HUTCHINSON — It's one thing to call for your football team to drive nearly 80 yards in less than two minutes. It's another thing to believe it can happen, and yet another to make it happen.
Coach Troy Morrell and No. 4 Butler made it happen Saturday night. A 78-yard pass from Ross Dausin to Marcus Kennard set up Logan Ortiz's game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining as the Grizzlies beat 13th-ranked Hutchinson 13-10 at Gowans Stadium.
After Hutchinson tied it 10-10 on a Jeremy Linn field goal with 1:49 to go, the talk on the Butler sideline wasn't about overtime. The Grizzlies wanted to score and prevent extra time.
"That's all we were talking about — we've just got to get to the end zone," Morrell said. "We've been in the situation before a couple times this year, and I do believe those experiences helped us with being in crunch time."
Butler started the drive with 1:41 to go on its own 6 after a penalty on the kickoff return. There was no indication the Grizzlies would go for the big play after Ricky Jacques rushed up the middle for three yards on the first play.
Dausin had struggled passing downfield the entire night, averaging just more than three yards per pass attempt. That didn't affect Morrell's confidence in his sophomore quarterback and didn't prevent Morrell from taking one more shot deep.
When Kennard blazed down the left sideline, beating defender Thad Williams, it was clear Morrell's confidence had paid off. Kennard caught the ball in stride before being chased down at Hutchinson's 13-yard line.
"I wanted it," Kennard said. "I saw the ball coming and said, 'This is me right here.' I went for the moment. I was so nervous."
The Grizzlies ended up at the 15-yard line after a penalty and two Jacques carries. That gave Ortiz, who usually boasts deadly accuracy, a 32-yard attempt.
Ortiz didn't begin thinking about a possible game-winning field goal on the sideline after Hutchinson tied it. Anticipating a close game between two ranked teams, that thought entered Ortiz's mind much sooner.
"I thought that from the very beginning of the game," Ortiz said. "My holder, Cole Cherryholmes, was telling me, 'This may come down to us today.' I said, 'I bet you it will.' So we were ready from the very beginning. I knew we had two big teams coming together, and I knew something was going to happen."
Though Butler's defense had a shutout until the fourth quarter, when Hutchinson scored 10 straight points, it was at least a small victory for the Grizzlies to hold Hutchinson to a field goal on the Dragons' final drive.
Somewhat worn down by a physical contest, Butler still managed to halt Hutchinson at the 25-yard line, setting up a difficult try for Linn.
"That was a big stop by the defense, forcing them to have to kick it," Morrell said. "Everything happened so fast and my mind is racing right now."
Neither team built much offensive momentum, with Butler scoring the game's first touchdown 10 minutes into the third quarter. There were 10 sacks — seven by Hutchinson — and 30 plays that went for zero or negative yards.
That meant the fourth quarter, with the teams combining for 13 points, was a virtual shootout. It left room for a hero, and Butler had three.
"Coach called the play," Dausin said. "I read the defense and saw a mismatch, and I went for it."
Butler (5-1, 4-0) 3 0 7 3 — 13 Hutchinson (3-2, 2-2) 0 0 0 10 — 10
B—Ortiz 20 FG
B—Henderson 1 run (Ortiz kick)
H—Pease 1 run (Roberts kick)
H—Linn 42 FG
B—Ortiz 32 FG
Rushing—Butler, Brazil 11-58, Jacques 11-24, Maddox 5-15, Demps 2-1, Henderson 2-0, Dausin 10-(-17). Hutchinson, Clay 8-41, Anderson 7-9, Pease 13-7, Cotton 4-2, Madison 1-(-14).
Passing—Butler, Dausin 10-20-139-0. Hutchinson, Pease 12-21-133-0.
Receiving—Butler, Soft 3-22, Freeman 2-13, Kennard 1-78, Watkins 1-16, Owens 1-15, Demps 1-2, Maddox 1-(-7). Hutchinson, Ungles 4-61, Davis 3-32, Weigel 1-11, Pease 1-10, Miller 1-8, Clay 1-7, Anderson 1-4.