Butler football falls to Valparaiso 24-14 in season opener

A Butler wide receiver skies for a contested catch in the Bulldogs’ season opener. Valparaiso defeated Butler, 24-14 at the Sellick Bowl. Photo by Chandler Hart.

DEVIN ABELL | STAFF REPORTER | dabell@butler.edu 

The Butler football team fell to Valparaiso University 24-14 in their season opener at the Sellick Bowl on March 13. The Bulldogs fall to 0-1 on the season as Valparaiso improves to 1-0.

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start on offense as they marched down the field on their opening drive.

Back-up quarterback Nick Orlando ran it from three yards out for a touchdown — capping off a 10 play, 75 yard drive for the Bulldogs — giving Butler a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Valparaiso responded with a score of their own in the second quarter with Robert Washington rushing it in for a 7-yard touchdown, tying the game at 7-7. Washington would finish the day with 39 carries for 199 yards.

Late in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs offense was driving towards Valparaiso’s redzone, linebacker Jaxon Peifer forced a fumble on running back Kavon Samuels. Valparaiso cornerback Keyon Turner returned the ball all the way down to the Bulldogs 30-yard line.

This ultimately set up Chris Duncan to connect with Deuce Larose for a 15-yard score as time expired in the half, giving Valparaiso a 14-7 advantage going into half time. 

In the third quarter, Orlando scored a one-yard rushing touchdown, his second on the day, to tie the game at 14-14.

Later in the quarter, Valparaiso took the lead back with a Brian Bartholomew 19-yard field goal, making the game 17-14.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs went for it on a 4th & 5, but failed to convert. This turnover on downs gave Valparaiso’s offense the ball on their own 41-yard line.

Valparaiso took advantage of this field position as Chris Duncan found Holden Hodge for a 20-yard touchdown, extending their lead to 24-14.

Valparaiso managed to hold off any comeback attempt by the Bulldogs for the rest of the game — securing the victory.

The Bulldogs will have a rematch with Valparaiso for the Hoosier Helmet trophy at Brown Field on March 27. 

In the meantime, the Bulldogs will hit the road next week to play the University of San Diego Toreros on March 20 at 4 p.m.


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