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Butler Bulldogs Fall to Princeton in 2018 Home Opener

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2009, hosted the Princeton Tigers at the Sellick Bowl on Saturday, September 15. Things did not go as hoped for the Bulldogs in their 2018 home opener as Princeton routed Butler, 50-7. The Bulldogs fall to 2-1 on the season while the Tigers improve to 1-0.

The Tigers jumped on the Bulldogs early and often to start the game. After the Bulldogs won the toss and elected to defer, the Tigers opened the game at their own 29. After an eight yard pass from senior QB John Lovett to senior WR Jesper Horsted, Lovett connected with Horsted on the next play for a 63-yard touchdown bomb down the right sideline. The Tigers took a quick 7-0 lead with 14:34 remaining in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs opened their first drive of the game with a 29-yard pass from redshirt senior QB Will Marty to redshirt senior RB Anthony Scaccia to move the ball to the Princeton 46. But the drive came to a halt and Butler was forced to punt.

The Tigers took over after the punt at their own 34 before senior RB Charlie Volker ripped off a 33-yard run on first down to the Butler 33. A nine-yard run by Lovett on 2nd and 7 at the Butler 30 led to a 21-yard QB keeper on the next play resulting in a touchdown. With the score, the Tigers led the Bulldogs 14-0 with 11:11 remaining in the first quarter.

A 16-yard pass from Marty to senior WR Pace Temple on first down at the Butler 18 set the Bulldogs up with a new set of downs at the Butler 34. But the Bulldogs were unable to keep the ball moving and were forced to punt.

The Butler defense forced a three-and-out and helped set the Bulldogs up with the ball at their own 45. Butler opened with a 17-yard pass to Pace Temple, but a fumble on a flea-flicker catch and run by Will Marty was recovered by Princeton at its own 43.

An incomplete pass on 3rd and 8 should’ve forced a Princeton punt, but the Bulldogs were called for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty to give Princeton a first down at the Butler 40. An 18-yard run by Volker on the next play moved the ball to the Butler 22. The Bulldog defense came up with a four-yard sack by redshirt junior LB Dan DelGrosso on the next play to help slow the Tiger drive. The Tigers were unable to keep the chains moving and settled for a 34-yard field goal. The score gave Princeton a 17-0 lead with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.

Another Butler punt on the next possession led to a 1st and 10 at the Princeton 20 for the Tigers. The Tigers gained 13-yards on a run by sophomore RB Collin Eaddy and a 18-yard catch by Jesper Horsted to the Butler 49 to end the first quarter. An eight-yard run by Lovett on 3rd and 8 moved the ball to the Butler 39 before Collin Eaddy broke free for a 31-yard run to the Butler 4 two plays later. Lovett kept the ball on a QB kepper and ran it left for a 4-yard touchdown on 1st and Goal to give the Tigers a 24-0 lead with 12:44 remaining in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs, desperate for points, finally put together a complete drive in response. A 13-yard catch by redshirt junior WR Stephen Dennis on 2nd and 8 moved the chains to the Butler 40. Redshirt junior RB Brad Sznajder busted free for a 48-yard run on 2nd and 10 to move the ball to the Princeton 12. Sznajder gained two yards on the next play before Marty connected with Pace Temple for the 10-yard touchdown pass. The Butler score brought the game to 24-7 with 10:07 remaining in the second half.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Senior QB Will Marty

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Princeton offense kept firing on all cylinders. A 36-yard kickoff return set the Tigers up at their own 38 before Charlie Volker gained 47 yards on a run to the Butler 15. Princeton found the endzone again as Lovett connected with Horsted for a 15-yard score on 2nd and 10 to extend the lead to 31-7 with 9:04 remaining before halftime.


After a 12-yard catch by Pace Temple on the first play of the next Butler drive, Princeton junior DT Jay Rolader forced a strip-sack for a nine-yard loss while junior DT Joey DeMarco recovered the loose ball for 15-yards to the Butler 5. Charlie Volker was able to punch it in for the Tigers on 3rd and Goal at the Butler 2. The PAT was blocked by redshirt senior DT Ugo Udeogu, but the Tigers still held an intimidating 37-7 lead with 7:45 remaining before halftime.

The Bulldogs started at their own 25 on their next drive. Butler faced a 4th and 5 at the Princeton 42, but only gained one on a rush by Will Marty resulting in a turnover-on-downs. The Tigers took over at their own 41 and immediately opened with a 19-yard pass to the Butler 40. A four-yard Volker run on 3rd and 1 moved the chains to the Butler 27. The Tigers soon faced a 3rd and 2 at the Butler 19, but Volker broke free for a 19-yard touchdown run. The score extended the Princeton lead to 44-7 with 1:19 remaining before halftime.

The Bulldogs ran out the clock to bring the game to halftime.

Butler received the ball to open the second half, but were eventually forced to punt. The Butler defense came up with a turnover-on-downs after stopping the Tigers short a yard on a 4th and 2 run at the Butler 20. Will Marty took an 11-yard sack on 3rd and 10 at the Butler 32 on the next drive and were forced to punt.

The Tigers failed to convert on a 3rd and 8 at the Butler 38 after only gaining six on the ground to end the third quarter. But the Tigers gained six on 4th and 2 to open the fourth quarter and moved the ball to the Butler 26. A 15-yard defensive pass interference call on senior CB Dalton Rodgers moved the Tigers to the Butler 11. The Butler defense stopped a 3rd and 9 attempt by allowing only five yards on a pass as the Tigers connected 22-yard field goal on 4th and 4. The score game Princeton a 47-7 lead with 11:35 remaining in the game.

A Butler punt led to one last scoring drive for the Tigers. Princeton opened the drive at its own 38 with 8:51 remaining in the game. A 12-yard pass on 2nd and 6 moved the Tigers to the Butler 46. Back-to-back five-yard runs by freshman RB Trey Gray moved the chains to the Butler 36. Gains of seven and 11 respectively by junior RB Ryan Quigley brought the ball to the Butler 14. A holding penalty on Princeton moved the ball back to the Butler 24, but the Tigers connected on a 20-yard pass on the next play for 1st and Goal at the Butler 4. The Butler defense stood strong and kept the Tigers out of the endzone as the Tigers took a delay of game penalty on fourth down and settled for a 23-yard field goal. The field goal brought the game to 50-7 with 0:50 remaining.

The Bulldogs would run the clock out to end the game.

Redshirt senior QB Will Marty finished with 198 yards in the setback, connecting on 22 of his 34 attempts and one touchdown. Senior WR Pace Temple was the top target with 85 receiving yards on seven catches. Redshirt junior WR Stephen Dennis also hauled in five catches for 38 yards.

The backfield duo of redshirt junior RB Brad Sznajder and redshirt senior RB Anthony Scaccia kept busy for the Bulldogs on Saturday night. Sznajder rushed for 63 yards on eight carries and pulled in five receptions for 22 yards. Scaccia ran for 22 yards on eight carries. He hauled in four catches for 48 yards.

On the opposite side of the ball, redshirt junior S Luke Sennett record a team-high nine tackles. Redshirt junior LB Dan DelGrosso came on a blitz to get a sack and he would become one of four players to record a tackle for a loss. The defense held Princeton to 4-of-11 on third down for the game, but big plays in the first half would decide the outcome.

Butler is off next weekend for their bye week. The Bulldogs return to the Sellick Bowl on Sept. 29 to host Morehead State at 1 PM ET on Homecoming.

Christopher 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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