Butler Holds Off Hanover For 30-20 Home-Opener Victory

Sept. 9, 2006

Box Score

Indianapolis, Ind. - Butler took advantage of five interceptions and two fumbles and held on down the stretch to claim a 30-20 victory over Hanover in their home opener at the Butler Bowl on Saturday (Sept. 9). The win gives first-year head coach Jeff Voris his first victory with the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs improve to 1-1 on the season, while Hanover falls to 0-2. The victory also halts an 18-game losing streak for Butler, dating back to the 2004 season.

"I'm really happy for the players," Voris said. "They put in a lot of effort in each game so far this season. This is a great game, but it is a lot more fun to win."

The Bulldogs took advantage of three interceptions and a fumble in the first half alone to stake them to a 27-0 lead heading into the locker room. Hanover attempted a comeback in the second stanza, finding the end zone three times, but Butler clamped down on defense in the final minutes to hold on for the win.

Butler took control of the game early on, jumping out to a 13-0 lead before the first whistle blew. After recovering a fumble on Hanover's first possession, quarterback T.J. Brown hooked up with Nate Miller for a 19-yard touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead.

The Bulldogs regained possession just one play later, as Alex Davis picked Hanover quarterback Rick Webster and set up a 13-yard touchdown run by Brian Holthaus.

Butler was back at it again in the second frame, as Brown hit Dan Bohrer on a 17-yard slant for a 20-0 lead before Derek North bounded into the end zone from a yard out to push the Bulldog lead to 27.

Hanover did not go quietly in the second half, scoring three times to cut the advantage to 10. The Butler defense responded in the final minutes, however, forcing two crucial interceptions, including a game-ending pick by Mike Bennett with 22 seconds remaining.

"It was a little close in the end, but this was definitely a good learning experience for us," Voris said. "We beat a very good program which is a perennial playoff team and exceptionally coached. The quick start we got really helped. We needed something positive and we built on it right away with some turnovers and quick scored.

"The key to this win was the turnovers. Our defense really stepped it up and played well. We controlled the line of scrimmage and ran well. Things that we didn't do last weekend we did today."

The Bulldogs held a dominant edge in time of possession, controlling the ball for over 42 minutes.

Brown completed 22 of 33 passes in the game without a pick, throwing for 235 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes. Holthaus rushed for team-high 73 yards on 10 carries, while Miller paced the team with 85 receiving yards on 11 catches.

Davis sparked the offense with his defense, tying a school-record by snagging three of the team's pass interceptions. He added two solo tackles and four assists.

The Bulldogs return to the Butler Bowl next Saturday (Sept. 16) when they host Robert Morris beginning at 1:00 p.m.