The Butler football team wasn’t as focused as coach Brian Hales said he expected this week in practice.
But if there was any question about his players’ focus Friday night, it didn’t show as the No. 2 Bulldogs scored on six of seven first-half possessions in a 55-0 victory at Porter Ridge.
Butler senior quarterback Anthony Ratliff-Williams, who has committed to North Carolina, completed 9 of 11 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 143 yards and three more scores in less than three quarters.
Bulldogs senior Alex Barrow had four catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns and junior tailback Benjamin LeMay added 108 yards and a touchdownon 14 carries.
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“We’re all business when we hit the field; we don’t play down to our competition,” Ratliff-Williams said. “When we see a chance to dominate we take it. We want to leave no doubt who is the best team.”
Hales was also happy with his team’s focus.
“I was pleased to see what we did out there tonight because we really didn’t have a good week of practice,” Hales said. “But tonight the focus was there. We took care of business.”
Ratliff-Williams scored on Butler’s third play from scrimmage on a 31-yard touchdown.
After the next Butler possession ended on downs, the only time the Pirates stopped them in the first half, the Bulldogs exploded.
Ratliff-Williams scored on runs of 49 and 79 yards and Barrow caught 31 and 34-yard touchdown passes.
Senior Jalen Cousar (5-yard touchdown run), LeMay (17-yard touchdown run) and sophomore Chrisean-Davis Pinckney (12-yard touchdown catch) also scored as Butler led 41-0 at half and 55-0 after three quarters.
With Butler (9-1, 5-0) on a bye next week, the win also sets up a Nov. 7 showdown with archrival Independence (9-0, 5-0), where the Southwestern 4A conference title will be at stake.
“It’s always fun to play those guys; it’s a real blessing,” Ratliff-Williams said. “It’s the biggest rivalry in the state. They are going to come with their best and we will bring our best too.”
Porter Ridge (1-8, 1-3) struggled to put together offensive plays, accounting for 103 yards of total offense (29 yards rushing and 74 yards passing). Pirates quarterback Matt Bowman led the way with 23 yards rushing and 29 yards passing.