EL DORADO — Dodge City was trailing Butler by 10 points, then more than 20, then a lot more than that before Butler won at home 63-3 Saturday, but Conquistadors quarterback Bryan Parnes was winning.
Parnes was eluding the Butler front four, which turned into a front five or six in the Grizzlies' painstaking efforts to bring Parnes down behind the line of scrimmage.
Parnes was escaping the speed of Cornellius Carradine. He was shrugging off the power of Dennell Wesley, making Chaquil Reed come this close.
Parnes got rid of the ball before they got their hands on him.
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Parnes did not play well, completing 12 of 35 passes for 88 yards. But he stayed standing as the Grizzlies never got their sack. That kept Butler from feeling as if their performance was complete, even though Dodge City didn't score a touchdown and its field goal came after a turnover that gave the Conquistadors prime field position.
"I was after him the whole night, but he threw it as soon as I got to him," Wesley said.
Even though Dodge City receivers dropped plenty of passes, Butler's defense was most responsible for Parnes' poor play. Carradine, Wesley, Reed and others got close to bringing down Parnes, but their closeness usually prompted Parnes to throw a hurried pass. Parnes' mobility helped, and Carradine blamed a muddy field for preventing his explosive first step.
Butler's frustration was evident. The Grizzlies took a roughing the passer penalty in the third quarter and delivered two pounding hits to just about every Conquistador except Parnes.
"That's what you've got to do," Wesley said. "When you can't sack the quarterback, you've got to hit the running back and punish him."
Butler stacked the line because Dodge City's running game couldn't keep the Grizzlies honest. CJ Moseley occasionally reached the secondary, but since Butler's lead grew so large, the Conquistadors mostly opted to pass.
By the third quarter, Butler usually had six players on the line as its defensive backs played bump-and-run coverage.
"He's lucky, real lucky," Carradine said. "Something like this shouldn't happen, but you have to come out next week and come after (the next team's) quarterback."
Not much else was left off Butler's checklist in improving to 5-0.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was frequently on target, completing 14 of 23 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
Levi Kindle ran in two short touchdowns and Ben Axon provided balance with 68 rushing yards. Eight Grizzlies reached the end zone.
And Butler's defense produced several big plays. A blocked punt turned into a 10-yard touchdown by Tyrrell Miller. The Grizzlies recovered a fumble and had several stops of running backs behind the line of scrimmage.
Just no sack.
"They have a big line, a huge line," Parnes said. "... I'm not trying to get hit by No. 90 (Carradine). He's huge. I have to get the ball out."
Other Jayhawk scores — Garden City lost to Air Force Prep 26-14.... Fifth-ranked Coffeyville defeated Fort Scott 59-14.... Independence defeated Highland 29-7.
Dodge City (0-3, 0-4) 3 0 0 0 — 3 Butler (3-0, 4-0) 13 7 14 29 — 63
B—Mettenberger 22 pass from Soft (kick failed)
D—Rodriguez 20 FG
B—Kindel 1 run (Drake kick)
B—Miller 10 blocked punt ret. (Drake kick)
B—Kennard 19 pass from Mettenberger (Drake kick)
B—Axon 4 run (Drake kick)
B—Sanders 60 run (Drake kick)
B—Kindel 2 run (Mills from Gilmore)
B—Banner 34 run (Drake kick)
B—Sanders 70 run (Drake kick)
Rushing—Dodge City, Mosely 15-51, Walls 6-14, Hall 1-9, Heard 4-8, Parnes 7-2, Hansen 2-(-11); Butler, Sanders 5-154, Axon 15-68, Wilson 10-55, Banner 2-47, Mills 3-14, Kindel 2-3, Mettenberger 3-(-4).
Passing—Dodge City, Parnes 12-36-0-88, Hansen 1-4-0-7; Butler, Mettenberger 14-23-0-184, Gilmore 1-3-0-7.
Receiving—Dodge City, Hall 3-31, Edmondson 3-24, Mosely 3-16, Loomis 2-13, Kendall 1-8, Walls 1-3, Soft 4-65, Wrenn 4-27, Rosenstengle 3-32, Freeman 2-41, Kennard 1-19, Boyce 1-7.