Fourth Quarter Sinks Bulldogs
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- Quarterback Josh McGregor passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the final period, to lift host Jacksonville to a 34-24, come-from-behind victory over Butler in a Pioneer Football League game on Saturday, Nov. 12. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-5 on the season and 3-4 in league play.
McGregor rallied his team from a 24-17 deficit in the fourth quarter. He threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Josh Philpart with 14:54 left in the game to tie the score at 24-24. Just over two minutes later, he hit Adrian Riley with a 71-yard scoring aerial to give the Dolphins their first lead in the contest. Kicker Bladen Gudz closed the scoring with a 24-yard field goal in the final minute.
The win was the Dolphins' 14th straight at home, the best home winning streak in the nation. It also kept Jacksonville (7-3, 6-1 PFL) one-half game behind league-leading Drake with one game to play.
Butler appeared more than ready to end Jacksonville's title thoughts with a strong first quarter performance. The Bulldogs jumped to an early lead on a five-yard, Tom Judge to Jordan Koopman touchdown pass just over five minutes into the game. Running back Steven Depositar's fumble recovery on a punt return attempt by the Dolphins led to the early score.
The Bulldogs then made it 14-0 when Judge found senior Jeff Larsen on a six-yard scoring pass with 0:24 left in the first period.
The Dolphins did rally with 17 points in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs came up with a 36-yard touchdown run by freshman Brandon Grubbe to keep the lead at halftime, 21-17.
Senior David Lang made it 24-17 with a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter. That kick was the 34th field goal of his career, matching the all-time Butler record set by John Jenkins (1985-88).
Judge, getting his first collegiate start, connected on 17 of 25 passes for 163 yards and the two touchdowns. He also joined tailbacks Trae Heeter and Grubbe to help give Butler a 236-41 advantage in rushing yards. Heeter finished with 88 yards on 17 carries, Grubbe had 79 yards on nine attempts and Judge added 60 yards on seven carries.
Koppman led Butler with five receptions for 29 yards, while wide receivers Zach Watkins and Brendan Shannon added four catches apiece. Watkins totaled 74 yards, while Shannon added 434.
Senior Grant Hunter led Butler's defense with seven tackles, including three quarterback sacks. Defensive back Sean Grade added five tackles and one pass interception.
The Bulldogs will close out the 2011 campaign on the road with a PFL game at Morehead State on Saturday, Nov. 19.