led 7-3 after one quarter, with the Grizzlies taking advantage of a shanked 16-yard Dodge punt which went out of bounds at the Conqs' 36-yard line.
On the short scoring drive, Butler converted a 4th-and-2 from the Dodge 17 as Jermaine Ziegler ran in motion, took a handoff from Steven Frank and ran 13 yards up the far sideline for a first down. Three plays later, Nick Davenport scored on a quarterback keeper from one yard out to put the Grizzlies in front 7-0.
Dodge answered with a Moses Hinojosa 36-yard field goal, which was set up by a 34-yard pass from Jase Orndorff to Javis Atchison.
Sturges keyed Butler's next two scoring drives, beginning with a 48-yard run off right tackle and down the Butler sideline to the Dodge 17 near the end of the opening quarter. On the first play to start the second quarter, Frank hit Lane Lunt for a 15-yard touchdown for a 14-3 Butler lead.
After a Dodge punt, Butler faced 3rd-and-9 from midfield and lined up in a shotgun formation with an empty backfield. In the slot, Sturges got open down the Butler sideline, caught a pass from Frank near the 25-yard line and raced to the end zone as the Grizzlies extended their lead.
Just before halftime, the Conquistadors took advantage of two Butler miscues, beginning with a Frank interception at the Grizzly 32-yard line. With Dodge facing 4th-and-5 from the Butler 5, Orndoff was hit late on an incomplete pass to extend the Conqs' drive. On the next play, GregDarius James scored from two yards out to cut Butler's lead to 21-10.
On Butler's opening drive of the second half, the Grizzlies pieced together an 11-play, 45-yard drive that resulted in a Jacob Abel 32-yard field goal. Dodge helped Butler on the drive with a pair of pass interference penalties.
The Grizzlies would not score again until midway through the fourth quarter as Sturges scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown with 8:30 remaining. Two plays earlier, Sturges weaved his way down to the Dodge 8-yard line on a 45-yard run up the middle.
Butler's running attack – averaging 215 yards per game – crossed the 200-yard mark for the second straight game with 220 yards on the ground. The Grizzlies were held to a season-low in both yards (336) and passing (116), with Frank completing 8-of-16 for 116 and two touchdowns.
Dodge City (0-4, 0-3) was limited to 185 yards of total offensive, including 56 rushing yards on 30 attempts.
NOTES: Butler improved to 54-33-1 all-time against Dodge City. The Grizzlies have won 40 of the last 46 contests over the Conquistadors… Dodge City is off to its first 0-4 start since 2012… Over the last three games, Sturges has seven plays of 35 yards or more… Other 1-2 matchups since 2000 featuring Jayhawk Conference schools (#1 Garden City 20, #2 Butler 12 on Oct. 7, 2009 in Garden; #1 Butler 29, #2 Coffeyville 28 on Sept. 27, 2003 in El Dorado; #1 Butler 45, #2 Coffeyville on Nov. 9, 2003 in El Dorado for the Region VI Championship).