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Butler Bulldogs Remain Undefeated with Win at Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs traveled to face the Taylor Trojans on Saturday, September 8. Redshirt junior RB Brad Sznajder led the Butler attack with 163 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown to help the Bulldogs to a 31-17 victory over Taylor at Turner Stadium. Butler improves to 2-0 on the season while Taylor falls to 1-1.

Butler is now 8-0 all time against the Taylor Trojans.

The Trojans won the toss and started at their own 24 following a 22-yard return. Senior QB Everett Pollard rushed for 37 yards to Butler 39 on 2nd and 10 before a 10-yard run by junior RB Spencer Crisp moved the ball  for a first down at the Butler 29. A 2-yard loss on a 2nd and 10 run and a 2-yard loss on a 3rd and 12 pass forced a Taylor punt.

Both teams struggled to move the ball as the first two Butler possessions mixed between the second and third possession for Taylor all resulted in punts.

Butler’s third possession started at its own 29 with 4:27 remaining in the first quarter. A 13-yard run by redshirt senior RB Anthony Scaccia moved the ball to the Butler 42. A pass for a loss of 2 yards to redshirt junior RB Brad Sznajder from redshirt senior QB Will Marty led to a 22-yard pass on 2nd and 12 to redshirt junior TE Sam Yeaton to the Taylor 38. An 8-yard run by Scaccia led to a 20-yard pass from Marty to redshirt freshman TE Austin Schwantz for a 1st and Goal at the Taylor 10. A 12-yard sack and forced fumble on 3rd and Goal at the Taylor 5 by Taylor senior LB Ra Murry was recovered by Will Marty and closed the first quarter. Junior K Drew Bevelhimer connected on a 32-yard field goal to give Butler the 3-0 lead with 14:55 remaining in the second quarter.

Both teams traded punts on back-to-back three-and-outs. The Butler defense forced another Taylor punt, but redshirt freshman DB Devin Aguilar fumbled the punt as Taylor freshman DB Tyler Watson recovered the muffed punt and set the Trojans up with 1st and Goal at the Butler 8. The Butler defense held strong and dropped Crisp for a 2-yard loss on 3rd down before senior K/P Austin Gunderson connected on a 27-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 8:55 remaining in the second quarter.

The Butler offense was quick to respond on the next drive of the game after taking over at its own 10 following a kickoff return of 10 yards. Brad Sznajder picked up 8 yards on 3rd and 2 to keep to chains moving for a first down at the BU 26. An 11-yard pass from Marty to redshirt junior WR Stephen Dennis on 3rd and 4 kept the drive rolling to the Butler 43 before Marty connected with Yeaton on a 32-yard pass to the Taylor 25 on the next play. Sznajder gained nine on 1st and 10 at the Taylor 25 before ripping a 16-yard run on 2nd and 1 for a touchdown with 3:58 remaining before halftime. The extra point by Bevelhimer gave the Butler a 10-3 lead.

On the next Taylor drive, Butler junior LB Mason Brunner came up with a 2-yard sack for a loss on 3rd and 4 at the Taylor 35. The sack resulted in a punt and a 16-yard return by Sznajder that set the Bulldogs up with 1st and 10 at the Butler 47 with 1:44 remaining before the half. Marty connected with redshirt sophomore WR Brad Huth on 2nd and 3 for a five-yard gain and first down to the Taylor 41. An eight-yard run by Scaccia on 3rd and 4 moved the ball to the 27 before back-to-back catches by senior WR Pace Temple for eight and seven yards respectively moved the ball to Taylor 12. Following a Taylor timeout with 0:36 remaining in the second quarter, Marty connected with Huth again for a 12-yard touchdown strike on first down with 0:32 remaining. The extra point by Bevelhimer gave Butler a 17-3 halftime lead as the Trojans would kneel out the clock following the kickoff.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Junior RB Brad Sznajder

The Bulldogs opened the second half with 1st and 10 at their own 28 after a 21-yard return. Anthony Scaccia gained 14 yards on a first down run to the Butler 42 before the drive stalled and Butler was forced to punt. The punt by redshirt senior P Evan Giebel was blocked by sophomore LB Mark Baker and recovered by sophomore WR Holden Hodge, who returned it 29 yards for a Taylor touchdown. The score brought the game to 17-10 with 12:50 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs responded immediately with a pair of touchdown drives. After the kickoff bounced out of bounds and set Butler up at its own 35, Brad Sznajder ripped off a 29-yard run on 1st down to the Taylor 36. Back-to-back completions of two and eight yards to Sznajder moved the chains to the Taylor 26. A nine-yard rush by Scaccia followed by a four-yard rush by Marty gave Butler a new set of downs to the Taylor 13. A Scaccia nine-yard run was immediately followed by a four-yard Scaccia run for the Butler touchdown with 9:19 remaining in the third quarter. The score and extra point gave Butler a 24-10 lead.

A Taylor punt on its next drive set Butler up with 1st and 10 its own 32 following the fair catch. Marty completed a 3rd and 4 pass to Stephen Dennis for eight yards to the Butler 46. Brad Sznajder picked up 10 yards to move the ball to the Taylor 44 on the next play. That was the first of five straight rush attempts from Sznajder as the next play went for six yards. On 2nd and 4, Sznajder picked up 21 yards to move the ball to the Taylor 17. Sznajder gained 3 yards each on the next two plays before Marty picked gained two on 3rd and 4. On 4th and 2 at the Taylor 9, Marty again called his own number and bounced a QP keeper out right for a nine-yard touchdown run with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter. The PAT by Bevelhimer was good and gave Butler a commanding 31-10 lead.

The Trojans, looking to mount a comeback, started their next drive at their own 26 and immediately gained 45 yards on a first down pass from Pollard to Holden Hodge to the Butler 29. A 15-yard Pollard pass set the Trojans up with 1st and 10 at the Butler 17 before the end of the third quarter. But a 4th and 1 pass sailed incomplete as the Butler defense held firm for the turnover on downs.

The Trojans forced Butler to a three-and-out and took over at the Butler 49 following a 13-yard punt return. Everett Pollard orchestrated the Taylor offense down the field to the Butler 8 yard line with back-to back completions of 18 and 23 yards to senior WR Craig Faulkner and freshman TE Preston Scott respectively. A 10-yard holding penalty on 1st and Goal by Taylor was immediately erased by a 15-yard pass interference penalty against Butler on the next play. Pollard was able to capitalize on the penalty and called his own number on 1st and Goal at the Butler 3 for the touchdown run with 10:47 remaining in the game. The score cut the Butler lead to 14 at 31-17.

Another Butler three-and-out gave Taylor a chance to make it a one-score game as the Trojans took over at their own 38. A 15-yard personal foul penalty against Butler on first down gave Taylor a new set of downs at the Butler 47. An eight-yard Pollard pass followed by a 10-yard run by Pollard moved the ball to the Butler 29. Thankfully for the Bulldogs, Butler forced three straight completions and allowed a four-yard run by Pollard on 4th and 10 to force another turnover on downs and take possession of the ball at their own 25.

Marty converted a 3rd and 13 with a 15-yard completion to Pace Temple following a loss of three yards on first down. But after the Temple catch and a new set of downs at the 41, a Butler holding penalty on second down killed the drive and the Bulldogs were forced to punt.

The Trojans had yet another chance to change the game as they took over at their own 28 with 5:21 remaining. A Butler holding penalty on first down moved the ball to the Taylor 38. Pollard found senior WR Ben Davis on 3rd and 3 for a gain of 9 to the Butler 46. A rush of five yards led to back-to-back catches by senior WR Grant Hohlbein for gains of eight and 17 yards to the Butler 16. But the Bulldog defense held tough yet again with Taylor inside the red zone. Gains of five and three yards on first and second down carries by junior RB Drew LeFever moved the ball to the Butler 8. An incomplete third down pass set Taylor up with 4th and 2, but the Butler defense held Spencer Crisp back for a gain of only one and forced yet another turnover on downs with 2:21 remaining.

Butler called on Brad Sznajder to run out the clock and seal the win with four straight running plays down the stretch. Sznajder converted a 3rd and 1 with a two-yard run and 2:07 remaining in the game before gaining 11 on the ground on the next play to the Butler 29. The Trojans called their final timeout with 1:16 remaining and Butler was able to kneel out the remainder of the clock.

Butler rushed for 250 yards on the night. Redshirt junior RB Brad Sznajder, redshirt senior RB Anthony Scaccia and redshirt senior QB Will Marty each scored on a rushing touchdown. Scaccia finished with 75 yards on 11 carries while Marty finished with 14 rushing yards on seven carries. Brad Sznajder finished with 178 total yards with 15 yards coming through the air on five receptions and 163 yards on 26 carries.

Will Marty finished with 181 yards on a 21-of-31 night and connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore WR Brad Huth. Redshirt junior TE Sam Yeaton led the team with 60 receiving yards on three completions and senior WR Pace Temple was second with 30 yards on three catches. Marty threw to eight different targets.

Butler posted 24 first downs at Taylor with 14 of those coming on the ground.

The BU defense also played well on Saturday night, limiting the Trojans to just two third down conversions. Redshirt junior DB Luke Sennett led Butler with six tackles. Junior LB Mason Brunner and redshirt junior LB Dan DelGrosso lived in the backfield with three tackles for loss each.

The Bulldogs will look to improve on their 2-0 season next Saturday against the Princeton Tigers under the lights at Sellick Bowl. The home opener is set to kickoff at 6 PM ET and also serves as Youth Football Night.

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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