Bulldogs Fall In Final Minute At Homecoming
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Morehead State marched 55 yards in the
final minute and Rainer Duzan kicked a game-winning field goal with
11 seconds remaining to lift the visiting Eagles to a 21-20 victory
over Butler in a Pioneer Football League game at the Butler Bowl on
Saturday (Oct. 23).
The decisive 23-yard field goal came less than a minute after Butler (3-5, 1-4 PFL) had taken a 20-18 lead on a 29-yard field goal by junior David Lang. The kick by Lang capped a 66-yard drive, much to the delight of most the crowd of 5,019 on hand for Butler’s Homecoming game.
But Morehead State quarterback Zach Lewis came right back and marched his team from it’s own 39-yard line to the Butler six-yard line in 48 seconds. He completed four passes for all 55 yards to set up Duzan’s game-winner. The final kick sealed the outcome and left the Bulldogs thinking about missed opportunities.
“We left too many points out there,” said Butler head coach Jeff Voris after the game. “We have to finish every opportunity that we get, and we have to finish with touchdowns instead of field goals. We just have to keep working at that.”
Butler failed to take a lead in the game in the second quarter when Lang’s 19-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The Bulldogs had reached the Morehead State five-yard line, but couldn’t punch it in on three running attempts. Duzan came back with a 28-yard field goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at halftime.
The home squad also missed on a couple of potential touchdowns when wide receiver Zach Watkins was ruled out of the end zone after making a pair of acrobatic catches in the second half.
The Bulldogs did jump in front in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by junior Ryan Hitchcock, but the extra point failed on a bad snap from center. Butler then gave up a safety, when quarterback Andrew Huck was tackled in the end zone on a first down play, following a 48-yard Duzan punt to the Butler one-yard line.
A four-yard touchdown run by Lewis gave Morehead State (3-4, 2-2 PFL) an 11-6 advantage, but Lang answered with a career-long, 45-yard field goal to make it 11-9 at the end of the third quarter.
The two teams traded touchdown passes in the final period, Huck hitting redshirt freshman Brendan Shannon with an eight-yard strike and Lewis finding Desmond Cox from nine yards out, to set up the dramatic finish.
Lewis completed 29 of 47 passes (with one interception) for 307 yards in the game. Huck wound up throwing for 180 yards on 15-31-0 passing. Watkins was on the receiving end of eight of those tosses for 118 yards.
Each team also had an outstanding individual performance on defense. Butler linebacker Jordan Ridley finished with 16 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a quarterback sack, and a pass interception. Morehead State linebacker Tony Bachman wound up with 15 tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Butler will try to end its two-game skid and retain the Hoosier Helmet Trophy when it visits PFL foe Valparaiso next weekend. The game at Valparaiso’s Brown Field will start at 1 p.m. (CT, 2 p.m. in Indianapolis).