Bulldogs Run Past Campbell At Homecoming

Bulldogs Run Past Campbell At Homecoming
Quarterback Matt Lancaster (left) and running back Trae Heeter. (Photo by Brent Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -  Butler scored on four of its first five possessions in the game and then held off visiting Campbell to post a 35-14 Homecoming victory on Saturday, Oct. 12.  It was Butler's third straight win and lifted the Bulldogs to 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in the Pioneer Football League.

Senior Trae Heeter rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Matt Lancaster added two more scores to spark the Bulldogs in front of 3,400 fans at the Butler Bowl.  The Butler tailback scored on a 15-yard run midway through the first quarter, and then he hit the end zone from one yard out late in the second quarter, Lancaster had a 26-yard scoring run and a 36-yard touchdown pass to give Butler a 28-0 first half lead.

That margin was more than enough for Butler's defensive unit, which held the Camels 16 points and nearly 200 yards below their season average.  Campbell entered the game ranked second in the NCAA Division I FCS in rushing offense at 305.8 yards per contest, but managed just 184 yards on the ground against the Bulldogs.

"Our defense really played well.  It was a great plan by our defensive staff and our defensive players played well and it all kind of came together," Butler head coach Jeff Voris said after the game.

While the Bulldogs' defensive unit was steady throughout, Butler's offense came out hot at the start of the game.  Butler took the opening kickoff at it's own 25-yard line and marched 75 yards in three plays and less than a minute!  Lancaster ran for 15 yards and then completed two passes for the remaining distance.  He found tight end Zack Wolfe open from 36-yards out for the opening score.

On the second possession of the game, Butler went 80 yards in three plays to make it 14-0!  Heeter provided that score with the first of his two touchdowns.

Lancaster and Heeter added rushing touchdowns in the second quarter for the big halftime lead.

Campbell (1-5, 0-3 PFL) did get on the board on a 45-yard run by DeShawn Jones in the third quarter and a 44-yard punt return by Jordan Hildreth in the final period.  Butler closed out the scoring on Wade Markley's five-yard touchdown pass to Tom Judge midway through the fourth quarter.  It was the second straight year that Butler beat Campbell at the Butler Bowl by a 35-14 final score.

"It wasn't always pretty, but we competed and our effort was there, and our tempo was there," noted Voris.  "Campbell kept playing, so you tip your hat to them.  It was a hard fought win, but we're excited about the outcome."

Lancaster, who left the game early in the third quarter with an injury, finished 81 rushing yards and one touchdown on eight attempts.  He hit 13 of 19 passes for 231 yards and a second touchdown.  The extent of his injury was unknown after the game.

Senior Brendan Shannon caught 10 passes for a season-high 166 yards to lead the receiving corps.  It was his third 100-yard game in five starts this season.

Linebacker Paul Yanow, led Butler's injury-plagued defense, with a career-high 11 tackles, while defensive back JoJo Ciancio and defensive end Jeremy Stephens each added eight.  Ciancio came up with a fumble recovery for the Bulldogs, while linebacker Zack Sedivy had a pass interception.

Butler out-gained the Camels, 494-277, in the win.

The Bulldogs will wrap up a three-game homestand with a PFL test against Drake on Saturday, Oct. 19.  That game at the Butler Bowl will start at 1 p.m.