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.