Bulldogs Roll In Season-Opener

Bulldogs Roll In Season-Opener

Box Score

ALBION, MICH. -- Junior quarterback Andrew Huck passed for 222 yards and three touchdowns to spark Butler to a 29-13 victory over host Albion in a non-league game at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium on Saturday (Sept. 4).  It was the season-opener for both teams.

Huck, who passed for more than 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns while leading Butler to an 11-1 record a year ago, hit on 20 of 31 attempts with just one interception against the Britons.  He hit wide receiver Zach Watkins with a 17-yard scoring aerial in the second quarter for Butler’s first touchdown and then threw two second half touchdown passes to junior Jordan Koopman in the second half.

Koopman’s first touchdown catch covered two yards and gave Butler a 23-6 advantage  His second scoring grab came from 26 yards out with just over three minutes remaining to close out the game’s scoring.

The Bulldogs, who led the Pioneer Football League in total offense a year ago, were hitting on all cylinders in the opening game.  Sparked by the one-two punch of senior Scott Gray and junior Ryan Hitchcock, Butler rolled up 297 rushing yards to go with Huck’s passing yards.  Gray finished with 93 rushing yards on 18 carries, while Hitchcock added 88 yards on 14 attempts.

Butler had a 519-232 edge in total yards in the game and a 27-9 advantage in first downs.

Huck guided the Bulldogs on a 47-yard scoring march on their first possession of the game.  Junior David Lang capped the drive with a 22-yard field goal for the first score of the game.

Lang came back three minutes later with a 35-yard field goal to make it 6-0, and the touchdown catch by Watkins to start the second quarter made it 13-0.

A 48-yard scoring run by Albion’s Clinton Orr cut Butler’s margin to 13-6, but Lang responded with his third field goal, a 29-yarder, to give the Bulldogs a 10-point lead at halftime.

The Britons answered Koopman’s first scoring catch with a 71-yard Spencer Krauss to J. C. Cruse touchdown pass in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs held Albion scoreless in the final period.

Koopman finished with a career-high nine receptions for a career-best 108 yards, while Watkins added three catches for 58 yards.  Linebackers William Lamar and Jordan Ridley paced Butler’s defense with six tackles apiece, while defensive backs Logan Sullivan and Jack McKenna each recorded a pass interceptions in the win.

The Bulldogs will remain on the road next week with a trip to Youngstown State for an early evening game on Saturday, Sept. 11.