Football: Bulldogs cruise in home opener

BY ADAM WINAY | STAFF REPORTER

Butler football will play its next game at No. 13 Division III Franklin College after winning last weekend’s home opener against Wittenburg, 49-24.

The Bulldogs go to Franklin after the Grizzlies lost to top-ranked, Division III Mount Union, 30-27.

“We are going to play a team with much more confidence than we played last year,” Butler coach Jeff Voris said.

Senior quarterback Matt Lancaster and the Butler offense will look to continue the success from last Saturday.

The Bulldogs quickly took control of the game due to the running game. Butler rushed for a total of 213 yards.

Lancaster threw for 205 passing yards on 17 attempts and threw for four touchdowns. He also ran for 37 yards on three attempts. Lancaster has run for 100 yards and is averaging 11.1 yards per carry in two games this season.

Senior running back Trae Heeter started the game off strong with a 52-yard run. Heeter’s run helped set up a quick score by the Bulldogs two plays later.

Heeter finished the game with 69 rushing yards on seven attempts and is averaging 5.4 yards per carry two games into the season.

Butler led Wittenburg 42-3 at halftime. Both Lancaster and Heeter did not play in the second half.

Junior offensive lineman Greg Ambrose said the offensive line did its part to open holes for the ground game.

“A lot of the offensive line success and running the ball is your effort,”Ambrose said. “So we knew that if we able to play for 60 seconds and compete on every play and finish (each) play the way we know we can, we would have success.”

The Bulldogs’ defense held Wittenberg in check, while the offense widened the gap between the two teams.

“We play complementary football,” Lancaster said. ”And when the offensive is down the defense brings us up.”

Butler’s defense allowed 416 total yards on 83 plays and only four touchdowns

Although the defense allowed 307 passing yards, it also allowed only 109 rushing yards on 41 attempts.

The Bulldogs’ defense also forced five Wittenberg turnovers. Two of the turnovers resulted in Butler touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Bryce Barry, had a 10-yard interception return for a touchdown, and freshman defensive lineman Joshua Willis recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.

Voris said the Bulldogs will have to stay up to par to defeat the Grizzlies.

“There are a lot of things that are going to play into their favor and it forces us to go back and prepare and match that intensity Saturday night,” Voris said.

Butler’s game against Franklin will kick off at 6 p.m.

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