Sophomore quarterback Matt Kobli passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead Butler to a 20-6 victory over host Albion at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium in Albion, Mich., on Saturday (Sept. 6). It was the second straight year that the Bulldogs opened the season with a victory over the Britons.
Kobli, making just his third collegiate start, completed a career-best 25 of 32 pass attempts for a career-high passing total. He gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with an eight-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Eddie McHale less than two minutes into the second quarter, and he found senior Luke Johnson with a 16-yard scoring strike early in the fourth period.
The Butler quarterback completed his first 12 pass attempts in the game to tie the previous school record for consecutive completions, set by DeWayne Ewing against Valparaiso in 2001! Kobli hit on 19 of his first 21 pass attempts against the Britons.
Albion scored first in the game on a 26-yard field goal by Mychal Galla with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter. But Kobli and McHale hooked up to give Butler the lead five minutes later, and the Bulldogs never looked back. A 24-yard field goal by senior Jordan Quiroz with 3:30 left in the second quarter and a 39-yard field goal by Galla at 1:21 of the second period left Butler with a 10-6 halftime lead.
Butler added 10 more in the second half on the Kobli to Johnson touchdown and a 23-yard field goal by Quiroz, while Butler's defense turned away every scoring attempt by the Britons. The Bulldogs limited Albion to 248 total yards, including just 85 on the ground.
McHale, getting his first Butler start, led nine Butler receivers with a career-best seven catches for 63 yards, while senior Alex White, who returned after being sidelined for two seasons with injury, added five catches for 42 yards. Junior Ricky Trujillo, getting his first collegiate start, led Butler's rushers with 45 yards on 11 carries.
Butler will play its first home game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 13, against non-league foe Franklin. That game at the Butler Bowl is slated for 1 p.m.