Bulldogs Stun Morehead State In Overtime

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS

Sophomore Andrew Huck tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Eddie McHale in overtime to cap a stunning comeback and give Butler a 28-21 victory over host Morehead State at wet Jayne Stadium on Saturday (Sept. 25).  The dramatic game was the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams.

Huck’s decisive throw came on second down in the first overtime period.  Tailback Scott Gray gained three yards on the first play of the overtime session, and then Huck spotted McHale in the end zone on the second play.  The throw was on target and McHale made the grab to break a 21-21 deadlock.  Sophomore placekicker David Lang added the extra point to give Butler a seven-point advantage.

Morehead State (2-2, 0-1 PFL) gained just two yards on the first three plays of their overtime possession.  On fourth down, quarterback Zach Lewis lofted a pass toward the end zone, but sophomore safety Mark Giacomantonio stepped in front and intercepted the throw at the two-yard line to seal Butler’s victory.

The Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 PFL), who never trailed in their first three games this season, never led in regulation play at Morehead State.  A disastrous start left the Bulldogs trailing, 21-0, less than 10 minutes into the game and facing long odds at a stadium where they were winless in six previous tries.

The host Eagles scored on their second play of the game, a 60-yard pass from Evan Sawyer to Donte Sawyer (no relation), and then added a 63-yard pass interception return for a touchdown by Derek Harkness 24 seconds later.  When Evan Sawyer found Drew Morgan with a 28-yard scoring pass with 5:59 left in the first quarter, Morehead State had more points than Butler had passing yards!

The Bulldogs dominated the second half, the way that the Eagles controlled the first.  Huck, battling the persistent rain, engineered an 82-yard drive on Butler’s first possession of the third quarter and capped it with a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zach Watkins.  The Butler quarterback then cut Morehead State’s lead to seven points with a nine play drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dan Bohrer.

The score by Bohrer was his 19th career touchdown catch, giving him sole possession of Butler’s all-time record for TD receptions.

Butler eventually tied the score early in the fourth quarter, after linebacker Derek Guggenberger recovered a Morehead State fumble at the Eagles’ 25-yard line.  Bohrer gained 18 yards on an end-around play to begin the drive, and then Huck finished it with a seven-yard strike to Watkins.

Huck rebounded from a slow start to complete 26 of 49 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns.  Watkins caught a career-high 13 passes for 130 yards.  Gray led the Bulldogs on the ground with 59 yards on 15 carries, defensive end Grant Hunter paced Butler’s defense with seven tackles, including three quarterback sacks.  Defensive back Tadd Dombart had a pair of pass interceptions in the victory.

Butler returns to Indianapolis to host preseason PFL favorite San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 3.  That contest, Butler’s Homecoming game, is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl.