HOME FINALE: Butler will close out its 2013 home schedule against a familiar foe when it hosts Valparaiso on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game between the Pioneer Football League's two Indiana members will start at 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Bowl. The Bulldogs (7-3, 5-1 PFL) are battling for a second consecutive PFL title and currently are locked in a three-way tie for first place with San Diego and Marist. Newcomer Mercer (4-1) sits a half game back in fourth place. Butler maintained a share of the league lead with a 33-30 come-from-behind victory at Dayton last weekend. The host Flyers, who entered the game in a first place tie with the Bulldogs, San Diego and Marist, jumped to a 27-6, before Butler stormed back with 27 points in the final 30:45. It was Butler's biggest comeback of the season. Valparaiso (1-8, 1-5 PFL) is coming off a 58-14 loss to San Diego in its last outing. The setback was the fifth straight for the Crusaders, who are 0-5 on the road this season. Butler and Valparaiso will be meeting as football opponents for the 72nd time and will be playing for the Hoosier Helmet Trophy for the eighth time. Following the game with Valparaiso, Butler will close out the regular season with a PFL contest at Morehead State on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Butler is 30-10 against Valparaiso in the Butler Bowl.
HOOSIER HELMET: The Hoosier Helmet Trophy was added to the long-standing Butler-Valparaiso football series in 2006. The white helmet on a wooden base features a Valparaiso logo on one side and a Butler logo on the other side. It is presented to the winner of the annual game after the contest. The Bulldogs have captured the helmet in six of the previous seven trophy games, including the last five.
SENIOR DAY: Butler will pay tribute to 19 seniors on this year's squad, prior to the start of the game against Valparaiso. The 19, who will be facing their final contest in the Butler Bowl, are Kevin Cook (Fishers, Ind.), Greg Egan (Naperville, Ill.), Sean Grady (Geneva, Ill.), Dan Haber (Calabasas,Calif.), Trae Heeter (Indianapolis, Ind.), Matt Jenson (Green Bay, Wis.), Dylan Johnson (Bloomington, Ill.), Tom Judge (Elmhurst, Ill.), Matt Lancaster (West Lafayette, Ind.), Wade Markley (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Charles Perrecone (Roselle, Ill.), Doug Petty (Indianapolis, Ind.), Phillip Powell (Indianapolis, Ind.), Thad Satre (Ogden, Iowa), Jimmy Schwabe (Downers Grove, Ill.), Brendan Shannon (Lombard, Ill.), Jeremy Stephens (Indianapolis, Ind.), Jayme Szafranski (Barrington, Ill.) and Paul Yanow (Cincinnati, Ohio). The senior class has helped Butler to 24 wins and a Pioneer Football League championship over the past four seasons.
LATE CHARGE: Butler head coach Jeff Voris called it the best 30 minutes his team has played this season. The Bulldogs, trailing by 21 points in the first half, rallied to score 27 of the game's final 30 points against Dayton and pulled out a stunning three-point victory. Butler out-scored the host Flyers, 20-3, in the second half, sparked by a defensive effort that yielded just 86 yards over the final two periods. With the game tied at 30-30, quarterback Matt Lancaster led the Bulldogs on a 10-play, 49-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard field goal by Jon Treloar with 3:29 left in the game. Butler's defense stopped Dayton on two ensuing drives to preserve the victory.
LEAGUE RECOGNITION: Senior Matt Lancaster was named Pioneer Football League Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Butler's win at Dayton. Lancaster rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two more to spark the Butler comeback effort. The reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Year rushed for a game-high 116 yards on 20 carries, and he scored on touchdown runs of 56 yards and one yard. He also completed 18 of 27 passes for 232 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Johnson and a six-yard scoring aerial to Zack Wolfe. It was the second time this season that Lancaster earned the PFL's weekly offensive honor.
GRAND PERFORMANCE: Senior Trae Heeter reached 1,000 rushing yards for the second consecutive season during Butler's win at Dayton. The Butler running back finished with 75 rushing yards on 20 carries against the Flyers, boosting his season rushing total to a league-best 1,016 yards. He became the first PFL player to hit 1,000 yards this season. Heeter led the PFL with 1,103 rushing yards last season.
RECEIVING LINE: Senior Brendan Shannon posted his second straight 100-yard receiving performance with 102 yards on seven catches at Dayton. Shannon has topped 100 receiving yards in five games this season and in nine career contests.
Brendan Shannon leads the PFL in receptions (7.5/gm).
•Quarterback Matt Lancaster moved into fifth place on Butler's all-time passing list during the Bulldogs' win at Dayton. The senior signal caller has passed for 4,724 career yards. He trails Steve Clayton (1970-73) in the No. 4 position by 106 yards.
•Matt Lancaster ranks third in the PFL in total offense (283.4). He's tied for second in the league in touchdowns scored (10).
•Matt Lancaster connected on 11 of 13 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns in the first half against Valparaiso last year. He didn't play in the second half of the 56-17 victory.
•Running back Trae Heeter stands fourth on Butler's all-time rushing list with 2,940 career rushing yards. Naim Sanders (1995-98) is third on the all-time list with 3,666 career yards.
•Trae Heeter leads the PFL in rushing (101.1), and he ranks third in all-purpose yards (118.7).
•Trae Heeter rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns in the first half at Valparaiso last year, before sitting out the second half.
•Wide receiver Brendan Shannon ranks third in the PFL in receiving yards (91.8).
•Wide receiver J. T. Mesch posted his first career 100-yard receiving performance with 119 yards on seven catches against Valparaiso last year. He now has three career 100-yard games.
•Wide receiver Tom Judge had four catches for a career-high 114 yards against the Crusaders last year.
•Linebacker Paul Yanow led the Bulldogs with nine tackles, including two tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles at Dayton.
•Paul Yanow had a season-high eight tackles at Valparaiso last year. It stands as the third-highest total of his career.
•Defensive back Sean Grady had a team-high nine tackles at Valparaiso last year.
•Placekicker Jon Treloar, who connected on the game-winning field goal at Dayton, is perfect on seven field goal attempts this season. Treloar has connected on 38 of 40 PAT kick attempts and ranks fifth in the PFL in PAT Kicking Pct. He also stands fifth in the league in kick scoring (5.9).