The Butler football team sent its seniors out in style with a 17-7 conference win over Davidson Saturday. The game marked the final home game for Butler’s 23 seniors.
Each of those seniors saw action in the win, except quarterback Andrew Huck, who is nursing a shoulder injury suffered in Butler’s Homecoming loss to Marist.
Filling in for Butler’s second all-time leading passer makes for no easy feat, but coach Jeff Voris called redshirt freshman Wade Markley’s performance as quarterback “great.”
In his first collegiate start, Markley completed 15 of his 22 pass attempts, throwing for 168 yards and two touchdowns, including a third-quarter strike to sophomore tight end Matt Jenson. The 24-yard score put the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3) on top 17-0.
“The thing with Wade that allows everyone to relax and feel confident is the intangible things he brings to the game,” Voris said. “He spends as much time as anyone studying. He is the first guy here and the last guy to leave.”
Markley also connected with senior wide receiver Zach Watkins five times for 90 yards. Markley and the Bulldog offense finished with no turnovers on the day.
The Wildcats (2-7, 0-6) didn’t fare as well in regard to turnovers.
Led by sophomore quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff’s 304 passing yards, Davidson outgained Butler by more than 100 yards offensively. However, the Bulldogs’ defense forced four turnovers, including three interceptions.
Senior defensive linemen Grant Hunter, Jeff Poss and Ross Teare accounted for four of the Bulldogs’ five sacks.
Butler senior kicker David Lang added a 23-yard field goal in the effort and converted both extra points following Markley’s two touchdown passes.
Kicking for the final time at the Butler Bowl, Lang said what he will miss most are the relationships he has established with his teammates.
“I don’t think you can find this anywhere else,” Lang said. “These kinds of relationships are hard to make. I’ll definitely be friends with these guys for the rest of my life, and hopefully we can go places together.”
Butler will look to continue its winning ways when it visits second-place Jacksonville (6-3, 5-1) Saturday. The Bulldogs are 0-6 all-time against the Dolphins.
Jacksonville is coming off a 31-24 last-minute loss to league-leading Drake.