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Butler Bulldogs Travel to Face Franklin

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking for their first win of the season, will travel to Franklin, Indiana to face the Franklin Grizzlies on Saturday, September 9. Franklin will stream the contest live. The game will serve as the home opener at Faught Stadium for the Grizzlies with kick-off set for 6 PM ET.

The Bulldogs own a 40-16-2 advantage in the all-time series, and have won five straight against the Grizzlies dating back to a Franklin 31-28 win in 2008. Butler is making its first visit to Faught Stadium since 2013.

One year ago, Butler topped Franklin, 59-14, under the lights in Indianapolis. Current redshirt senior RB Duvante Lane had 104 rushing yards on only 12 carries last season against Franklin. He added three touchdowns and helped give Butler a 254-55 advantage in rushing yards.. Current junior WR Pace Temple caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns in one half of action. Defensively, current senior S Isaak Newhouse had an interception and returned it 68 yards.

Butler and Franklin are both coming off a loss on the road last weekend. Butler suffered a 45-0 loss at the hands of Illinois State. The Redbirds were picked No. 18 in the FCS Preseason Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25.

Franklin enters Saturday’s match-up with an 0-1 record after dropping a 47-37 decision on the road to Thomas More in their opener. Chase Burton threw for 315 yards on 24 completions, tossing five touchdowns and one interception.

Butler Head Football Coach Jeff Voris, in his 12th season on the Butler sidelines, enters Saturday’s contest with a 64-61 mark at Butler. Franklin Head Coach Mike Leonard was the quarterbacks coach at Butler for the 1992 season.

Junior WR Pace Temple was a second-team honoree a season ago after amassing 978 receiving yards in 2016 – 24th nationally. His performance was among the top ten in Butler single-season history for receiving yards.

Redshirt senior RB Duvante Lane was a Second-Team All-PFL choice last season after finishing fourth among Pioneer Football League runners with nine touchdown carries. Lane had 706 rushing yards during the 2016 campaign. He exploded for a career-best 156 rushing yards on 29 carries in the game against Valparaiso in the closing weeks of the season.

Temple and Lane were named to the 2017 Preseason All-Pioneer Football League Team as selected by the league’s head coaches.

The running backs and offensive line accounted for 171.1 rushing yards per contest for the 2016 season, while Butler’s defense held opposing rushing attacks to 99.8 yards per contest.

Senior S Isaak Newhouse had a career-best 14 tackles in the season-opener at Illinois State. That included 12 solo tackles. Senior LB Ethan Brunhofer had seven stops for the Bulldogs. Those two players were each honorable mention All-PFL choices last season.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Senior Tight End Cord Collier

Brunhofer is the team’s leading returning tackler with 74 a season ago, including a career-high 12 in the game against Marist. Fellow linebackers David Starkey and Sean Horan had 77 and 75, respectively, before graduating.

Junior DB Dalton Rogers had two tackles for loss against Illinois State, joining Newhouse, Brunhofer, redshirt senior DL Chad Burdo, and redshirt sophomore LB Dan DelGrosso with stops behind the line of scrimmage. Redshirt senior DL Curt Beckman and redshirt junior DB Mike Cerone also collaborated on a tackle for loss.

Sophomore K Drew Bevelhimer made 12 of his 14 field goal attempts last season and returns to handle the kicking duties. Redshirt junior P Evan Giebel takes over the punting obligations after the graduation of Ian Dubek. Giebel had 11 punts with an average of 41.8 yards per kick in the season-opener at Illinois State.

Freshman WR Cam Cooper returned five kick-offs last weekend in his Butler debut, netting 91 total yards. He had a 34-yard return included in that total.

Butler was picked to finish seventh in the Pioneer Football League preseason poll. The conference’s 11 head coaches voted in the poll and were not allowed to vote for their own team. The San Diego Toreros were picked as the preseason favorite.

The team’s home opener is Sept. 16 against Taylor. There will be a pregame ceremony to officially dedicate the Sellick Bowl as the venue formerly known as the Butler Bowl has been renamed in honor of Bud and Jackie Sellick.

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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