October 16, 2012

Butler Hosts Morehead State In Homecoming Tilt

COMING HOME:  Butler will look to maintain at least a share of first place in the Pioneer Football League when it celebrates its 2012 Homecoming game against Morehead State on Saturday, Oct. 20.  The contest against the visiting Eagles will start at 6 p.m. (ET) in the Butler Bowl.  Butler improved to 4-0 in the PFL and 5-2 on the season with a 17-14 victory at Marist.  It was the Bulldogs' first win in three trips all-time to the state of New York and more importantly, it kept Butler tied with Jacksonville and Drake atop the PFL standings.  Morehead State, which owns wins over the Bulldogs in each of the past two seasons, slipped to 1-5 on the year and 0-3 in the PFL with a 41-27 loss at Dayton.  The Eagles, who rank fourth in the PFL in scoring offense (27.3 ppg), have already played three of the top five teams in the current league standings, including both Jacksonville and Drake.  Butler has two remaining home games this season, this Saturday's Homecoming tilt and a Nov. 3 contest against Jacksonville.       

Butler is 4-0 in the PFL for the third time in school history, all in the past five seasons.

GAME BROADCAST:  Butler football webcasts for all 11 games are available at www.butlersports.com.  Play-by-play for the broadcasts is handled by Butler graduates Brandon Gaudin '06 and Mark Miner '12, while former Butler head coaches Ken LaRose and Bill Lynch serve as analysts.

LAST OUTING:  Butler never trailed in the game, but it took a late third-quarter field goal and a solid final period defensive effort to clinch a three-point victory at Marist.  The Bulldogs scored first in the road contest and led 14-7 at halftime, but Marist tied the game just over three minutes into the third quarter.  Butler answered ten minutes later with a 14-play, 72-yard drive that reached the Marist three-yard line.  There, on fourth down, freshman Jon Treloar kicked a 20-yard field goal to provide the margin of victory.  Marist mounted two drives in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs stopped the first with a clutch quarterback sack at the Butler 40-yard line and halted the second on downs at midfield.   
 
LEAGUE HONOR:  Junior defensive end Jeremy Stephens was named Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Butler's victory at Marist.  Stephens recorded a career-high 11 tackles in the victory, including 2.5 quarterback sacks which resulted in a loss of 17 yards. He had a key quarterback sack that halted a Marist Drive in Butler territory early in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win.  Butler's defense limited Marist to 96 yards on the ground and an average of just 2.5 yards per carry.

Jeremy Stephens leads the PFL in quarterback sacks (6.5).  
   
BALL MOVEMENT:  Junior Matt Lancaster racked up 314 yards in total offense and helped Butler compile 438 yards as a team in the Bulldogs' win at Marist.  The Butler quarterback, in his first season with the Bulldogs after transferring from Illinois State, completed 24 of 33 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown, and he added 73 rushing yards on 12 carries.  It was the second time in his brief Butler career that he topped 300 yards in total offense.  

Matt Lancaster ranks second in the PFL in total offense (273.4 ypg).

RUSH ORDER:  Running back Trae Heeter posted his PFL-best third 100-yard rushing performance to help the Bulldogs prevail at Marist.  The Butler junior gained 112 yards on 25 carries, and he scored Butler's first touchdown on a two-yard run in the opening period.  Heeter has rushed for 551 yards in Butler's last four contests, and he only played one half in one of those games (Valparaiso).  

Trae Heeter leads the PFL in rushing (106.7 ypg) and scoring (7.7 ppg).

EVER PRESENT:  Senior Jordan Ridley helped spark Butler's solid defensive effort at Marist with a team-high 12 tackles.  He finished with two solo tackles, including one quarterback sack, and 10 assists in the Bulldogs' victory.  It was the third time this season and the 20th time in his Butler career that Ridley totaled at least 10 tackles in a game.  The Butler linebacker, who led the PFL in tackles in each of the past two seasons, currently ranks seventh in the league in tackles per game (9.0).

HUNTING SEASON:  The Bulldogs totaled a season-high five quarterback sacks in their game at Marist and moved into a share of the PFL lead with 19 sacks on the season.  Jacksonville also has 19 quarterback sacks.    

YARDAGE LEADER:  Butler continues to lead the PFL in total offense (448.6 yards per game) and in rushing offense (188.0).  The Bulldogs rank second in the circuit in pass efficiency (144.6), first downs (22.1), rushing defense (144.7) and scoring defense (18.1) and stand third in the league in scoring offense (27.6) and total defense (343.7).

BULLDOG BITS:

•Junior running back Trae Heeter owns the top two rushing performances in the PFL this fall with 204 yards against Campbell and 159 against Dayton.  He also owns the the two longest rushing plays, 79 yards for a touchdown against Campbell and 78 yards for a touchdown against Dayton.

•Trae Heeter ranks second in the PFL in all-purpose yards (121.3), trailing only Donte Sawyer of Morehead State (130.0).

•Trae Heeter scored a pair of touchdowns in Butler's game at Morehead State last year.  Heeter, who rushed for 86 yards on 17 carries in the game, scored on runs of three and seven yards.

•Quarterback Matt Lancaster ranks second in the PFL in pass efficiency (148.9) and sixth in the league in passing average (222.7 ypg).

•Matt Lancaster has thrown 189 consecutive passes without an interception.

•Senior Jordan Ridley had 15 tackles, including a season-high eight solo tackles, against Morehead State a year ago.  Ridley has had 32 tackles in his past two meetings with the Eagles.

•Junior Jayme Szafranski recorded 10 tackles against Marist for the second consecutive season.  He's had three career games with 10 or more tackles and two have come against the Red Foxes.

•Sophomore Zack Sedivy had a season-high 10 tackles in Butler's win at Marist.  The Butler linebacker led the Bulldogs with six solo tackles in the game.

•Junior wide receiver Brendan Shannon matched his career-high with 10 pass receptions at Marist.  He finished with 106 receiving yards, including a 35-yard touchdown catch for Butler's second score.  It was his second 100-yard receiving performance this season.

•Brendan Shannon ranks fourth in the PFL in receiving yards per game (65.7) and fifth in the league to receptions per game (5.4).

•Freshman Jon Treloar has kicked a league-high 23 extra points.  He ranks fourth in the PFL in PAT Kicking Pct. (88.5).

•Senior offensive lineman Matt Storey has started 29 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.