Top-Ranked Dayton Rolls Past Butler, 49-10
Oct. 23, 2004
After falling behind in the second quarter, host Dayton reeled off 42 unanswered points and downed Butler, 49-10, in a Pioneer Football League North Division game at Welcome Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 23. Dayton, the nation's No. 1 ranked NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major squad, improved to 7-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play, while Butler fell to 1-7 overall and 0-2 in PFL North Division action.
The game was scoreless through the first 15 minutes, though the Bulldogs had a strong scoring opportunity following an 86-yard fumble return by freshman Buck Ulery midway through the first period. The Bulldogs reached Dayton's one-yard line, but couldn't find the end zone on two plays. The 86-yard return set a school record, breaking the previous mark of 63 yards, set by Marty Erschen against San Diego in 1994.
Butler did grab a 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by junior Eric Neumeier with 13:08 left in the second period. The field goal followed a 24-yard drive that reached the Dayton two-yard line, but then stalled at the seven-yard line after a third down loss. The drive was set up by Mike Seidl's 21-yard pass interception return. The field goals was Neumeier's second this season.
Butler's lead was short-lived. The Flyers took the ensuing kickoff to their own 49-yard line and two plays and one penalty later reached the end zone on a 21-yard run by Matt Mong. That touchdown started a series of short-field drives for the host team. Dayton scored four consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter, with the longest drive covering 55 yards in seven plays, and took a 28-3 lead at halftime.
The Flyers, behind a punishing ground attack, added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, before the Bulldogs broke the string of points with their longest scoring drive of the season. Butler marched 88 yards in 13 plays and finished the drive with a six-yard Ian Nelson to Billy Nardini touchdown pass with 9:24 left in the fourth period. The score was Nardini's team-best fourth touchdown of the season.
Dayton scored the game's final touchdown with less than a minute and a half remaining. The Flyers had 14 different players combine for 354 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Mong had 49 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, while wide receiver Ryan Wrobleski caught six passes for 118 yards and one touchdown.
Nelson led the Bulldogs in rushing with 35 yards on 16 carries, and he completed seven of 14 passes for 88 yards. Nardini led Butler's receivers with three catches for 15 yards. Senior linebacker Parker Smith lead the Bulldogs with 12 tackles in the game, while senior Jim Hart added 11 and senior Andy Nelson finished with 10 stops.
The Bulldogs will continue PFL North Division play on Saturday, Oct. 30, with a home game against San Diego.