EL DORADO — Butler Community College opened the season against two teams ranked in the NJCAA top 5, coming away with a win in both games.
On Saturday at Galen Blackmore Stadium, the Grizzlies refused to allow any kind of letdown as they rolled to a 56-7 win over Jayhawk Conference foe Highland.
"We played well at times, and we played not so well at times," Butler coach Troy Morrell said. "I give credit to Highland, they're a good team. I know we beat them 56-7, but they've got a lot of good speed and they're a very physical team. It was a good test for us."
After a quick touchdown on its first possession of the game — a three play, 41-yard drive ended with a 13-yard scoring toss from freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger to wide receiver Kendall Wrenn — the Grizzlies struggled the rest of the quarter offensively and didn't break the game open until running back Ben Axon busted loose.
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Axon scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 5 and 31 yards. Axon finished the night with 73 yards on nine carries. He also had a 23-yard touchdown catch in the second half.
"Those first two games I didn't score, so I was kind of happy," Axon said. "All the credit goes to the guys up front and the receivers for the nice job they did blocking for me. I just did what the coach told me to do."
The Grizzlies defense did their job to stop Highland in the first half, as the Scotties had negative 16 yards rushing before halftime.
Quarterback Rashad Jackson was Highland's one bright spot, completing 11 of 19 passes for 103 yards in the first half.
In the third quarter, Butler (3-0, 2-0 Jayhawk) blew the game open as wide receiver Marcus Kennard had touchdown catches of 57 and 81 yards that sandwiched Axon's one receiving score.
"It was a little sloppy in the first half," Axon said. "We had to come out and make second half adjustments. We had some miscommunication, but we came together in the second half."
The Scotties lone score came with 43 seconds left in the third quarter as running back Tay Willis broke loose in the middle of the field and darted in from 60 yards.
The win will likely move the No. 4 Grizzlies up in the rankings after No. 1 Blinn (Texas) fell to Northeastern Oklahoma 31-28 in Miami, Okla., on Saturday.
The Grizzlies will step out of conference play and travel to Colorado Springs next Saturday to face Air Force Prep for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
Highland (1-1, 1-2) 0 0 7 0 — 7 Butler (2-0, 3-0) 7 14 21 14 — 56
B—Wrenn 13 pass from Mettenberger (Drake kick)
B—Axon 5 run (Drake kick)
B—Axon 31 run (Drake kick)
B—Kennard 57 pass from Mettenberger (Drake kick)
B—Axon 23 pass from Mettenberger (Drake kick)
B—Kennard 81 pass from Mettenberger (Drake kick)
H—Wills 59 run (Owens kick) B — Gilmore 15 run (Drake kick)
B—Banner 7 run (Drake kick) Individual statistics
Rushing—Highland, Willis 13-88, Bauman 1-3, Cornelius 8-(-4), Schultz 1-(-5) Jackson 9-(-31). Butler, Axon 9-73, Sanders 6-69, Banner 5-44, Wilson 4-19, Gilmore 1-15, Wakes 1-5, Mettenberger, 9-(-27).
Passing—Highland Jackson 16-27-152-1, Bauman 0-1-0-0; Butler, Mettenberger 14-20-301-0, Gilmore 1-3-10-0.
Receiving—Highland, Glover 8-89, McCullum 3-12, Yantzi 1-24, Cornelius 1-12, Zumbehi 1-12, Myers 1-3, Wehking 1-0. Butler, Wrenn 4-40, Kennard 3-158, Soft 3-41, Freeman 3-34, Axon 1-23, Burns 1-15.