Butler Continues Road Stretch At Campbell
ROAD WORK: Butler will continue a stretch
of four road games in five weeks when it visits Campbell for a
Pioneer Football League test on Saturday, Oct. 8. The game at
Campbell’s Barker-Lane Stadium is scheduled to start at noon
(ET). The Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1 PFL), coming off a stunning
29-27 victory at Dayton, are looking to climb above the .500 mark
in league play. Butler dropped its league-opener at home to
Drake, before rebounding with the victory over the defending PFL
co-champion Flyers. The win at Dayton was Butler’s
second consecutive road victory and lifted the Bulldogs to 2-1 away
from the Butler Bowl this season. Campbell (1-3, 0-2 PFL)
dropped a 31-14 decision at Drake last weekend, despite a
school-record performance by quarterback Braden Smith. The
Camels’ signal caller completed 28 of 50 passes for 263 yards
and a touchdown in the loss. Following the game at Campbell,
the Bulldogs will return to Indianapolis for their next three
contests, beginning with a game against Valparaiso on Oct.
Butler is 2-0 in Barker-Lane Stadium.
COUNTER PUNCH: Butler and Dayton traded punches throughout the PFL contest, until linebacker Nick Caldicott (right) applied the knockout blow for the Bulldogs with a pass interception on Dayton’s final drive. The acrobatic, one-handed catch by the Butler senior with 1:04 remaining ended the Flyer’s hope for a final comeback. Butler jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Flyers answered with back-to-back touchdowns in the second period to gain a 14-10 advantage. The teams then traded touchdowns and leads three times, before Dayton’s Pat Dowd returned a blocked punt 58 yards to put the Flyers in front, 27-23, with 12:59 left on the scoreboard. Butler responded with a pair of 35-yard field goals by senior David Lang in the final eight minutes to recapture the lead, and Caldicott sealed the decision with his theft. The Butler victory snapped Dayton’s 11-game PFL winning streak.
PFL HONOR: Placekicker David Lang was named Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week, following his game-winning performance at Dayton. Lang kicked three field goals in the game, including the 35-yard, game-winner with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter. He kicked a career-long 46-yard field goal to give Butler a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and then he nailed a 35-yard field goal with 7:52 left in the game to trim Dayton’s lead to 27-26. He scored 11 of Butler’s 29 points in the game. Lang was named PFL Player of the week for the second time this season. He also earned the honor on Sept. 11, after kicking two field goals and four PAT’s at Indiana State.
David Lang has been named PFL Player of the Week five times during his career.
RUSH JOB: Sophomore tailback Trae Heeter helped Butler roll up more than 400 yards in total offense against the PFL’s top defensive unit. Heeter, who leads the PFL in rushing, ran for 142 yards on 25 carries, and he caught five passes for an additional 61 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 46 yards, giving him 249 all-purpose yards on the afternoon. Dayton entered the game as the PFL leader in total defense and in scoring defense.
Trae Heeter leads the PFL in all-purpose yards (197.2).
AIR SHOW: Senior Andrew Huck continued his climb on Butler’s all-time passing list with a 255-yard performance at Dayton. The Butler signal caller connected on 28 of 45 passes against the Flyers and recorded three touchdown throws. He gave Butler the early lead with a three-yard strike to wide receiver Zach Watkins, and then he closed the first half with a four-yard TD throw to Jeff Larsen. Huck’s final touchdown pass to came from two-yards out in the third period. The Butler quarterback boosted his career passing total to 5,639 yards. He trails Bill Lynch, 1972-76, in second place on Butler’s all-time passing list by 270 yards. Butler’s all-time passing record of 8,094 yards is held by DeWayne Ewing, 1998-2001,
Andrew Huck has thrown 44 career touchdown passes.
TAKE-AWAY: The game-saving pass interception by senior linebacker Nick Caldicott was one of two official and three unofficial thefts by the Bulldogs at Dayton. Senior Andy Dauch picked off a Dayton pass at midfield in the second quarter, and he later intercepted another pass on a two-point conversion attempt. The Bulldogs also came up with another turnover when defensive end Grant Hunter hit Dayton quarterback Will Bardo, forcing a fumble late in the third quarter. Linebacker Paul Yanow recovered the fumble for the Bulldogs. Butler did not have a turnover in the game.
Butler leads the PFL in turnover margin (+7).
•Quarterback Andrew Huck ranks third in the PFL in total
offense (283.8). He stands second on the league’s list
of active career leaders with 6,607 total offense yards.
•Andrew Huck rushed for 69 yards on 13 carries against Campbell last year. He passed for a career-low 56 yards (6-18-1) against the Camels.
•Senior wide receiver Zach Watkins led the Bulldogs at Dayton with nine receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. He boosted his Butler record career totals to 213 catches for 2,363 yards.
•Zach Watkins leads the PFL and ranks seventh in the NCAA Division I FCS in receptions per game (7.8). He ranks third in the league in receiving yards per game (82.6).
•Senior Jordan Koopman is questionable for this week’s game, after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit at Dayton. Koopman ranks fourth in the PFL in receptions (6.4) and sixth in the league in receiving yards (71.4).
•Jordan Koopman is ranked eighth in the NCAA Division I FCS in punt return average (15.57). He’s the top PFL player on the NCAA list.
•Linebacker Jordan Ridley continues to lead the PFL in tackles (10.6). Ridley had seven tackles at Dayton and shared Butler’s lead with teammate Jeff Poss.
•Jordan Ridley had 15 tackles to lead the Bulldogs in last year’s game against Campbell.
•Senior Grant Hunter, who has three quarterback sacks this season, is the PFL active career leader in sacks (27.5).
•Linebacker Paul Yanow stands third in the PFL with two fumble recoveries this season.
•Senior placekicker David Lang is the PFL’s active leader in career field goals (28). Butler’s school record for career field goals is 34, set by John Jenkins, 1985-88.
•David Lang ranks second in the PFL in field goals (7) this season. He stands second in the league in kick scoring (7.0) and fourth in the circuit in overall scoring.
•Senior offensive lineman Pete Mattingly has started 33 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
(Photo by Dr. Bill Petraiuolo)