Butler Coach Scott Carmony, a Tates Creek assistant a few years ago, enjoyed a return to his old stomping grounds Saturday night.
And his Bears did the stomping.
Butler, which had lost 24 of its last 26 games over the last three years, rolled over Paul Laurence Dunbar 34-14 in the nightcap of the iHigh Football Frenzy at Tates Creek.
Butler did nothing fancy in winning its season opener for the first time since 2004.
It relied heavily on Deangelo Thomas, a 1,000-yard rusher last year. He was the workhorse against Dunbar, carrying 23 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bears did not complete a pass, but piled up 371 yards on the ground.
Dunbar jumped ahead 7-0 when it took the opening kickoff and drove for a score. Thayer Burgess got the TD on a 9-yard run.
But Butler dominated the rest of the game.
Thomas rushed for a pair of TDs to give the Bears a 14-7 lead, and his hard running set up Tyler Sharp's 3-yard score.
Down 20-7, Dunbar recovered an onside kick to start the second half, but its offense went backward when a trick play went haywire.
Butler took over and drove for what amounted to a clinching score.
Dunbar quarterback Trent Martin completed 14 of 23 passes for 137 yards and a TD. Kendall Davis had five catches for 62 yards.
For Dunbar, it was a replay of last week when its defense surrendered 425 rushing yards in a 35-7 loss to Bullitt East.
The Bulldogs have lost 16 of their last 18 games over the past three years.
Butler 34, Paul Dunbar 14
Butler 14 6 7 7—34
Paul Dunbar 7 0 0 7—14
PD—Thayer Burgess 9 run (Matt Puracchio kick). B—Deangelo Thomas 1 run (Kevin Carillo kick). B—Thomas 6 run (Carillo kick). B—Tyler Sharp 3 run (kick failed). B—Thomas 2 run (Carillo kick). B—Tony Overall 1 run (Carillo kick). PD—Paul Jones 16 pass from Trent Martin (Puracchio kick).
Records—Butler 1-0, Paul Dunbar 0-2.