Valparaiso Spoils Butler Homecoming, 34-21

Valparaiso Spoils Butler Homecoming, 34-21

Oct. 15, 2005

Box Score

Tailback Jeff Horton set a school record with 41 rushing attempts for 212 yards, and he scored three touchdowns to lead visiting Valparaiso to a 34-21 victory over Butler in the Bulldogs' annual Homecoming contest at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 15. The loss dropped Butler to 0-7 on the season and 0-2 in the Pioneer Football League North Division, while Valparaiso improved to 2-5 on the year and 1-0 in league play.

Horton picked up 122 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on 21 carries in the first half to help Valparaiso to a 24-7 halftime advantage. He added 90 yards on 20 carries in the second half. The 41 rushing attempts established a Valparaiso single game record.

Butler jumped to a quick 7-0 lead when freshman D'Andre Dowdy took the opening kickoff and raced 98 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest kickoff return for a touchdown in Butler football history, breaking the previous school mark of 94 yards, set by Justin Campbell against San Diego in 2002.

The Butler lead last just 23 seconds! The Crusaders answered with a 55-yard pass from Joe Blahowicz to Steve Ogden on their first play of the game, and Horton raced 13 yards for a touchdown on Valparaiso's second play.

Horton then gave the Crusaders the lead for good with a one-yard touchdown run on Valparaiso's second possession. A 42-yard field goal by Andrew McCawley late in the first quarter, and a 16-yard pass from Ryan Doerffler to Horton in the second period gave the visitors a 17-point halftime lead.

Butler did close to within ten points on a 29-yard touchdown run by tailback Billy Nardini with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Crusaders answered with an 80-yard drive, capped by Doerffler's seven-yard touchdown run.

McCawley nailed a 40-yard field goal with just over three minutes remaining in the game, before the Bulldogs closed the scoring with 1:22 left on a 22-yard T. J. Brown to Nate Miller touchdown pass.

Brown, getting his first collegiate start in place of injured Bob Farmer, completed 10 of 25 passes for 160 yards. Miller caught three of those passes for 61 yards, while senior Phil Vorndran added three receptions for 51 yards. Nardini had 86 rushing yards on 17 carries. Senior Chris Haynes topped Butler's defense with 17 tackles, while sophomore Chris Marzotto added a career-high 12 stops.

The Bulldogs will step out of league play to host St. Joseph's on Saturday, Oct. 22. That game at the Butler Bowl is slated for 1 p.m. (EST).