Butler Slips Past Davidson, 14-7

Quarterback Andrew Huck led Butler on a 98-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to lift the Bulldogs to a 14-7 victory over visiting Davidson in a Pioneer Football League game at the Butler Bowl on Saturday (Oct. 31).  The victory boosted Butler to 8-0 on the season for the first time since 1961 and 5-0 in the PFL.

Huck engineered the winning drive that started on the Butler two-yard line following a Davidson punt with 8:26 left in the game.  The Butler signal caller completed three of five passes for 42 yards, and he rushed three times for 28 yards in the series.  Tailback Ryan Hitchcock had an 11-yard run on the drive, running back Scott Gray added two yards and the Bulldogs picked up a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.  Huck ran for 17 yards to the Davidson one-yard line on a third-and-seven situation, and then he scored the eventual game-winner from one-yard out.

“This is a confident team,” said Butler head coach Jeff Voris of his squad after the game.  “They believe in themselves and they believe in each other.  There was a definite calm about the team when we started that drive.  Andrew (Huck) had the ball on that series, but the entire offense did a great job of playing the play.”

The Bulldogs gained yards the entire afternoon, but only had seven points to show for it heading into the closing minutes.

“We moved the ball well all day, but we repeatedly shot ourselves in the foot,” added Voris.  “Our defense did a good job of getting the ball, but we didn’t take advantage on offense.”

The Bulldogs did jump to a lead in the first quarter, marching 80 yards in 11 plays to grab a 7-0 advantage.  Hitchcock capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run, his fourth of the season.

Butler reached the “red zone” one other time in the first half, but came up empty when David Lang missed a 35-yard field goal.  The Bulldogs also had a touchdown called back on an illegal block call in the third quarter.

Davidson (2-6, 2-4 PFL) tied the game on its first possession of the second half on a two-play 70-yard drive.  Tailback Kenny Mantuo had a 61-yard run on the first play of the possession, and then he scored from nine yards out on the second play.  The Davidson running back finished with a game-high 147 rushing yards on 19 carries.

The teams’ punters took center stage for a big portion of the second half, including a rare double-punt by Butler’s Michael Wilson.  The Butler punter, kicking from the Butler 39-yard line, had his first punt blocked by Davidson’s Nick Savarino.  The ball bounced back to Wilson, who punted again to the Davidson one-yard line!

Huck finished the game with 136 passing yards, completing 14 of 26 attempts, and he added 81 rushing yards on 16 attempts.  Gray led the Bulldogs with 117 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Hitchcock added 58 yards on eight attempts.

Linebacker Nick Caldicott led Butler’s defense with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops.

The victory was Butler's first over Davidson in six tries.

The Bulldogs will be on the road for their next two contests, beginning with a showdown contest at PFL co-leader Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 7.