BEAR’S LAIR: Butler will make it
first football visit to Franklin in nearly a quarter of a century
on Saturday, Sept. 12. The Bulldogs will travel to nearby
Johnson County to face the Grizzlies at Stewart “Red”
Faught Stadium on the Franklin campus in a 1:30 p.m. (ET)
non-league tilt. Butler and Franklin played annually as
conference foes in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, but the
long-time series ended when the Grizzlies left the Heartland
Collegiate Conference following the 1987 season. The
Bulldogs’ last visit to Franklin for a football game was in
1986, and the Grizzlies captured that meeting, 21-20. The
series, which dates back to 1887, was resumed last fall at the
Butler Bowl, and Franklin again prevailed in a nail-biter,
31-28. Butler’s last victory over the Grizzlies came in
1987, 49-14, in Indianapolis. Both teams opened the 2009
campaign with a victory. Butler defeated Albion, 42-3, at
home, while Franklin won at Baldwin-Wallace,
None of Butler’s current players were born the last time the Bulldogs won at Franklin in 1984.
ON THE AIR: For the fifth straight year, Butler football games can be heard on XL 950 (AM) in Indianapolis and on the internet at BigPlayProductions.com. Calling the game for the Bulldogs are play-by-play announcer Brian Giffin and former Butler football coach Ken LaRose. This weekend’s game against Franklin will be carried live, starting with a pre-game show at 1:10 p.m. (ET).
SUCCESSFUL START: The Bulldogs looked to be in midseason form on both sides of the ball, while piling up a 39-point win in their season-opener against Albion. Butler rolled up 529 yards in total offense and scored more than 40 points for the sixth time under head coach Jeff Voris. Defensively, the Bulldogs held Albion without a touchdown for the second consecutive year, while limiting the Britons to just 160 yards in total offense. The two teams were scoreless through the first quarter, before the Bulldogs took command with four touchdowns in the second period. It was Butler’s third straight season-opening victory over Albion.
OFFENSIVE LEADER: Sophomore Andrew Huck, making the most of his first collegiate start, turned in a record-setting performance against Albion and wound up being named the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week. The second-year signal caller completed 18 of 25 passes (with one interception) for 327 yards and five touchdowns. He also led the Bulldogs in rushing with 68 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. His five touchdown passes tied the Butler single game record set by Ron Kiolbassa against Valparaiso in 1990 and matched by DeWayne Ewing against Quincy in 2001. Huck’s 327 passing yards were the sixth-most by an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision quarterback in the first week of play, and he posted the third-best passer rating (239.87) of any FCS signal caller in Week 1.
Andrew Huck became the 14th Butler quarterback all-time to pass for over 300 yards in a game.
RECORD CATCH: Butler wide receiver Dan Bohrer only caught two passes in Butler’s win over Albion, but the second catch gave him a share of Butler’s all-time record for pass receptions. The senior captain enters this weekend’s game with 142 career pass receptions, matching the school-record set by Eric Voss, 1990-93. Bohrer had a career-high 10 receptions for a career-best 159 yards against Franklin last year.
Dan Bohrer tied Butler’s single game record with four touchdown catches against Franklin a year ago.
RETURN PERFORMANCE: Junior Scott Gray celebrated his return to Butler’s starting lineup with over 100 all-purpose yards against Albion. Gray had 34 rushing yards on nine carries and 74 receiving yards on two catches. He had a 71-yard reception for a touchdown in the second quarter, his first career TD catch. Gray, who was Butler’s leading rusher and the PFL’s leading scorer two years ago, missed all but three games last season with injuries.
Scott Gray has scored 18 touchdowns in 13 career games at Butler.
CAREER DAY: Sophomore Zach Watkins averaged just over eight yards on his first three receptions against Albion. He averaged nearly 40 yards on his next four catches, and he scored three touchdowns! Watkins finished the day with a career-best seven receptions for a career-high 183 yards and touchdowns of 48, 62 and 19 yards. His 183 receiving yards were the fifth-most in Butler football history.
FOOT REPLACEMENT: The questions about who would step into the roles of punter and placekicker for the Bulldogs in 2009 were answered with a couple of solid performances against Albion. Redshirt freshman Michael Wilson, a transfer from the U. S. Naval Academy, averaged 42.3 yards on six punts in Butler’s season-opener, while sophomore David Lang, who handled kickoff duties for the Bulldogs last year, was perfect on six extra point kick attempts against the Britons.
•Senior safety Spencer Summerville recorded his first collegiate pass interception in Butler’s win over Albion. Summerville picked off a pass and returned it 22 yards to end the first half. He also had five tackles and one pass breakup in the game.
•Spencer Summerville had 10 tackles against Franklin last year, the second-highest total of his Butler career.
•Among the players who saw their first action for the Bulldogs in the Albion contest was sophomore linebacker Andrew Cottrell, who transferred to Butler from Grand Valley State last year. Cottrell wound up sharing Butler’s lead in tackles against the Britons with six.
•Sophomore Logan Sullivan recorded his first career blocked kick in the Bulldogs’ victory over Albion. Sullivan blocked a punt in the third quarter, setting up Butler’s final touchdown against the Britons.
•Sophomore defensive back Jack McKenna shared Butler’s lead in tackles against Albion with a career-high six stops.
•Sophomore safety Mark Giacomantonio had three tackles, including two tackles for loss, one pass interception and one forced fumble against Albion in his first starting assignment for the Bulldogs.
•Offensive guard Donny Gilmore started his 23rd consecutive game for the Bulldogs in last weekend’s opener against Albion.
•Butler’s 529 yards in total offense against Albion were the Bulldogs’ second-most under head coach Jeff Voris. The Bulldogs rolled up 535 total yards in a 56-7 victory at Campbell last fall.
•Quarterback Andrew Huck is leading the PFL in passing average (327.0), pass efficiency rating (239.9) and total offense (395.0) after the first week of action.
•Wide receiver Zach Watkins leads the PFL in scoring (18.0 ppg) after the first week.
•Wide receiver Dan Bohrer needs 17 receiving yards to tie Kyle Conner for fifth place on Butler’s all-time list for pass receiving yards. Conner compiled 1,801 receiving yards from 1997 to 2000.
ON THIS DATE: On Sept. 12, 1992, defensive end Elgin Reese set a Butler single game record with five quarterback sacks in Butler’s 33-7 victory over St. Joseph’s.