KYLE BEERY | ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
The Butler football team clinched a share of the Pioneer Football League championship with a 58-27 win at Morehead State Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
The Bulldogs (9-3) put the hammer down early and got out to a 34-7 halftime lead. The Eagles (3-8) scored two touchdowns out of the gate in the second half, but the Bulldogs were able to close out the game. They were carried by senior running back Trae Heeter.
Heeter racked up five total touchdowns—four rushing and one receiving. Heeter totaled 180 rushing yards and 139 receiving yards.
Senior quarterback Matt Lancaster had a big day, throwing for 306 yards and two touchdowns and picking up 118 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The duo combined for 604 of the team’s 639 total yards.
Butler coach Jeff Voris said the end of the season brings pride and nerves.
“No doubt, everyone is excited about the season and being able to finish out and get the three wins we needed to be co-champs,” Voris said.
Butler finished the regular season tied with Marist for the PFL champioship, and the league’s automatic berth into the FCS playoffs.
It was announced Tuesday afternoon Butler won the tiebreaker, and would be moving on to the FCS playoffs for the first time ever.
As they prepare for the playoffs, the Bulldogs are treating this week like a bye week, Voris said.
“We’re treating it as an open week,” Voris said. “We’re going to practice a little bit and stay sharp, and definitely get time for body to rest. twelve straight games takes toll on the body.”
“There’s a fine line between staying sharp and getting rested,” Voris said.
The last postseason appearance for the Bulldogs was a 28-23 win over Central Connecticut State in the Gridiron Classic, an event between the PFL and Northeastern Conference which has since been discontinued.
An automatic bid for the Bulldogs is a historical accomplishment for the program. The Butler football team has not played an FCS playoff game since formation of the FCS, formerly known as Division I-AA.