Bulldogs stave off comeback, open season with win on the road

KYLE BEERY | STAFF REPORTER

The Butler football team heads into next Saturday’s game at Youngstown State with a 1-0 record after winning its season opener 22-16 against Wittenberg (0-1).

The Bulldogs got on the board late in the first quarter when junior Kyle Annis tackled Sean Gary in the end zone for a safety. The game headed to halftime with the Bulldogs leading 2-0.

After the Tigers converted a go-ahead field goal in their first possession of the second half, Butler regained the lead when Matt Shiltz threw a 63-yard strike to Sam Schrader for a touchdown on the Bulldogs’ first play of the second half.

Shiltz, who won the starting quarterback job over sophomore Malcolm Weaver, finished the game 19-of-32 passing for 235 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Bulldogs never looked back after taking the lead. Schrader tacked on a 27-yard rushing touchdown and Shiltz threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Derek O’Connor to take a 22-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Schrader led Butler with 60 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving and two total touchdowns.

The Tigers scored two touchdowns to close within striking distance, but Butler senior Jojo Ciancio intercepted a Zack Jenkins pass in Bulldogs territory with 39 seconds to go.

Jenkins went 30-of-49 through the air for 363 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both of his touchdowns were to Zach Culvahouse.

The Bulldogs now gear up for Youngstown State, ranked No. 21 in the FCS Coaches Poll. The Penguins are 1-1 following a 28-17 opening day loss at FBS opponent Illinois and a 34-23 win against Duquesne on Saturday.

The last meeting between the Bulldogs and Penguins was a 31-7 Youngstown State victory in 2010.

Kickoff is at 4:00 p.m. in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday.

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