November 12, 2013

Bulldogs Seek Repeat Title At Morehead State

BUTLER (8-3, 6-1 PFL) vs. MOREHEAD STATE (3-7, 3-4 PFL)
Saturday, November 16, 1 p.m. (ET)
Jayne Stadium, Morehead, Ky.

TITLE RUN:  Butler can clinch its second consecutive Pioneer Football League championship and its third in five years when it visits Morehead State on Saturday (Nov. 16).  The final regular season game for the Bulldogs will start at 1 p.m. (ET) at Morehead State's Jayne Stadium.  The Bulldogs (8-3, 6-1 PFL) maintained a share of first place in the PFL standings with a convincing 72-12 victory at home over Valparaiso.  It was the biggest margin of victory by a Butler team in more than a quarter of a century.  The Bulldogs enter this week's action in a first place tie in the PFL with San Diego and Marist, while Mercer sits just one-half game back in fourth place.  San Diego hosts Drake, while Mercer is at Marist in other key league games on the final full PFL weekend.  Morehead State (3-7, 3-4 PFL)  fell at home to San Diego, 56-3, in its last outing.  The Eagles have dropped three straight contests, after compiling a season-best three-game winning streak.                                                 

Only six Butler teams have won nine games in a season.

POWER PLAY:  Butler answered an early touchdown by visiting Valparaiso with 38 consecutive points and then tacked on 34 more after the Crusaders' second touchdown.  The 72 total points were the most scored by a Butler team in nearly a century and the most ever scored in the Butler Bowl.  Six different Butler players combined to score ten touchdowns and all but one came in the first three quarters of the game!  The Bulldogs led 45-12 at halftime, before out-scoring the visitors, 27-0, in the second half.

The Bulldogs set a school record with 717 total yards against Valparaiso.   

PFL HONOR:  Sophomore Jon Treloar was named Pioneer Football League Co-Special Teams Player of the Week after a record-setting performance against Valparaiso.  Treloar connected on a school-record nine PAT kicks and one field goal against the Crusaders.  His nine PATs erased the previous school record of eight, which he shared with Bob Ligda (1974) and Tim Witmer (1989), and his 12 points set a Butler single game kick scoring record.  Treloar also broke the school single season record for PATs, boosting his 2013 total to 47.

AIR ONE:  Senior quarterback Matt Lancaster completed 11 of 15 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the first half against Valparaiso and then watched most of the second half from the sidelines.  His effort boosted his career passing total to 5,041 yards and moved him into fourth place on Butler's all-time passing list in just two seasons!  It was his third career 300-yard passing performance.

Matt Lancaster has thrown 38 touchdown passes in two seasons.  

PLAYING CATCH:  Senior wide receiver Brendan Shannon scored three touchdowns in a 14-minute stretch to spark Butler's early offensive explosion against Valparaiso.  He pulled in touchdown passes of 35 yards and 57 yards from quarterback Matt Lancaster to end the first period, and then he added a 51-yard score midway through the second quarter.  Shannon finished with 142 yards on just five catches.  It was his third consecutive 100-yard receiving performance and the sixth time in nine games this season that's he's topped the century mark in receiving yards.  Shannon ranks third on Butler's all-time list for receptions (155), and he seventh on the school's all-time list for receiving yards (1862).

Brendan Shannon leads the PFL in receptions (7.2/gm).      

RUSH JOB:  Senior Trae Heeter became just the fourth player in Butler football history to post 3,000 career rushing yards during Butler's victory over Valparaiso.  He finished the game with 115 yards on nine carries, boosting his career rushing total to 3,055 yards.  Heeter, who stands fourth on Butler's all-time rushing list, also increased his season rushing total to 1,131 yards.  He trails Naim Sanders (1998) in 10th place on Butler's single season rushing chart by just 32 yards and Kevin Kimble (1992) in ninth place by 44 yards.

Trae Heeter leads the PFL in rushing (102.8 ypg) for the second straight year.

SCORING ASSIST:  The opportunistic Bulldogs came up with two pass interceptions and recovered one fumble against Valparaiso and all three turnovers led to Butler touchdowns.  Defensive back Ryan Kelsey picked off a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and senior Sean Grady had a 33-yard interception return in the third period to set up a 21-yard touchdown run by tailback Rico Watson.  And a third quarter fumble recovery by Marquese Martin-Hayes on a Butler kickoff led to a 14-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Wade Markley.  Butler leads the PFL and ranks second nationally in turnovers gained (29).

BULLDOG BITS:

•Quarterback Matt Lancaster is four yards shy of fifth place on Butler's single season list for passing yards.  DeWayne Ewing (2001) currently stands fifth on the Butler list with 2,337 yards.

•Matt Lancaster ranks fourth in the PFL in total offense (289.8), and he's tied for fourth in the league in touchdowns scored (10).

•Matt Lancaster passed for 359 yards and four touchdowns, and he rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown against Morehead State last year.

•Matt Lancaster tossed the longest touchdown pass of his career with his 84-yard strike to Trae Heeter in the victory over Valparaiso.  It was Butler's longest touchdown pass since 1993, when Jason Stahl hit Jon Hill with an 85-yard touchdown pass against Hofstra.

•Running back Trae Heeter stands ninth on Butler's all-time scoring list with 168 career points. Kevin McDevitt (1973-76) is eighth with 172 points.

•Trae Heeter ranks second in the PFL in all-purpose yards (127.5).

•Trae Heeter rushed for 100 yards against Morehead State last year.

•Wide receiver Brendan Shannon ranks third in the PFL in receiving yards (97.3).

•Brendan Shannon had career-highs of 14 receptions and 233 yards against Morehead State last year.  Both marks stand second on Butler's single game charts.

•Brendand Shannon stands sixth on Butler's list for single season receptions (65), and he tied with assistant coach Kyle Conner for sixth in single season receiving yards (876).

•Placekicker Jon Treloar, who matched his longest field goal of the season with his 34-yard kick against Valparaiso, is perfect on eight field goal attempts this season.  Treloar has connected on 47 of 50 PAT kick attempts and ranks sixth in the PFL in PAT Kicking Percentage (94%).  He also stands fourth in the league in kick scoring (6.5).

•Butler's offensive line was recognized by Beyond Sports Network as the national Offensive Line of the Week for the unit's performance against Valparaiso.

•Butler leads the PFL in Red Zone Defense.