INDIANAPOLIS - Junior Trae Heeter busted out two long touchdown runs and the Bulldog defense held Dayton in check as the Butler football team defeated the rival Flyers 21-11 at the Butler Bowl.
Heeter, who ran for 204 yards last weekend vs. Campbell, finished with 159 yards on 23 carries against Dayton. He was kept in check for most of the afternoon, but his scoring run of 41 yards late in the third quarter gave Butler a 14-3 lead. The Flyers scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and converted a 2-point conversion to cut BU's lead to 14-11.
The key play in the game came with 2:19 remaining, as Dayton appeared to have the Bulldogs stuffed on a 3rd-and-8 run play. Heeter was stood up at the line of scrimmage, but busted out and ran 78 yards to the end zone to give Butler a 21-11 lead.
"Our O-line blocked great for me all day," Heeter said. "We called an inside zone to the left, and I was able to stay up. They didn't wrap up too well, so I kept my feet moving and was able to get outside. There was room to run."
Dayton would attempt one last drive, but junior Brian Cook picked off Will Bardo's pass in Butler territory to seal the victory.
The Bulldogs have now won three of the last four games over against the Flyers, and head coach Jeff Voris is 4-3 all-time against UD.
"We knew they are a good football team," Voris said of Dayton. "We just had to put plays together. We hung in there and knew we had to play 60 minutes. I tip my hats to our guys and their teammates because they did all the work and it was a great day for us."
The Bulldogs' defense bent, but did not break. The Flyers had 387 yards of offense and 26 first downs, but only reached the end zone once. BU forced three turnovers and junior Jeremy Stephens collected a pair of sacks. Butler led the game 7-3 at the half.
The Bulldogs had two game-changing plays on special teams as well. After Dayton forced a Butler three-and-out early in the fourth quarter, freshman Brian Akialis sent a punt to the Dayton 37-yard line, where the ball hit a Flyers special teams player. Sophomore David Burke fell on the ball to get the ball back for Butler. In the second quarter, Dayton lined up for a 34-yard field goal only to have it blocked. Junior defensive back Sean Grady scooped it up and ran 53 yards the other way to stop the Flyers' momentum.
In addition to his sacks, Stephens finished with a game-high nine tackles. Cook had eight and Grady made seven stops with two passes defensed. Offensively, junior quarterback Matt Lancaster posted an efficient 18-for-30 effort for 170 yards and a score. Sophomore wideout Derek O'Connor led the Dawgs in receptions (6) and yards (70). Freshman tight end Brian Knight scored BU's first touchdown, catching a 28-yard pass from Lancaster in the first quarter.
Butler (3-2, 2-0 PFL) travels to Valparaiso next Saturday, Oct. 6. The next Butler football home game is Homecoming, Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Morehead State.