STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
Despite holding a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, Drake fell to Butler 20-13 in Indianapolis.
After a Josh Lee field goal and a Michael Hudson 18 yard touchdown reception from Cody Thibault, Drake’s offense hit a wall. They would only score once more in the game – Lee making a 30 yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Drake’s three scoring drives combined for 179 yards on 26 plays. Drake’s remaining 28 plays only resulted in 70 yards of offense.
Drake was only able to produce 74 yards on the ground with starting running back Conley Wilkins not suiting up for the game. Thibault, in his third start of the season, threw for 175 yards on 27 attempts with one interception to go along with his touchdown pass.
Butler had no such issues. Their quarterback, Matt Schlitz, accounted for 304 yards of total offense and threw for two touchdowns. In total, Butler recorded 369 yards, 120 more than Drake.
Butler’s comeback began midway through the second quarter when a 67 yard drive ended with a 34 yard field goal. The game was tied with 7:06 left in the third after Schlitz found Zack Wolfe in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown pass.
Lee’s second field goal would put Drake back on top 13-10, but not for long. On Butler’s ensuing possession, Schlitz found freshman for a 56-yard completion to running back John Hall, who was finally forced out of bounds by Brad Duwe at the Drake 14 yard line as time expired in the third quarter. Schlitz found his number one receiver, Marquese Martin-Hayes, for the touchdown on the next play.
That put Butler on top 17-13, and the Drake offense wasn’t able to contest throughout the rest of the fourth. Drake was able to make a stand inside their own redzone to hold Butler to a field goal with less than four minutes left, but that would be the end of the positives for the game.
Drake’s final possession would end on an interception and Butler would run the clock out to end the game.
Drake will finish their season at home next Saturday against Dayton.