Bulldogs Prepare For First Place Showdown At Dayton
October 31, 2013HOOSIER SPORTS 365
BUTLER SPORTS RELEASE
LEADER BOARD: Butler will be in the Pioneer Football League spotlight for the second straight week when it visits Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 2. The key league game at Welcome Stadium will kickoff at 1 p.m. Butler and Dayton are part of a four-way tie for first place in the PFL, along with San Diego and Marist. Mercer sits one-half game back in the league standings. Only one other game matching the top five teams remains on the 2013 PFL slate - a Nov. 16 encounter between Mercer and Marist. Butler fell from sole possession of first place in the league after a 42-14 setback at San Diego last weekend. A week earlier, Dayton handed San Diego its first league loss, 45-38 in double-overtime. The Flyers posted their fourth straight victory last weekend, taking a 42-14 decision at Morehead State. Dayton, currently ranked fourth in the PFL in scoring, has posted 40 or more points in each of its last four outings. Following the showdown in Ohio, Butler will return to Indianapolis to host its final home game against Valparaiso on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Bulldogs will close out the 2013 campaign at Morehead State on Nov. 16.
Butler has won its last two visits to Welcome Stadium.
PASSED OVER: San Diego quarterback Mason Mills threw for 407 yards and five touchdowns to lead the host Toreros to a 28-point victory over Butler. Mills engineered touchdown drives on the Toreros' first three possessions of the game, and he helped San Diego to a 35-0 lead, before Butler was able to reach the end zone. Mills hit on 15 of 19 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns in the game's first 30 minutes. The Bulldogs, behind quarterback Matt Lancaster, scored on successive possessions to end the first half and start the second half, but that was all the points Butler could muster. It was Butler's sixth straight loss at Torero Stadium, and it snapped the Bulldogs' four-game PFL winning streak.
RETURN PERFORMANCE: Quarterback Matt Lancaster returned to Butler's lineup at San Diego, after missing the previous week's game against Drake because of injury. He didn't show any lingering effects of the layoff, rolling up over 300 yards in total offense and having a hand in both Butler touchdowns against the Toreros. Lancaster connected on 25 of 41 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The senior signal caller scored Butler's first touchdown on a three-yard run with 15 seconds remaining in the first half, and then he opened the third period with a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brendan Shannon. He's passed for 11 touchdowns and rushed for eight on the season.
CENTURY CLUB: Senior wide receiver Brendan Shannon recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving performance of the season with eight receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown at San Diego. It was the seventh time he's had 100 or more receiving yards in his last 12 Butler games and the eighth 100-plus receiving performance of his career. Shannon has moved into third place on Butler's all-time list for receptions with 143, and he sits in the No. 7 spot on the Bulldogs' all-time list for receiving yards with 1,823.
Brendan Shannon leads the PFL in receptions (7.6).
TURNOVER MARGIN: Butler continues to rank at the top of the PFL in team turnover margin. The Bulldogs are tied with Mercer with a margin of +7, just ahead of Dayton (+4). Butler has a league-high 24 take-aways this season, including a league-best 12 pass interceptions. Nine different players have contributed to the interception total, led by defensive backs David Burke, Sean Grady and Jimmy Schwabe with two pass thefts apiece.