Sophomore quarterback Matt Kobli passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third to lead visiting Butler to a 41-15 non-conference victory over Missouri S & T at Allgood-Bailey Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 27. The victory lifted the Bulldogs to 2-1 on the season, with both wins coming on the road.
Kobli directed the Bulldogs to their biggest offensive output of the season. The 41 points were the most scored by Butler since a 44-14 win over Hanover in the second game of the 2007 season. The Bulldogs rolled up season-highs of 440 yards in total offense and 233 rushing yards.
Six different players contributed to Butler's offensive explosion. Kobli tossed touchdown passes of seven yards to redshirt-freshman Stuart Harvey and 32 yards to sophomore Eddie McHale. The Butler signal caller also ran for a 46-yard touchdown, the longest run of his young career. Junior Ricky Trujillo had a pair of touchdown runs, covering nine yards and one yard, and redshirt-freshman Ryan Hitchcock added a one-yard scoring run. Senior Jordan Quiroz connected on five of six PAT attempts.
The Bulldogs set the tone early with a 99-yard scoring drive on their first possession, ending with Trujillo's first touchdown. Kobli completed seven passes on the drive for 59 yards, and he added a 20-yard run to set up the touchdown. The PAT attempt by Quiroz was blocked.
Kobli delivered his first touchdown pass in the second quarter, following a 63-yard pass interception return by senior Ryan Schmidtz, to give Butler a 13-0 lead, The host Miners managed a field goal with 0:01 left in the half to cut the Bulldogs' margin to 10 at halftime.
That's as close as Missouri S & T (2-2) would come. Hitchcock boosted Butler's lead to 20-3 midway through the third period, and Trujillo traded touchdowns with the Miners' David Shields to end the third quarter. The hosts closed to within 27-15 on a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jason Schleuter to Bryan Crider, but the Bulldogs answered with touchdowns by McHale and Kobli.
Kobli completed 21 of 28 passes for 207 yards, and he added 116 rushing yards on eight attempts. Junior Dan Bohrer was on the receiving end of six of Kobli's passes for 67 yards, while senior Alex White added five catches for 58 yards. Schleuter finished with 380 passing yards on 32 completions, but he was intercepted twice.
Senior Mike Bennett led Butler's defensive effort with nine total tackles, while sophomore Derek Bradford added seven. Sophomore Tadd Dombart had Butler's other pass interception, which he returned 35 yards.
The Bulldogs will begin Pioneer Football League play at home on Saturday, Oct. 4, when they host Drake. That game at the Butler Bowl will start at 1 p.m.