Sept. 4, 2004
A furious fourth quarter comeback attempt by Butler came up one point short, and the Bulldogs dropped a heartbreaking 13-12 decision to host Albion at Sprankle-Sprandle Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4. The game was the season-opener for both squads. The Bulldogs trailed 10-0 at halftime and 13-6 with less than a minute remaining, before quarterback Ian Nelson engineered a dramatic, last chance drive. The senior signal caller led the Bulldogs on a 82-yard march in five plays that culminated with an 18-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Phil Christner with 0:39 left. But the Bulldogs' extra point kick attempt that would have tied the game narrowly missed. The Britons recovered Butler's on-sides kick attempt and ran out the clock for the victory. Butler was battling from behind the entire game. The host Britons turned a pair of pass interceptions into 10 points in the first half and then added a key field goal with just 1:53 left in the contest. Albion's lone touchdown, a nine-yard Steve Wasil to Craig Nabozny pass at 4:45 of the first quarter, was set up by a 49-yard pass interception return by Padraic Timmons. A second pass interception, this one by Andy Jados in the second quarter, led to a 14-play, 66-yard scoring drive that finished with Andy Cline's 18-yard field goal midway through the second period. Cline, who missed a 46-yard field goal attempt in the third period, also had Albion's final points with a 25-yard field with 1:53 left in the contest. Butler missed a scoring opportunity late in the first half when Nelson drove the Bulldogs to the Albion eight-yard line. But a 25-yard field goal attempt by junior Eric Neumeier missed wide right as the first half ended. Sophomore Billy Nardini finally scored Butler's first points of the season on a two-yard touchdown run with 8:49 remaining in the contest, but the Bulldogs missed the extra point kick attempt. Nelson hit 20 of 30 pass attempts for 170 yards, but the Butler signal caller was intercepted three times. The Bulldogs also lost one fumble in the game. Senior Justin Campbell led Butler's ground attack with 101 yards on 20 carries, while Christner had six catches for 71 yards. The Bulldogs out-gained Albion, 372-229, for the game. Senior linebacker Jim Hart led Butler's defensive effort with eight tackles, while sophomore Collin McGann added six. Sophomore Ben Hess came up with his first career pass interception in the game. Butler will return to the Butler Bowl for its home opener against Tiffin on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m.