The Butler football team opened its season in record-breaking fashion Saturday en route to beating Albion 31-17.
Senior quarterback Andrew Huck etched his name in Butler lore, completing his first 19 passing attempts.
Dwayne Ewing (2001) and Matt Kobli (2008) shared the old record for consecutive completions with 12. Kobli also set his mark against Albion.
“The record is cool to have,” Huck said, “But I couldn’t get that done without good line protection and my guys outside making plays. It definitely wasn’t a one-man show out there.”
Huck led the Bulldogs to a 31-3 halftime lead by throwing for 212 yards and three touchdowns, including a 19-yard strike to senior receiver Zach Watkins to end the second quarter. Huck finished with 235 passing yards.
Butler’s 273 first-half yards more than doubled Albion’s 116.
The Bulldogs’ offensive onslaught was put on ice in the second half, with Albion holding Butler scoreless on 45 yards of offense.
“We didn’t show the mental toughness necessary to come out of halftime and play like it’s 0-0,” Butler head coach Jeff Voris said. “You’re going to have hiccups, but I was proud of our effort and the way we played today.”
Behind a stellar performance by junior running back Clinton Orr, Albion mounted a second-half comeback, cutting its deficit to 31-17 with about 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Orr, who finished second in Division III for all-purpose yards last season, rushed for 39 of his 85 yards in the second half, including a third-quarter touchdown run from the goal line.
“He [Orr] is a good football player,” Voris said. “The only way you defend a guy like that is to get 11 guys in the right spot and fit in the right place. We did that pretty consistently.”
Sophomore running back Trae Heeter helped the Bulldogs stave off Albion’s comeback attempt and seal the victory.
Butler handed off to Heeter four times on its final possession to run the clock out on the Britons’ chances.
The Bulldogs will look to continue their success Saturday as they travel to Terre Haute to play the Indiana State Sycamores at Memorial Stadium.
Butler’s defense will be put to the test against the Sycamores. Indiana State amassed 351 points and found the end zone 48 times last season, both school records.
In order to overcome the Sycamores, Huck and the Bulldogs will need to stay focused on the high goals they have set for themselves.
“Our expectations are to return to the ’09 stature, win some games and eventually win a championship,” Huck said.