Scott Strohmeier knows that when his team faces off with Butler, discipline and defense are required to come away with a victory.

That those traits showed up in the stat sheet for the 11th-ranked Reivers’ 23-13 victory Saturday over sixth-ranked Butler at Titan Stadium comes as no surprise.

IWCC forced five turnovers, had five sacks and was flagged only five times for 35 yards. The Reivers allowed only 140 yards of total offense to a top-10 team in the country.

“That was an unbelievable performance from our defense,” Strohmeier said. “They did not let them generate anything offensively.

“I knew going in that it was going to be who won the turnover battle and the field position battle. They took a safety to change the field position because they were backed up. Both teams were backed up numerous times, but we won the turnover battle.”

Such production overshadowed Iowa Western’s own lack of offense Saturday. The Reivers finished with only 183 yards of offense on the day, enough to get the job done. Freshman running back Chandler Cotton, shouldering his biggest role of the season, finished with 24 carries for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to the kid,” Strohmeier said. “A couple weeks ago, he was going to redshirt, and he wanted to play, and he had an opportunity to play. Here we are in the biggest game of the year to this point and he gets in the end zone a couple times. They weren’t easy yards by any stretch, but he just kept plugging. Hats off to him for his effort.”

Iowa Western’s defense was once again on point. Over the course of the Reivers’ six-game winning streak, they haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than 13 points in a game. Saturday, Zion Williams and Marcus Haskins had interceptions and Devin Drew, Kenny Wilkins, Jr. and SL McCall had fumble recoveries. And IWCC got after the quarterback. Drew finished with two sacks and Jayleen Fitzpatrick, Keenan Stewart and Isaiah Coe each tallied one.

Next week brings the season finale for IWCC with a trip to No. 17 Highland. The Reivers could be back in the top 10 of the NJCAA national rankings to be released next week, and they’ll be looking to push the win streak to seven.

“I told them that I was extremely proud of the way we played,” Strohmeier said. “We’ve got to enjoy this win. It wasn’t pretty, but we knew it was going to be a dog fight. Let’s enjoy this thing and try to finish it off next week against a Highland team that’s always tough at home. Just the way we’ve persevered, with six straight wins against some ranked opponents, we’ll definitely take it.”

Butler (8-3) 3 3 0 7 -- 13

Iowa Western (7-4) 9 0 14 0 -- 23

B: FG Jacob Abel 25

IW: Sheldon Cage 8 pass from Cam Thomas (Chase Contreraz kick)

IW: Team safety

B: FG Abel 24

IW: Chandler Cotton 3 run (Contreraz kick)

IW: Cotton 1 run (Contreraz kick)

B: Eric Scott 100 interception return (Abel kick)​

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