Butler spoiled Senior Day for Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field, defeating the Crusaders 48-0 to retain the “Hoosier Helmet” in the annual rivalry game.
With 12 Crusaders appearing for the final time at home, it was the Bulldogs that jumped on top on the opening drive. Valpo’s defense stalled the drive at the Crusader 23 before David Lang connected on a 41-yard field goal.
The Brown and Gold tried to answer on its opening drive, moving inside the Butler 40 before a fumble turned the ball back over to the Bulldogs.
“We moved the ball early but didn’t respond after our fumbles,” head coach Dale Carlson said.
After the Crusader defense forced Butler to punt, Valpo again put the ball on the ground and Tyler Skaggs scooped up the loose ball and returned in 12 yards for a touchdown.
“We put the ball on the ground too many times,” Carlson added. “We can’t turn the ball over and when we do we have to be able to respond to the adversity.”
Another long drive by Butler, this one 15 plays, was again capped against by a Lang field goal, this one from 32 yards out with 9:42 to play in the half.
Butler added three more scores before halftime, including a 73-yard pass from Andrew Huck to Eddie McHale, to take a 34-0 lead into the break.
Huck’s second touchdown pass of the game along with a 64-yard scoring run by Trae Heeter, closed out the Bulldog scoring in the third quarter.
“We’re a team of peaks and valleys this year,” Carlson concluded. “”We get to the peak only to fall back into a valley. We need consistency in performance.”
Valpo tallied just 188 total yards on Saturday, 108 of which came on the ground. Bobby Wysocki (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood H.S.) led the ground attack with 18 carries for 41 yards while Nick Malantis (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta H.S.) had 12 rushes for 40 yards.
Wysocki completed 9-of-11 passes for 77 yards as well, four of which went to Sean McCarty (Waukesha, Wis./West H.S.) who had 34 receiving yards.
Butler (4-5, 2-4 PFL) finished the day with 483 total yards, including 262 on the ground. Scott Gray had 87 yards rushing on nine carries while Heeter had four rushed for 82 yards. Huck completed 12-of-15 passes for 186 yards, eight of which went to Zach Watkins for 92 yards.
Grant Bushong (Ionia, Mich./Ionia H.S.) led Valpo’s defense with 10 tackles.
Valparaiso (0-9, 0-6) begins its final two-game road trip next Saturday in Buies Creek, N.C. facing Campbell. Kickoff is slated for noon CDT.
Game Notes: Wysocki became the fifth Crusader to throw a pass this season … punter Greg Wood (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) averaged 43.0 yards per punt on six attempts, including a career-long 58-yard boot … Josh Keatley (Woodstock, Ohio/Triad H.S.) made his first appearance in the backfield, carrying twice for 16 yards … Butler leads the all-time series 45-24 and has captured three straight “Hoosier Helmets” … Valpo has faced Butler more than any other opponent in program history.