Bulldogs Fall To Dayton, 33-13

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Quarterback Steve Valentino passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns to lead visiting Dayton to a 33-13 victory over Butler in a Pioneer Football League game at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 16.  The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 3-4 on the season and 1-3 in league play.

Valentino, who also led the Flyers (6-1, 4-0 PFL) in rushing with 74 yards on 12 carries, gave Dayton the lead for good with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:24 left in the first quarter.  The senior signal caller then engineered three-more first half scoring drives to give the visitors a 19-3 halftime lead.

“They made some plays and we missed some plays,” said Butler head coach Jeff Voris.  “We had some opportunities we didn’t capitalize on and they seemed to make their plays.   (Valentino) is the “X” factor.  He’s really good and when he gets out in space, he’s tough to bring down, and he creates plays for them outside the offense.”

The Bulldogs scored first in the game on a career-long 41-yard field goal by junior David Lang.  The opening score followed an 11-play, 65-yard drive that stalled at the Dayton 24-yard line.

Butler also scored first in the second half on a 38-yard Lang field goal, following a 34-yard drive in 10 plays.

But Dayton answered in a big way in both halves.  Valentino hit Anthony Papp with a four-yard scoring pass at 6:37 of the third quarter to stretch the Flyers’ lead to 27-6.  The visitors then made it 33-6 on a six-yard touchdown run by Dan Jacob, following a blocked punt.

Butler closed the game’s scoring in the final period on a two-yard run by quarterback Matt Kobli, capping a 12-play, 73-yard drive.

“I think when we go back and look at it, we’ll see that we stopped ourselves a couple of times, but you have to tip your hat to (Dayton).  Their front is as good as you’ll play against, they’re really sound, and they make it tough to move the ball play after play after play, all the way down the field,” added Voris.

Junior quarterback Andrew Huck led Butler with 81 rushing yards on 12 carries, and he passed for 175 yards, completing 19 of 38 passes.  Junior Zach Watkins caught five passes for 68 yards, while junior Jordan Koopman had five catches for 51 yards.

Sophomore linebacker Jordan Ridley paced Butler’s defense with 10 tackles.

The Bulldogs will remain at home to host Morehead State in a PFL game on Saturday, Oct. 23.  That contest, Butler’s Homecoming game, is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.