The Valparaiso University football team fell to rival Butler 23-12 on Saturday at Brown Field. The Bulldogs assured they would retain control of the Hoosier Helmet by racking up 446 yards of total offense.
How It Happened
- Valpo’s first offensive drive resulted in a Butler score as Isaak Newhouse intercepted a Jimmy Seewald pass and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown.
- The Crusaders made a key interception of their own as Joey Diaz-Martinez (Miramar, Fla. / Miramar) picked off a Malcolm Weaver pass with 10:04 to go in the first quarter and returned it 18 yards to the Butler 42.
- That drive ended with Jarrett Morgan (Cooper City, Fla. / Cooper City) plunging into the end zone from 4 yards out to trim the lead to 7-6. Valpo’s extra point attempt was blocked, keeping Butler in the lead 7-6.
- The Bulldogs added to the edge with a pair of field goals by Drew Bevelhimer. The Butler kicker converted from 31 yards with 4:15 left in the first, and then made a 40 yarder to make it 13-6.
- Freshman quarterback Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child) connected with Mason Sutter (Woodstock, Ill. / Woodstock) for a 9-yard touchdown with 5:00 left in the second quarter. The PAT was again blocked, allowing Butler to carry a 13-12 lead into halftime.
- Neither team scored in the third quarter, a period highlighted by Valpo forcing another turnover when Mike Wheeler (Fullerton, Calif. / La Habra) forced a fumble and Idode Kerobo (Southfield, Mich. / Eisenhower) recovered at the Valpo 11 to takeaway a Butler scoring chance.
- The Bulldogs found the end zone early in the fourth quarter, when Duvante Lane took it in from 3 yards out to cap a 9-play, 76-yard drive and increase Butler’s lead to 20-12.
- Bevelhimer notched his third field goal of the game, a 27 yarder with 7:27 to go in the fourth. That field goal upped Butler’s lead to 23-12 and accounted for the final score.
Inside the Game
- The Crusaders were limited to 33 rushing yards, their lowest output of the season. Butler recorded 275 rushing yards against a Valpo team that had enjoyed good success against the run prior to Saturday.
- Diaz-Martinez notched his team-leading fourth interception of the year, lifting the Crusaders team total to 12.
- Sutter’s touchdown grab was his second of the season and the third of his Valpo career.
- The Kerobo fumble recovery was Valpo’s third of the season.
- Frank Catrine (Springboro, Ohio / Bishop Fenwick) led the Crusaders with a season-high 100 receiving yards on six catches.
- Drew Snouffer (Columbus, Ohio / Upper Arlington) set another new career high with 17 tackles, while Kellan Hughes (Columbus, Ohio / Hamilton Heights) contributed 14 tackles, bettering his career watermark. Snouffer was wearing jersey No. 41 in honor of teammate Charlie Hackett, who is out for the season with a leg injury suffered last week in practice.
- Before Saturday, Valpo had the longest active streak of made PATs in the league, a stretch of 52 consecutive makes that began on Oct. 25, 2014 against Morehead State.
- Seewald got the nod at quarterback and went 16-of-29 for 162 yards. Ryan Clarke (Hopatcong, N.J. / Hopatcong) took over late in the fourth quarter and completed four of his six pass attempts for 27 yards.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Cecchini
“It’s a disappointing loss. In the second half, we broke down in just about every way possible. I give credit to the Butler coaching staff and the job they did on offense and defense. To run the ball as effectively as they did in the second half was the single biggest factor in the outcome of the game. As good of a football team as Butler is, the talent difference with us is very slight. This wasn’t a game going in where I felt that there was a big talent gap.”
The Crusaders (3-6, 2-4 PFL) hit the road next week for the final road contest of 2016 against the Dayton Flyers (7-2, 5-2 PFL). Live video will be available via DaytonFlyers.com. In addition, the game can be heard on the Valpo Sports Network, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.