An offensive attack of 20 unanswered points during the third quarter was too much for the Butler football team on Saturday, as the Bulldogs fell to Indiana State 48-34 at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute.
The outburst by the Sycamores (1-1) thwarted Butler’s hopes of bringing home a win in the first meeting between the two squads in 37 years.
Indiana State found the end zone early, scoring a touchdown within the first two minutes in the game.
The Bulldogs (1-1) responded when senior wide receiver Jeff Larsen scored on a 19-yard pass from freshman running back Brandon Grubbe, tying the game 7-7.
In the second quarter, Butler grabbed the lead with a 30-yard field goal by senior kicker David Lang. Lang scored 10 points in the Bulldogs’ loss and was named Pioneer Football League Player of the Week.
“They expected to push us over, and we were not going to roll over just because they are a big school,” Butler sophomore cornerback Kevin Cook said. “We kind of went in there with a chip on our shoulder.”
The Sycamores soon took back the lead with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by sophomore wide receiver Leonard Riston.
The Bulldogs were not behind for long though, thanks to a 4-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Andrew Huck to senior wide receiver Jordan Koopman.
The Sycamores outscored the Bulldogs 7-3 in the final two minutes of the first half.
“We went toe-to-toe with them and competed,” Butler head coach Jeff Voris said. “It should give us the confidence that we can play with anyone if we play together, play as a team and trust each other.”
Indiana State came out strong in the second half with two touchdowns in less than six minutes. The Sycamores posted 20 points in the third quarter while the Bulldogs went scoreless.
“We came out a bit sluggish after the half and Indiana State took advantage of that,” Cook said.
Butler fought back with two touchdown passes by Huck in the fourth quarter, but Indiana State’s offensive onslaught in the third quarter proved to be too much.
The Bulldogs finished with 429 offensive yards, while the Sycamores had 456.
Junior linebacker Ridley led Butler defensively with 12 tackles. Ridley also forced a fumble in the game.
“We learn more from a loss than a win,” freshman cornerback Jimmy Schwabe said. “As a resilient team, we are going to bounce back and learn from our mistakes so we can get a win.”
The Bulldogs will hit the road again to take on Taylor Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.
Butler beat the Trojans (2-0) last season 28-20.