Posted on 13 October 2012.
Posted on 06 October 2012.
The Butler football team remained undefeated in Pioneer League play as they defeated rival Valparaiso 56-17.
The Bulldogs (4-2, 3-0) were led by quarterback Matt Lancaster’s 246 yards and three touchdowns, as he played only the first half.
Lancaster finished the first half with a 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver JT Mesch to give the Bulldogs a 42-3 lead over the Crusaders (0-5, 0-2) at the break.
Sophomore backup Wade Markley took over in the second half, throwing for 90 yards and one touchdown and completing eight of 14 pass attempts.
Running back Trae Heeter added three scores on the ground for Butler, all in the first nine minutes of the game.
Butler totaled 598 yards of total offense, with 336 passing yards combined between Lancaster and Markley. The Bulldogs rushed for 262 yards spread out with six different ball carriers.
Former quarterback Tom Judge caught four passes for a career high 114 yards at wide receiver.
The defense used three fumble recoveries, two of which were on the Crusaders’ first two possessions to hold their rival to just 263 yards of total offense.
Defensive back Sean Grady led the team with nine tackles, while Paul Yanow recorded eight.
Posted on 02 October 2012.
Butler will play for a trophy next Saturday after upending rival Dayton 21-11 Saturday afternoon.
Junior running back Trae Heeter led the Bulldogs with 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-0) remain undefeated in Pioneer League play with the win. Butler has won three of four in the lifetime series with Dayton.
“From day one I was here, I always knew we’d be in a dogfight from the get-go against Dayton every year, and that’s what it was today,” redshirt junior defensive lineman Jeremy Stephens said.
Heeter put the game out of reach as he bounced off tacklers and went to the outside for an 80-yard touchdown on a third down play with less than three minutes left in the game.
“They didn’t wrap up too well, so I kept my feet (moving) and hit it to the outside where there was room to run,” Heeter said.
Heeter injured his ankle after getting tangled up in a pile but said he is recovering well.
“It feels a lot better after that big win,” Heeter said.
Redshirt junior quarterback Matt Lancaster continued his dual-threat efficiency with 170 yards and one touchdown through the air.
Despite being sacked twice, he finished with 27 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs have another rivalry game next Saturday as they travel to Valparaiso (0-4, 0-1). Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
Coach Jeff Voris said the Crusaders will be eager to improve off their 42-14 loss to Butler last season.
“(We’re) going to get their best shot because it’s a rivalry game, and I know they’re much improved, from what I’ve read,” Voris said.
“It’s going to be every bit of what we had (Saturday) and more,” Voris said, “because of the passion of the game, the Hoosier Helmet Game.”
Posted on 30 September 2012.
The Butler football team upended rival Dayton 21-11 Saturday afternoon behind 159 yards and two touchdowns from running back Trae Heeter.
The Bulldogs (3-2 overall) remained undefeated at 2-0 in Pioneer League play. Butler has won three of four in the series with Dayton.
“From day one I was here, I always knew we’d be in a dogfight from the get go against Dayton every year, and that’s what it was today,” defensive lineman Jeremy Stephens said.
Butler led the Flyers (1-4, 0-2) 7-3 until Heeter scored his first touchdown on a long run late in the third quarter.
Dayton cut the lead to 14-11, but Heeter sealed the game for the Bulldogs as he bounced off tacklers and went to the outside for an 80-yard touchdown on third down with under 3:00 left in the game..
“They didn’t wrap up too well, so I kept my feet [moving] and hit it to the outside where there was room to run,” Heeter said.
Quarterback Matt Lancaster continued his dual-threat efficiency with 170 yards and one touchdown through the air. Despite being sacked twice for 25 negative yards, he finished with 27 yards on the ground, including a 28-yard run.
Posted on 26 September 2012.
DePauw University fired its head football coach Robby Long early last week after the team started the season 0-2.
“Long was dismissed due to his failure to fully comply with the school’s policies and administrative expectations,” according to a press release from the university.
While an interim head coach has been named, the opening for a full time coach still exists.
Butler coach Jeff Voris is a DePauw football alumnus.
Ken Owen, DePauw executive director of media relations, said that there have been many rumors in the Greencastle area about who the future coach may be, including Voris. He also added they are not considering anyone at the moment.
When asked, Voris said he knew nothing about the DePauw job and is happy at Butler.
“I’m ecstatic to be here, and I have the best job I’ve ever had,” Voris said.
The Tigers promoted assistant coach Scott Srnka to interim head coach and plan to begin a nationwide search at the end of the season.
Srnka had been serving as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Tigers.
DePauw Athletic Director Stevie Baker-Watson said in a press release that the decision was not based on football and the team’s performance this season.
“We have been working with Coach Long since spring to resolve several administrative issues under his control,” Baker-Watson said. “We made this decision to terminate Coach Long’s employment because he failed to take corrective actions in a timely manner.”
Baker-Watson said the Division III school has not yet thought about future coach candidates.
“We are focusing on our student-athletes in this time of transition,” Baker-Watson said.
Owen reiterated what Baker-Watson said, that DePauw will not begin the search until the season is over.
He also mentioned Bill Lynch, former DePauw coach and current Butler associate athletic director for development, in a local radio interview, but later clarified that it did not mean he was a potential candidate.
Baker-Watson left the idea of the Tigers contacting Voris open.
“[The decision] would be up to Jeff,” Baker-Watson said.
Voris held the all-time passing yards, attempts, completions and total-offense records for the DePauw football team until 2009 when they were broken by Spud Dick.
Voris has the Bulldogs at 2-2 on the season after winning Saturday’s Pioneer Football League opener against Campbell.
DePauw is currently 0-3 on the year.
Posted on 26 September 2012.
Butler junior running back Trae Heeter had a career-high 204 rushing yards to lead the Bulldogs to a 35-14 victory against Campbell in their Pioneer League opener.
Butler (2-2, 1-0) avenged last season’s 38-23 loss against the Camels (1-3, 0-1).
“Campbell got to us last year, and they beat us pretty bad,” Heeter said. “So we just talked about going out there and getting revenge on them and making it a redemption game.”
Heeter said his effort wasn’t done by him alone.
“The O-line did a great job opening holes all day, the receivers blocked well on the outside and there were running lanes everywhere,” he said.
Redshirt junior quarterback Matt Lancaster went 15 for 21 through the air for 168 yards and a touchdown. He added 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Butler coach Jeff Voris said the team played well for all 60 minutes and played more complementary football than it did in last week’s loss at Dartmouth.
“The offense and defense had to work better off of each other,” Voris said. “It was a great win against a really good football team.
Senior linebacker Jordan Ridley finished the game with nine tackles.
“We were definitely inspired the whole game just to come out and prove that we’re going to be a tough team to beat in this league,” Ridley said.
Butler stays home this weekend to take on PFL opponent Dayton, which the Bulldogs beat on the road last season with the help of a last-minute field goal.
“This week is as important as any because it’s the next one on the schedule,” Voris said. “And it just so happens to be Dayton, and you know they’ll be ready to play us.”
Annual meetings with Dayton have turned into a competitive rivalry since Voris began coaching Butler six years ago.
The Flyers (1-3, 0-1) lost their PFL opener against Jacksonville 21-17 last Saturday.
Posted on 19 September 2012.
The Butler football team got off to a slow start Saturday night against the Dartmouth Big Green and never recovered, falling 35-7.
The Bulldogs (1-2) were able to keep pace for most of the first half in their first-ever game against an Ivy League opponent.
Despite giving up an 85-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff to Miles Gay, Butler trailed 14-7 late in the half. But Dartmouth was able to score with 19 seconds left to lead 21-7 in their season opener.
Butler coach Jeff Voris said the team kept it closer than the score shows.
“We didn’t play complementary football,” Voris said. “When the defense got a stop, we didn’t capitalize on it, and when the offense scored, they came back and scored.”
The Bulldogs threatened multiple times in the second half, but they lost momentum after a goal-line stand by the Big Green (1-0) in the fourth quarter.
Butler receivers Derek O’Connor and JT Mesch each set career highs in the losing effort. O’Connor had 164 receiving yards on nine receptions, both career marks. Mesch accumulated 67 yards on his record eight catches.
O’Connor caught a 5-yard pass from quarterback Matt Lancaster in the second quarter for the team’s only points.
The Bulldogs return home on Saturday to open Pioneer Football League play against Campbell University.
“Our goal is to win the conference championship, and that starts this week,” Lancaster said.
The Camels (1-2) fell on the road last week to No. 6 Old Dominion 70-14.
Campbell junior quarterback Dakota Wolf, made his first career start last week in the loss.
He, like Butler’s Lancaster is an athletic quarterback that can run the ball.
Wolf finished with 22 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. He threw for 56 yards on 8-of-16 passing.
Voris said Campbell is a relatively new program, but it has a good team.
“They’re kind of a mirror image to us,” Voris said.
Kickoff is at noon on Saturday.
Posted on 19 September 2012.
Much of the focus in today’s college football landscape is placed on conference expansion and profit.
Not all college football conferences, however, are about big-time spending and marketing.
Butler’s conference, the Pioneer Football League, is competitive at the Division I level and does so without players on scholarships.
The conference has been a non-scholarship league since its formation in 1992 and will remain a non-scholarship league next season when it begins receiving an automatic bid for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
League commissioner Patty Viverito said the league has more of an academic focus.
“It’s a good fit academically and athletically,” she said.
Viverito said that most athletes deciding between a scholarship program and the PFL are inclined to take the scholarship offer, but the league still attracts good athletes and remains competitive.
“I think the lack of a postseason opportunity has been our biggest hurdle, but we are overcoming that,” Viverito said.
She said the league has valued cost sensibility from the very beginning. Now, the addition of a postseason opportunity could add more incentive for athletes to commit to the league despite a lack of scholarships.
Butler head football coach Jeff Voris said the league still sees good football players, most of whom didn’t receive scholarships elsewhere.
“There’s more good players than there are scholarships,” Voris said. “Once the scholarship opportunity isn’t there, guys start looking for ‘Where can I play at the highest level?’”
The Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, Matt Lancaster, is a transfer from Illinois State.
Lancaster chose Illinois State because of the full-ride scholarship he received, despite always being a fan of Butler.
“I knew a lot about the program, and I knew it was non-scholarship, but at the time, coming out of high school it was kind of neat to have a scholarship,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster said he left Illinois State because playing under the scholarship became too much about the coach’s philosophy and felt out of place with lifestyles of other players.
“Sometimes when you get to that level, unfortunately, it becomes more of a job than something that you actually enjoy,” Lancaster said.
He said there are advantages to a scholarship, but he agrees with Voris in saying that there are plenty of good non-scholarship players.
“I think you might get more depth with scholarship programs, but I still believe that any player is capable of helping a team win,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster said he thinks the success of a team comes with cohesion.
“There’s a lot of people that are deserving of scholarships, and there’s a lot of people that aren’t,” Lancaster said. “I think it just depends on how the team works together and goes out there and performs on the field.”
Posted on 15 September 2012.
The Butler Football team got off to a slow start and couldn’t recover Saturday night, losing to Ivy League school Dartmouth 35-7.
The Bulldogs’ (1-2) lone touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Matt Lancaster to Derek O’Connor with under 7:00 in the first half.
The Mean Green answered with 19 seconds remaining to extend their lead to 21-7 at the half.
Dartmouth added another touchdown in the third quarter and led 28-7.
The Bulldogs threatened to score late in the game, but fell short on a fourth and goal, before the Mean Green went on to score their final touchdown.
Lancaster went 25-for-35 passing and 267 yards. O’Connor led the Bulldogs with 164 receiving yards, including a 57-yard strike from Lancaster.
Running back Trae Heeter accounted for 61 yards on the ground on seven carries.
Jeremy Stephens and Jay Brummel led the Bulldogs defense with eight tackles apiece. Senior captain Jordan Ridley had seven.
The game was the first-ever meeting between the Bulldogs and the Mean Green, and Butler’s first contest against an Ivy League team.
Posted on 12 September 2012.
The Butler football team used the atmosphere created by its first night game since 1941 to fuel a 42-13 win over Franklin College on Saturday.
“The energy on campus all week has been outstanding, and the band and the cheerleaders and all that really made it special for us,” Butler coach Jeff Voris said.
“There was just a lot of energy around it, and that made it a little more exciting for us,” Butler wide receiver Brendan Shannon said.
Shannon had 134 yards receiving, including two touchdowns on eight catches. Shannon said the Bulldogs (1-1) used the energy to start faster than they did in last week’s loss at Western Illinois.
“It was a great team effort on offense to come out like that, and we just wanted to keep going with that,” Shannon said.
Butler led the Grizzlies (0-2) 27-0 at halftime.
Matt Lancaster, redshirt junior quarterback talllied 354 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Lancaster was the leading rusher with 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Matt definitely brings (the running) element to the game,” Voris said. “Last week, we were able to avoid pressure and do some things, so we took the next step this week and had some planned runs in there for him.”
Lancaster, a transfer from Illinois State, said the team fed off the energy in the Butler Bowl.
“(There is) nothing better than being under the lights,” Lancaster said. “Our team came ready to play.”
The Bulldog defense also had a strong showing in the home opener. Butler led 33-0 at one point during the third quarter and held Franklin to four first downs in the opening half.
Sophomore defensive back Bryce Barry had an interception for the Bulldogs.
“For the second week in a row, our defense was solid,” Voris said.
Butler will head to the East Coast next week to face Dartmouth, an Ivy League school.
Voris said the team is used to the traveling aspect but expects a good experience from the contest.
“(It will be) just a unique atmosphere as far as being on an Ivy League campus and being in that environment,” Voris said.
The game will be the season-opener for Dartmouth, who is projected to finish sixth in the Ivy League by media outlets.
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