Butler Uses Late Score to Turn Away Trojans
INDIANAPOLIS – Taylor fell just short of knocking off NCAA Division I FCS Butler on the road Saturday, as the Bulldogs needed a touchdown with seven seconds left in the contest to pull out a 27-21 win over the Trojans.
Taylor took its only lead of the night in the fourth quarter, with Everett Pollard and Spencer Crisp spearheading an eight-play drive that stretched 61 yards into the end zone and gave the Trojans a 21-20 lead with 7:53 remaining in the contest.
Pollard opened the key drive with an 11-yard completion to Grant Hohlbein, before Crisp covered 17 yards on three touches. Pollard then connected with Craig Faulkner for 15 yards, before Crisp broke loose for the go-ahead score from 18 yards out.
TU stopped the Bulldogs on the ensuing possession, holding BU to 23 yards on six plays but had to punt the ball back to the hosts after a quick three-and-out that chewed up only 67 seconds of game clock.
Butler (2-1) opened its final possession on the Taylor 43-yard line with 3:19 showing on the clock and methodically worked its way down the field as the time ticked away. The 10-play drive ended with seven seconds left in the game when the Bulldogs plunged in from one-yard out for the decisive score.
The game opened with 10-straight points from BU, before the two squads traded scores for the rest of the night. Pollard connected with Holden Hodge twice for TU’s two first-half scores, with the first coming on a 25-yard strike to get Taylor on the board and the second coming from four yards out to draw the Trojans within 17-14.
Butler scored in the closing moments of the opening half as well, using a 43-yard field goal to take a 20-14 lead to the break and neither side scored until Crisp’s run put Taylor on top midway through the fourth quarter.
Taylor outrushed Butler by a 90-86 margin, but BU ran 17 more plays and held a sizeable advantage in time of possession at 35:15 to 24:45. The two sides did not commit a turnover and were flagged a total of 12 times for just 110 yards combined.
Pollard completed 20 passes for 171 yards and two scores under center for Taylor, with Hodge hauling in both touchdowns and ending with four catches for 45 yards. Hohlbein also caught four passes and closed with 52 yards, while Daniel Boy had four receptions for 40 yards.
Crisp carried the load in the backfield once again for the Trojans, taking the ball 21 times for 85 yards into the teeth of the Butler defense and finding the end zone once.
Matt Nguyen anchored the TU defense with a career-high 16 tackles and ended with 11 solo stops, one hit for lost yardage and one pass breakup. Jackson Bronkema also posted a career-high with nine tackles and Tyler Gerig turned in seven stops.
Taylor (1-1, 0-0 MSFA) will return home to host Trinity International (1-2, 0-0 MSFA) inside Turner Stadium on September 23 at 7:00 pm. Taylor will be accepting non-perishable food and toiletry items for hurricane victims at the game and will also have a fireworks show following the contest.