INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs ended five weeks of spring football practice with their annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 18. Running back Sam Schrader rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Malcolm Weaver passed for a pair of scores to lead the White Team to a 57-44 victory over the Blue Team at the Butler Bowl.
The Spring Game was played between Butler’s offensive (White Team) and defensive (Blue Team) units and employed a special scoring system. The offensive team received points for touchdowns (6), extra points (1), two-point conversions (2), field goals (3), first downs (1), pass plays of 25+ yards (2), rushing plays of 15+ yards (2) and fourth down conversions (2). The defense was awarded points for a takeaway (3), takeaway with touchdown (9), blocked/missed PAT (1), stop two-point conversion (1), defensive two-point conversion (2), three-and-out (3), drive stop (1), sack (2), tackle for loss (2) and fourth down stop (2).
Head coach Jeff Voris had 37 letterwinners participating in spring drills, including seven players who have earned All-Pioneer Football League recognition. Offensive lineman Michael Demos was a first team All-PFL performer last fall, while punter Brian Akialis earned second team recogniton. Wide receiver Marquese Martin-Hayes, offensive lineman Max Brodbeck and linebacker Sean Horan each received honorable mention on the all-league team in 2014. Also on hand are offensive lineman David Tiwari and placekicker Jon Treloar, both All-PFL players in 2013.
Among Butler’s other players that participated in the spring game, besides the 2014 Offensive MVP running back Sam Schrader, was 2014 Special Teams MVP running back Guy DiBalsamo, 2014 Most Improved Player quarterback Matt Shiltz and 2014 Newcomer of the Year linebacker Ethan Brunhofer. Schrader led the Bulldogs in rushing (604 yards) and scoring (11 touchdowns), while DiBalsamo led the team in kickoff returns (17.6) and finished second in rushing (316 yards). Brunhofer was third on the team in tackle (68) in his first season.
Matt Shiltz returned to game action after missing Butler’s final five games last fall. Shiltz started Butler’s first six games and ranked in the “Top 10” in the nation in total offense, before suffering a season-ending injury to his hand in the Bulldogs’ sixth game. He passed for 1,329 yards and ten touchdowns in his abbreviated season. Shiltz wound up completing 14-of-20 passes for 102 yards in his stint on Saturday.
Sam Schrader compiled his rushing total on 13 carries. He scored on a five-yard run in the second quarter. Weaver completed 10-of-17 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He hit WR Brandon Collins with a 15-yard scoring pass in the second quarter and then found WR Daniel Cotter with a five-yard strike in the final period.
The fourth offensive touchdown was scored by running back Guy DiBalsamo, who found the end zone on a four-yard run in the opening period.
Collins led Butler’s receivers with seven catches for 89 yards, while Cotter added five catches for 38 yards. WR Nick Weaver (no relation for Malcolm) finished with five receptions for 52 yards.
Ethan Brunhofer led the Blue Team with 11 tackles, including nine solo stops. Defensive lineman Joshua Willis chipped in with seven solo tackles. Defensive lineman Curtis Beckman and defensive back Isaak Newhouse each came up with a fumble recovery in the game.
“Spring was a success. With our numbers, everyone had multiple opportunities to develop. We need to continue to get some guys healthy and have a great second half of our off season this summer,” said Butler head coach Jeff Voris. ”We ended the first half of our off season with a great day and a competitive game. We really liked the effort and enthusiasm at which we played, and guys on both sides of the ball made plays.”
Butler will begin fall practice in August in preparation for the team’s 2015 season-opener at Indiana State on September 5. The Bulldogs will play their first home game against Franklin on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
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.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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