Butler Rally Comes Up Short At Drake

Butler Rally Comes Up Short At Drake

DES MOINES, IOWA -- Butler’s late comeback attempt at Drake was stopped in the final minute, and the host squad escaped with a 10-7 victory in a Pioneer Football League game at Drake Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 13  The season-ending setback left Butler with a 4-7 overall record and a 2-6 PFL mark.

Butler trailed 10-0 heading into the final period, but quarterback Andrew Huck engineered a 13-play, 81-yard scoring drive in the final five minutes to cut the margin to three.  Huck found wide receiver Zach Watkins with a 22-yard touchdown strike to cap the drive.

Butler’s defense then stopped Drake with 1:11 remaining, giving Huck a final shot to tie or win the game.  But the home team came through with a pass interception on a third down play to end Butler’s bid.  It was Butler’s fifth turnover of the contest.

Drake (7-4, 6-2 PFL) grabbed an early lead on a 23-yard field goal by Billy Janssen in the first quarter.  Butler had two chances to tie the game, but placekicker David Lang missed a field goal attempt from 39 yards in the first quarter and from 46 yards in the second.  Drake took the 3-0 lead to halftime.

The host squad then stretched the margin to 10 points on a four-yard touchdown run by Tom Kostek with 2:57 left in the third quarter.  That’s where the score remained until Butler began its comeback attempt.

Huck finished the game with 14 completions in 28 attempts, with two interceptions, for 149 yards, while Watkins had eight catches for 84 yards.  Senior Scott Gray, playing his final game in a Butler uniform, led the team in rushing with 64 yards on 13 carries.  Backup quarterback Matt Kobli completed eight of 13 passes for 90 yards.

Junior Jordan Ridley paced an inspired Butler defensive effort with 15 tackles, including 12 solo stops.  He had three tackles for loss, and he added a 22-yard pass interception return.  Senior Logan Sullivan added eight tackles and a 12-yard interception return in his final Butler game.

Butler out-gained Drake, 363-280, in total offense in the game, but the visiting Bulldogs lost three fumbles in addition to the two pass interceptions.