Not even a nationally-ranked opponent could keep Butler from a devastating offensive performance Saturday night, as the Grizzlies amassed 680 yards of total offense in cruising to an 84-13 rout of No. 19 Garden City.
The Grizzlies’ offense operated with so much efficiency that three of their touchdowns came on one-play drives and a second on a two-play drive.
That doesn’t include the interception and 30-yard return for another score by Tate Omli.
Usually, coaches can find things they didn’t like in a game, but Grizzlies coach Troy Morrell was hard-pressed to find any fault. The Grizzlies, ranked No. 2 in the latest NJCAA poll, forced four Garden City turnovers while not turning the ball over themselves.
“To not turn the ball over, take care of the football and make good decisions with the football is something we really emphasize,” Morrell said. “I told our guys before the ballgame that’s the one thing that will put you in a bad situation, if we go out there and don’t take care of it.”
Garden City got its licks in early, but after the nine-minute mark of the second quarter, the Broncbusters barely made a ripple.
The Grizzlies (7-0, 5-0), whose output tied the second-most points scored in school history, scored six of their offensive touchdowns on the ground. Butler running backs carried 38 times for 292 yards.
Leading the way was Heights product Dreamius Smith, who scored three touchdowns on runs of 35, 64 and 48 yards, finishing the game with 193 yards on 13 carries.
“He’s elusive, he’s got very good end speed, too,” Morrell said of Smith. “He’s got really good vision, several runs he was very patient and let his guys get their blocks and make good cuts off of them.
“He’s definitely a special player.”
Meanwhile, quarterback Billy Cosh completed all but four of his 22 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Backup Tyler Harrison even joined in the fun, completing all three of his pass attempts for 118 yards and two scores.
“When you can run the ball, throw the ball — that’s when we’re best, when we’ve got that dual threat,” Morrell said, “We had a lot of different guys catch the ball (Saturday), some different running backs having success back there, and I thought the offensive line did a great job of protecting and opening up some holes, made some big plays.”
Garden City (4-2, 2-2) was held to just 63 rushing yards. They did their damage through the air, when quarterback Nick Marshall found success early on slant passes, hitting Rodriguez Coleman for Garden’s first touchdown. He then connected with Tyreek Hill on a 69-yard touchdown play.
But the Grizzlies were unfazed. Just 23 seconds later, Cosh hit Jacob Hurla for 19 yards inside the 1, and Hurla sidestepped a defender and stepped into the end zone for a 35-13 lead.
“We found a formation we liked, and we lived in it, and it worked for us,” said Hurla, a sophomore from Topeka “They had a good defense, and we prepared well for it.”
B–Allen 1 run (Rawlings kick)
B–Smith 34 run (Rawlings kick)
GC–Coleman 11 pass from Marshall (Chavez kick)
B–Thomas 3 run (Rawlings kick)
GC–Hill 69 pass from Marshall (kick blocked)
B–Smith 64 run (Rawlings kick)
B–Hurla 20 pass from Cosh (Rawlings kick)
B–Thomas 23 pass from Cosh (Rawlings kick)
B–Blue 52 pass from Cosh (Rawlings kick)
B–Smith 48 run (Rawlings kick)
B–Cosh 1 run (Rawlings kick)
B–Omli 30 interception return (Rawlings kick)
B–Hurla 35 pass from Harrison (Rawlings kick)
B–Clark 50 pass from Harrison (Rawlings kick)
Rushing—Garden City: Hill 12-44, Irsik 9-26, Curran 1-6, Marshall 15-(-13). Butler: Smith 13-193, Thomas 11-92, Glatczak 3-20, Allen 4-8, Suggs 1-7, team 3-(-6), Cosh 3-(-22).
Passing—Garden City: Marshall 21-35-3-241, Curran 1-2-0-(-9). Butler: Cosh 18-22-0-270, Harrison 3-3-0-118.
Receiving—Garden City: Coleman 8-86, Hill 7-97, Daniel 6-58, Curran 1-(-9). Butler: Hurla 6-117, Hallman 3-68, Clarke 3-68, Thomas 3-39, Blue 2-59, Elliott 2-18, Fields 1-24, Allen 1-2.