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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Taylor in 2017 Home Opener

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, fresh off a road win against Franklin last week, hosted the Taylor Trojans in their 2017 home opener on Saturday, September 16. Butler redshirt senior QB Will Marty scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard dive with seven seconds remaining in the game. Butler took the 27-21 win over Taylor at the newly-dedicated Sellick Bowl in Indianapolis. Butler improves to 2-1; Taylor is now 1-1.

“All week we were excited and I think the preparation showed,” said Butler Head Coach Jeff Voris. “It’s always good to be home. Our crowd is unbelievable. I truly believe it’s the best place in our league to play.”

The game under the lights also included a pregame ceremony as the Butler Bowl was officially renamed the Sellick Bowl in honor of Bud and Jackie Sellick.

“Our guys are so appreciative of the opportunities that Butler provides. Our athletic department works really hard for our student athletes and the alumni also help provide those opportunities. Our guys get it and they are extremely appreciative of the Sellick Family.”

After a 37 yard opening return by freshman WR Cam Cooper, the Bulldogs set up shop at their own 38 yard line on the opening possession of the game. Will Marty connected on a 11 yard pass to junior WR Pace Temple on the first play of the game. On a 3rd and 11 at the Butler 48, Marty found Temple again for a 16 yard gain to the Taylor 36 yard line. A false start on the next play led to an incomplete pass on 3rd and 2, but the Bulldogs were able to convert on 4th and 2 after a 5 yard pass from Marty to redshirt junior WR Nick Weaver. Marty connected with redshirt junior RB Anthony Scaccia for 14 yards on 2nd and 10 to move the ball to the Taylor 9 yard line. A 3rd and goal incomplete pass led to a 27 yard field goal by sophomore K Drew Bevelhimer to give Butler the early 3-0 lead.

The Butler defense forced a 3 and out and punt before taking over again at the Taylor 16 yard line following a 32 yard return by Cam Cooper. A 3rd and 7 pass from Marty to redshirt senior TE Cord Collier led to a 12 yard gain and 1st down at the Taylor 1 yard line. Redshirt senior RB Sam Schrader took over at QB on 1st and Goal and scored on the 1 yard QB keeper. The Bulldogs took a 10-0 lead with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter.

Taylor was able to respond on their second possession of the game after starting its drive at the Taylor 24 yard line. On 2nd and 8 at the Butler 25, junior QB Everett Pollard connected on a 25 yard touchdown pass to sophomore WR Holden Hodge.

Both teams traded punts before another scoring drive by the Bulldogs with 12:04 remaining in the first half. Butler started its drive at the Taylor 44 yard line and marched down the field before a 4th and 3 at the Taylor 26 yard line. Marty connected with redshirt sophomore WR James Marbaugh for 7 yards to convert the 4th down play and move the ball to the Taylor 19 yard line. A nine yard rush by redshirt senior RB Duvante Lane set Butler up with 1st and Goal at the Taylor 7 yard line. On 3rd and Goal at the Taylor 6 yard line, Marty connected again with Marbaugh on a back-shoulder throw for the 6 yard score. The Bulldogs took the 17-7 lead with 6:08 remaining before the break.

With 3:10 remaining in the second quarter, Taylor QB Everett Pollard orchestrated another touchdown drive that started at the Taylor 35 yard line. On 2nd and goal at the Butler 4 yard line, Pollard once again found Hodge for another touchdown pass. After the Taylor touchdown, Butler led Taylor 17-14 with 0:22 seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs started the final drive of the half at their own 28 yard line. A 29 yard Taylor penalty moved the Bulldogs to the Taylor 43 yard line. Marty moved the ball to the Taylor 26 yard line before Drew Bevelhimer drilled a 43 yard field goal as the clock expired.

The Bulldogs took a 20-14 lead at halftime.

Both teams traded punts before Drew Bevelhimer missed a 40 yard field goal with 4:32 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

The next scoring drive came from Taylor in the 4th quarter. After starting their drive at their own 39 yard line, the Trojans faced a 4th and 6 at the Butler 33.  But Pollard was able to connect on a 15 yard pass to junior WR Craig Faulkner to the Butler 18 yard line. An 18 yard touchdown run by sophomore RB Spencer Crisp gave the Trojans the 21-20 lead with 7:53 remaining in the game.

Both teams traded punts before the Bulldogs took over with a chance to win the game with 3:19 remaining and the ball at the Butler 43 yard line.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Junior QB Will Marty

A 12 yard pass from Marty to Weaver on 2nd and 10 set Butler up with a new set of downs at the Taylor 45. A four yard run on 3rd and 2 by Lane moved the ball to the Taylor 33 yard line. Marty once again connected with Weaver, this time for 12 yards, as the pass brought the ball to the Taylor 21. On the next play, Marty connected with Scaccia for 11 yards, setting up 1st and Goal at the Taylor 10 with 1:03 remaining in the game. After two running plays for 9 yards by Lane, Butler took a timeout with 0:10 remaining in the game on 3rd and Goal at the Taylor 1 yard line. Jeff Voris dialed up Marty’s number on a QB keeper and the touchdown plunge led to a 27-21 Butler lead with 0:07 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs had timeouts remaining if they needed to line up for the winning field goal.

“It was an all-around team effort tonight in general,” said Butler redshirt junior QB Will Marty. “The defense carried the offense and they did a great job in the second half.” “Coach Voris always says ‘never leave a brother behind,’ and I think that went into our DNA and took over at the end of the game. We had to do it for each other. I thought we all did an incredible job.”

Marty completed 32-of-48 attempts for 239 yards, a touchdown pass and touchdown run. Weaver had 64 yards receiving on a career-high eight receptions. Cam Cooper had a career-high four catches and 43 yards, mirroring numbers from Pace Temple. Duvante Lane had 57 yards rushing on 14 carries for Butler.

Senior LB Ethan Brunhofer had eight tackles to lead the Bulldogs. Redshirt sophomore LB Xavier Colvin had 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Bulldogs open Pioneer Football League play next weekend, traveling to San Diego for a 5 p.m. (Eastern, 2 p.m. Pacific) kick-off. The Toreros will stream the game.

Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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