Sept. 23, 2006
Visiting Jacksonville unleashed three touchdowns in a ten-minute stretch in the first half and pulled away to a 31-7 victory over Butler in the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 23. The victory lifted the Dolphins to 1-2 on the season, while Butler fell to 1-3.
Jacksonville quarterback Chris Horton sparked the first half flurry with three consecutive touchdown passes. He found teammate Nate Conner with a 64-yard scoring strike with 5:46 left in the first quarter and then hit Sam Bell with a 44-yard strike at 14:53 of the second period. Horton closed the scoring run with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenner with 11:02 remaining in the first half.
The three touchdowns, along with a first quarter, 39-yard field goal by Donovan Curry, gave the visiting Dolphins a 24-0 lead.
"We knew they were fast," said Butler head coach Jeff Voris after the game. "Their speed allowed them to make plays on offense, defense and special teams. We didn't play our best at the start, and they put us in the position of having to play catch-up."
"I thought we contined to play hard throughout the game, but their early advantage was too much."
Butler did answer with its lone scoring drive of the game. Quarterback T. J. Brown led the Bulldogs on a 68-yard, 14-play drive to end the first half and cut the Jacksonville margin to 24-7. He capped the march with a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Eric Notestine with just 0:05 left in the half. The big play of the drive was a 31-yard pass from Brown to junior Nate Miller.
Jacksonville did add a final touchdown in the second half, which was delayed for 28 minutes because of lightening. Horton hit Jenner with a six-yard touchdown pass with 3:08 left in the third quarter to finish the scoring.
Horton finished the game with 156 passing yards. Jacksonville tailback Jerry Brant added 101 rushing yards on 19 carries. Brown hit 19 of 41 pass attempts for 136 yards and the one touchdown. Miller was on the receiving end of eight of Brown's passes for 75 yards.
Butler's defensive unit came up with three more turnovers in the game, including a fourth pass interception by safety Alex Davis. The Bulldogs entered the contest ranked among the national leaders in turnover margin and improved their season margin to +10. Davis finished the contest with a game-high 11 tackles.
The Bulldogs will close out their four-game homestand against PFL foe Dayton on Saturday, Sept. 30. That contest will be played at 1 p.m., in the Butler Bowl.