Nov. 4, 2006
Running back Jabari McGee scored on a 40-yard run in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 deadlock and lead visiting Morehead State to a 14-7 victory over Butler in a Pioneer Football League game at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 4. The loss in Butler's final home game of the 2006 campaign dropped the Bulldogs to 3-7 on the season and 2-4 in league play, while Morehead State improved to 2-8 overall and 2-5 in league action.
McGee provided the only scoring of the second half when he broke free on a second down play and sprinted up the sideline and reached the end zone from 40 yards out with 12:58 left in the game. The Eagles had gained possession of the ball on a pass interception by Brett Mazzaro at the Butler 43-yard line.
Prior to the touchdown run, McGee had gained just 44 yards in three quarters. He added 43 more yards later in the fourth period and finished the game with 127 yards on 21 carries.
"We put out defense in too many tough situations, and (Morehead State) finally made a play," said Butler coach Jeff Voris.
The visitors also made a couple of plays the first time they touched the ball. Erick Fitzpatrick had a 34-yard punt return to the Butler 44-yard line two minutes into the game, and quarterback Brian Yost followed on first down with a 43-yard pass to wide receiver Matu Bundy. Two plays later, Eric Banks scored from a yard out to give Morehead State a 7-0 lead.
"We didn't start the way we wanted to," added Voris. "They drew the line in the sand early and we had to get back to work and do the little things that we need to win."
Butler did start doing the little things and finally picked up momentum in the second quarter, when Mark Kwiatkowski blocked a field goal attempt by Morehead State's Max Hammond and freshman Ricky Trujillo scooped the ball and returned it to the Morehead State 37-yard line. The Bulldogs advanced to the 22-yard line in four plays, before quarterback T. J. Brown found wide receiver Tom Mulvihill with a 22-yard scoring strike to tie the game.
The Bulldogs were unable to cross midfield in the second half. Butler's defense did hold Morehead State inside the Butler 20-yard line on two consecutive possessions prior to the game-winning touchdown.
"You have to be really proud of the effort of our defense," praised Voris.
Butler limited Morehead State to 279 total yards, but the Bulldogs managed just 149 yards. Wide receiver Phil Buchanan had 40 yards on three receptions, and he averaged 40.6 yards on eight punts, including a 63-yard punt to the Morehead State one-yard line. Brown completed just 12 of 30 passes for 116 yards, and he was intercepted twice. Dale Murzyn led Butler's defensive effort with a career-high 11 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
The Bulldogs will close out the 2006 season at league foe Davidson on Saturday, Nov. 11. Butler will be looking for a fourth win for the first time since 2002.