NCAA Football

Butler Soccer earns invitation to CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl – Butler County Times-Gazette

Butler Soccer earns invitation to CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl – Butler County Times-Gazette

Butler Soccer earns invitation to CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl – Butler County Times-Gazette

By CHARLES CHENEY

Butler’s football season isn’t over yet.

They have been invited to attend the 20th JUCO CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl in Commerce, Texas on December 3rd at 1:00 p.m.

CHAMPS stands for Communities That Help Americans Grow, Advance and Succeed. CHAMPS is part of America’s Drug Free Productions, Inc. 501c3 organizations. ADFP’s mission is to provide educational information about the dangers of alcohol abuse, illegal drugs, bullying and teen suicide to America’s youth.

The bowl game is at Memorial Stadium, home of Division II Texas A&M-Commerce, just over an hour from Dallas. It features Southwest Junior High Football Conference champions Kilgore College and Butler High School.

The second bowl game went on hiatus for a few seasons after 2018, but returned last season when Tyler JC defeated Coffeyville 28-7 in the bowl game. This particular bowl game has previously featured Division II schools in their own variations. However, in 2021, the junior college game returned.

In other notable games, Garden City lost to Trinity Valley in 2017. Coffeyville lost to No. 3 Trinity Valley in 2014. Fort Scott defeated No. 5 Blinn in 2008. Hutch defeated Tyler JC in 2004, and Coffeyville won its first edition in 2001 with a 49-14 win over Navarro.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 7-4 season that saw them finish third in the Kansas Community College Jayhawk Conference after being picked fifth in the preseason.

Butler beat Ellsworth 40-9 in the season finale to finish 12th in the NJCAA. This will be Butler’s 30th bowl game in school history and first since they won the 2018 and 2019 Midwest Bowl championships.

Butler is 16-13 all-time. Butler has played in two Texas bowl games during their storied history. First coming in 1983 in the Roaring Ranger Bowl against the now defunct Ranger College program. Butler won 21-11. In 2007, Ranger College closed its football program. Butelr also played in the 1987 Texas Junior College Bowl in Tyler, Texas, where they lost to Blinn, 35-14.

The Grizzlies will play in a bowl game against Kilgore College, who just won the SWJCFC championship.

Kilgore finished the season as the SWJCFC postseason champion, beating then-No. 4 Trinity Valley, 38-10, and further – No. 6 NM, 39-12. They finished the regular season 8-3. They lost to Navarre, Trinity Valley and NMMI in the regular season. They finished the season on a 4-game winning streak and won six of their last seven games.

Kilgore reached the No. 5 ranking this season before they lost back-to-back games to Navarro and NMMI earlier in the season. After falling to 2-2 on the season, they rolled back the rest to end the season.

They are coached by Willie Gooden. He has been the head coach of the Rangers for the past three seasons. He won two conference championships as Kilgore’s head coach.

The Rangers finished the season with freshman QB, Judah Holtzclaw as their starter. He is 45 of 83 on the season for 763 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He rushed 33 times for 160 yards with a score. Leading the way for Kilgore on the ground is Doneria Davenport, who ranks third in the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns behind Butler’s Ajaun Dingle.

This will be the first time the two schools have met since 2007 when they played back-to-back seasons. Butler had both wins over Kilgore in those years. In 2006, Butler went to Kilgore and shut out the Rangers 26-0. The Grizzlies led 9-0 at halftime. It wasn’t until the beginning of the fourth game that the Grizzlies were able to close out the game. Brandon Barnett had two touchdown passes for the Grizzlies in that game. Paul Eck went 12 of 22 for 160 yards and Butler allowed just 223 yards in the game. Current Butler assistant coach Maurice Gray won five tackles.

In 2007, Butler hosted Kilgore. This time they got a close 29-28 victory. Butler’s Beau Johnson scored with 1:18 left in the game to tie the score, and Grady Fowler kicked the extra point to give Butler a 29-28 win. Butler trailed 28-12 midway through the fourth quarter before they mounted an incredible comeback.

Some notable names on Butler’s side in 2007 coincide: Pres Taylor, brother of current Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zach Taylor, started for the Grizzlies, going 22 of 43 for 252 yards and an interception. Current Butler head coach Brice Vinieri had three receptions for 29 yards in the win. Current Butler defensive coordinator Kyle Woodall finished the game with a forced fumble and seven tackles. Gray made seven tackles in the win.

Everyone will buy tickets can visit the cup site, where they start at $13 for regular admission.



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