MATTHEW VANTRYON | SPORTS EDITOR
Lightning struck Saturday night to cut Butler’s home opener short, but quarterback Matt Shiltz had plenty strikes of his own to lead Butler to a 38-3 rout of Taylor University in a lightning-shortened contest.
In just his third career start under center, Shiltz finished the game 25-31 with 347 yards and three touchdowns. He added two rushing touchdowns and finished with 433 all-purpose yards.
The Bulldogs dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half. After forcing the Trojans to go three-and-out on their opening drive, Shiltz rushed 13 yards for a score. The rush was the culmination of a seven-play drive.
Butler tacked on a field goal with six minutes to play in the opening quarter to extend the lead to 10.
Shiltz continued to have his way with the Taylor defense as the half continued. He found tight end Zach Wolfe in the end zone with 3:29 to play in the half.
The defensive back-turned-quarterback was 4-4 on the drive and finished the half 21-27 with 203 yards and a touchdown.
Taylor got on the board with a field goal before the half came to a close to cut the deficit to 14.
Shiltz and receiver Marquese Martin-Hayes connected nine times in the first two quarters. Martin-Hayes had 106 receiving yards when the halftime horn sounded.
Butler’s defense was sound in the half, allowing only 137 total yards on offense. The Trojans were limited to three first-downs.
With 33 seconds to play in the opening half, lightning delayed the contest for over an hour. Fans and teams were evacuated.
The delay did nothing to stall the Butler offense. The Bulldogs received the ball to start the second half, and Matt Shiltz took the ball 74 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the day.
On the ensuing Butler possession, Shiltz connected with Martin-Hayes for a 53-yard score to add to Butler’s lead.
Lightning struck again as the third quarter came to a close, and the game was suspended.
Butler will host Jacksonville on Saturday, Sept. 27 at noon.