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Butler Bulldogs Routed on Senior Day Against Morehead State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking for a win on Senior Day at the Butler Bowl, were trounced by the visiting Morehead State Eagles on Saturday, November 5. 465 passing yards and five touchdown passes by Eagles senior QB Austin Gahafer and three Butler lost fumbles resulted in the lopsided 51-28 Butler defeat. With the win, Morehead State moves to 3-5 on the season and 2-4 in the Pioneer Football League. Butler falls to 4-6 (2-5 PFL).

Morehead State put the game out of reach early as the Eagles scored 34 straight points. The Eagles took advantage of a Butler punt on their opening series and connected on a 26 yard field goal by redshirt senior K Matt Ward. On the Morehead State kickoff, redshirt sophomore CB Chauncey Jones knocked the ball free from Butler redshirt sophomore RB John Hall on the kick return. The ball was recovered by Jones and set the Eagles up with the ball at the Butler 38.

The Eagles found the endzone late in the first quarter with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Gahafer to redshirt sophomore WR Jarin Higginbotham. On the first play of the second quarter, Butler redshirt senior QB Malcolm Weaver took a huge hit from redshirt junior LB Colt Briggs. The Briggs sack knocked the ball loose and it was recovered senior DT C.J. Wall, who scored on a 40 yard return for a touchdown. Following a Butler turnover on downs on a 4th and 3 incomplete pass at the Morehead State 30-yard line, Gahafer found freshman WR Jalen Elliott for a 48 yard touchdown pass.

Photo: Butler Athletics/2016 Butler Seniors
Photo: Butler Athletics/2016 Butler Seniors

Another sack fumble lost by Weaver on the next Butler possession led to a 23 yard Matt Ward field goal for the Eagles. Gahafer found redshirt freshman RB Trevor Jones for a 28 yard touchdown pass on the next Morehead State possession. Malcolm Weaver connected with sophomore WR Pace Temple from20 yards out in the closing seconds of the first half for a touchdown and the first Butler points of the game. The 34-7 score would close out the first half.

On the Eagles opening drive of the third quarter a forced fumble by Butler senior LB David Starkey would result in a 21 yard recovery to the Morehead State 15 yard line by junior LB Ethan Brunhofer. Two plays later the tandem of Weaver and Temple proved to be too much for the Morehead State defense once more. Weaver found his go-to receiver from 11 yards out for the touchdown, bringing the score to 34-14.

The 14 unanswered points and Butler momentum was quickly thwarted by Morehead State as Gahafer found junior WR Christian Robinson for a 19 yard touchdown, Matt Ward 26 yard field goal on the next possession and another touchdown pass to Elliott on a 77 yard connection.

With the score at 51-14 and 14:45 remaining in the game, Malcolm Weaver marched the Butler offense down the field. On 1st and Goal at the Morehead State 10, Weaver threw a bullet for his third passing touchdown of the day, finding redshirt junior TE Cord Collier in the back of the end zone.

The Bulldogs got the ball back with four minutes left in the game and a 42-yard kickoff return by redshirt freshman KR Brad Sznajder would set them up with great position. A number of quick passes by Weaver would get Butler to their opponent’s 27-yard line. Weaver would need only one more play to find redshirt senior WR Danny Cotter for the 27-yard touchdown. This connection would be the last score of the day for the Bulldogs.

Weaver finished his day with 207 passing yards, going 20-34 and adding four touchdowns passes and two lost fumbles. Redshirt junior RB Duvante Lane and redshirt sophomore RB Anthony Scaccia split up the load for the Bulldog rushing attack. Lane finished with 11 carries for 63-yards, while Scaccia added nine carries for 41 yards. Temple led Butler in receiving, amassing 92-yards on eight receptions and two touchdowns.

David Starkey, redshirt senior S Zach LaRoche and redshirt senior LB Sean Horan led the BU defense, each accounting for nine total tackles. Starkey’s forced fumble was the lone turnover in favor of Butler during the game.

The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday (Nov. 12) for their final game of the season. Butler will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on conference foe Drake. The PFL matchup will get underway at 2PM.

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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