The win moves the Wildcats into the second round Friday against Owensboro Catholic, who ended Trigg’s season in the second round last year.
Trigg County used a strong ground game and stingy defense to eliminate the Bears (7-4) from the playoffs for the second straight year.
Steven Wadlington carried 24 times for 204 yards and had several runs long run called back due to penalties.
The Wildcats were flagged a total of 14 times for 126 yards. The list of laundry included three personal fouls, four holding calls, and three for illegal procedure.
"We had too many penalties on offense, and it killed us," said Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins. "We could have scored more than 28 if we weren’t having several plays called back."
It was the first time this season Trigg County topped 100 penalty yards and the first time since the 2003 Caldwell County game.
Butler County was penalized four times for 25 yards.
The Bears were intent on shutting down Trigg County’s short passing game, which was an Achilles heel in their 27-0 loss to Trigg County last year.
With the Bears crowding the line of scrimmage, Trigg tried to throw over the top. Tommy Woodall completed just 5-of-17 passes for 82 yards and was the victim of four dropped passes by his receivers.
But the Bears didn’t have an answer for Trigg’s running game, which rolled up 322 yards on 44 attempts (7.3 yards per carry).
In addition to Wadlington’s big night, Taylor McGee had 72 yards, and Woodall added 34 yards and three short touchdown runs.
"We wanted to take away their short game. It killed us last year, and we wanted to take that out of their arsenal," said Butler County head coach Robert Tuck.
Butler County couldn’t capitalize on an onsides kick to start the game, going three plays and out on their first three drives.
A 45-yard punt return by Devin Tejada helped set up Trigg County’s first score, a 2-yard keeper by Woodall with 4:34 left in the opening quarter. The first of four Jacob Wadlington conversion kicks made the score 7-0.
The Wildcats took a two-touchdown lead on their next possession, fueled by 49 rushing yards by Wadlington.
Facing third-and-17, Woodall found Jamaal Boyd open in the right corner for an 18-yard touchdown with 11:09 left in the half.
Butler County answered with a eight-play, 46-yard drive capped off by a fake that would have made pop singer Ashlee Simpson proud.
Butler quarterback Tad Phelps faked a handoff, then scampered around the left side untouched for a 28-yard run with 6:55 left in the half that brought the Bears to within 14-7.
The Wildcats had a chance to add to their lead when they appeared to catch a break just before halftime.
Greg Acree intercepted a Phelps pass in front of the Butler County bench and appeared to straddle the sideline while gaining possession.
A 24-yard pass to Jake Wallace moved the football to the 21-yard line where the drive stalled after three straight incomplete passes.
Jacob Wadlington’s 42-yard field attempt missed right, keeping the score 14-7 at halftime.
Kenny Turner recovered a fumble in Butler County territory three minutes into the second half that set the table for Trigg’s third touchdown.
Woodall connected with Boyd again on a 45-yard pass to the Butler 4-yard line. Two plays later, Woodall scored from two yards out for a 21-7 lead with 7:49 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats appeared headed to tacking on another score with a clock-munching six minute drive to the Butler County 17-yard line where it stalled.
The Bears drove downfield to the Wildcat 3-yard line, but Acree intercepted his second pass of the night at the goal line to end the Butler County threat.
The Wildcats put the game away with a run-exclusive 9-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a Woodall 4-yard run with 3:02 left in the game, good for a 28-7 Wildcat lead.
Butler County added a late score on a 10-yard pass from Phelps to Luke Curry that was deflected twice and caught with 1:59 left for the final 14-point margin.
The Bears, who came into the game averaging 240 yards a night on the ground, were held to 108 yards on 29 carries.
Leading rusher Clay Tynes, their leading rusher at 79 yards a game, was limited to five yards on five carries thanks to a defensive look that caught Butler County off guard.
"We had to make some adjustments in the second half, because they came out in a 40 defense, and we were expecting a 50 that caught us off guard a bit. They played more zone than we expected," Tuck said.
Phelps led Butler County with 103 yards on 20 carries, the first running back to rush for over 100 yards on the Wildcat defense since Fort Campbell’s Micah Johnson rushed for 134 yards on Sept. 17.
Phelps also completed 7-of-20 passes for 90 yards.
Trigg County outgained Butler 404-198.
"Our defensive line is playing so much better. We have really re-established the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the football," Higgins said.
The win moves Trigg County’s record to 10-1 on the season, their first 10-win season since 2001.
The victory was also the 50th at Trigg County for Higgins, who carries a 50-19 mark into Friday’s game at Owensboro Catholic.