VANDALIA – Ryan Martin rushed for 121 yards and four touchdowns, all in the second half, to lead Vandalia Butler to a 38-12 victory over Wilmington Friday at Memorial Field at Miami Valley Athletic Complex.
Butler’s home opener was also their annual Play for a Cure game that honors former Aviator Blake LaForce, an athlete and 2009 graduate of Butler, who passed away from complications following a battle with leukemia.
“The crowd was pretty into it, and our kids were jacked up because they couldn’t wait to get out and play in front of the home crowd for the first time,” said Butler head coach John Puckett. “They competed well but we made some dumb mistakes in the first half that kept (Wilmington) drives alive that we just needed to get to half and regroup.”
The Aviators (2-1) scored on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter – two of them by Martin and another by quarterback Mason Motter – after the Hurricane drew within 17-12 on the first play of the period on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady Evans to Cameron Coomer.
Martin’s first score in the fourth quarter onslaught came one play after Butler blocked a Wilmington punt and recovered it at the Hurricane 30.
Motter finished with 11 carries for 152 yards and the touchdown plus completed 7-of-15 passes for 84 yards.
The teams traded field goals in the first quarter, a 23-yarder on Wilmington’s first drive by Brady Henry and a 33-yarder at the end of the first quarter by Butler’s Andrew Boren.
It looked as if the Hurricane (1-2) would notch the game’s first touchdown early in the second quarter but turned the ball over on downs after three straight runs into the line and an incomplete pass. Wilmington had four plays from the Aviator 1-yard line but were denied a score.
“We had a big goal line stand in the second quarter where we stoned them three times in a row,” said Puckett. “We played heavy and (Ben) Sipos handled their center and Nick Coyle ran right through their face and Grant Grisez took care of their interior run. They tried to run a bootleg on the last play and he had nowhere to throw the ball.”
Chris Custis stopped Motter in the end zone for a safety two plays later and a 5-3 Wilmington advantage it’d take in to the intermission.
Martin scored the first of his two third-quarter touchdowns on the Butler’s first drive of the second half to give the Aviators the lead for good.
“I think we wore them down,” said Puckett. “I think we were in better shape and you could see about the middle of the third quarter that they were getting up off the ground slower. The second half we were just manhandling them. Martin ran so hard and then Mason (Motter) started doing the same. Our kids were fighting and competing – it was fun watching them. On both sides of the ball, the toughest team won.”
The Aviators have a quick turn around as they host The Team Across the Dam (Northmont) in a Thursday showdown as part of Fox 45’s Thursday Night Lights. Northmont comes into the game undefeated at 3-0 and has handled the Aviators with relative ease in outscoring Butler 83-13 over the past two season since the northern rivalry resumed.
Butler will be without one of its prime offensive weapons after receiver Bryant Johnson (BJ) suffered a broken collarbone against Wilmington after catching one pass for 27 yards.
“When you aren’t going into that game at full strength its going to be tough,” said Puckett. “BJ can help us both offensively and defensively. I don’t think that game is by any stretch unwinnable – we aren’t going to go lay down for them. Our kids will come out ready to go – we will be fight ready.
“It’s a great experience for the kids. The bottom line is we want them to enjoy their experience as a Butler Aviator. To get to play on TV, be the only game in town, plus to to get to play a rival – I have a feeling we will be ready to play. We want to turn everything into who is the toughest team. The game honors toughness, and we can control that. I can control how much I want to run my face through your face, and we will be ready to play.”
Sept 7 2018
@Butler High School
Butler 38 Wilmington 12
WHS – Henry 23 FG
BHS – Boren 33 FG
WHS – Safety
BHS – Martin 6 run (Boren kick)
BHS – Martin 4 run (Boren kick)
WHS – Coomer 5 pass from Evans (Henry kick)
BHS – Martin 30 run (Boren kick)
BHS – Martin 27 run (Boren kick)
BHS – Motter 34 (Boren kick)
RUSHING – WHS- Evans 12-58, Mayer 13-28, McIntosh 1-13, Rigling 1-4, Mitchell 1-0, Total 28-103. BUTLER- Motter 11-152, Martin 18-121, Akers 4-6, Casella 1-1, Total 34-280.
PASSING – WHS- Evans 19-45 180. BUTLER- Motter 7-15 84.
RECEIVING – WHS- Coomer 6-54, McIntosh 6-52, Mayer 2-24, Rigling 1-18, Camp 3-18, Mitchell 1-14. BUTLER- Ross 1-38, Johnson 1-27, Hendericks 2-13, Bennett 2-12, Martin 1-(-6).
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.