IOWA FALLS, IOWA -- The Ellsworth Panthers couldn't overcome 3 early touchdown runs by Butler CC's Ashuan Dingle and dropped their season finale to the Grizzlies, 40-9, at a chilly Cadet Field on Saturday.
Dingle found the end zone 3 times to begin the scoring in the 1st half. He ran for 39 and 11 yards in the opening period and added a 1-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter for a 21-0 lead.
ECC's Jaylin Vaughn sacked the Butler QB in the end zone in the 2nd stanza to get the home team on the scoreboard and then Dan Knudsen picked off a pass and ran it back 30 yards for a score. After Leonardo Araujo booted the extra point following Knudsen's pick-six, the Panthers had crept back to within, 21-9. On a day when their offense was held to just 95 yards, ECC wouldn't score again, however. They had only 67 yards passing and 28 yards on the ground and managed only 8 first downs. ECC's Nick Breon punted 11 times.
Butler tallied one more TD in the first half and it was Dingle's 4th of the game, a 33-yarder, to make it 28-9 at the half. Dingle rushed for 245 yards. The Grizzlies tacked on 2 more scores in the 4th quarter for the final margin.
ECC had some defensive standouts: Michael Acri led the tacklers with 11, including 9 solo stops. Malcolm Bryant registered 8 tackles, 4 of them for a loss and he had a sack. Jaylin Vaughn's sack resulted in a safety and he also had a forced fumble. Kmari Watson had 2.5 tackles for loss.
Playing a brutal schedule that included a couple of ranked Iowa schools and 7 teams from the tough Jayhawk Conference in Kansas, the Panthers finished the year with an 0-10 record.