VANDALIA — The Butler Aviators had to wait 15 hours for their much anticipated showdown with Tecumseh after Mother Nature’s fireworks prevented the two teams from playing Friday night.
After waiting all night for kickoff, it took just 20 minutes or so for the game to be over after Butler scored twice in the games opening five minutes and coasted to a 52-0 win over the Arrows.
The win lifts the Aviators to 2-0 on the year with a trip to undefeated Wilmington looming on Friday.
The Aviators were clicking on all cylinders on Saturday.
“I thought we played well in all aspects of the game for the second straight week,” said Butler head coach Greg Bush. “Special teams were good, the offense was good, the defense was good, our kids were prepared well. Our coaches did a good job in getting this team prepared to play football.”
That wasn’t evident on Butler’s first possession after the Aviators gained just seven yards on three plays and were forced to punt 1:40 into the game.
Special teams turned the game on a dime, however as the Arrows fumbled the punt and Butler’s Matt Grossman jumped on the ball at the Tecumseh 10-yard line. Butler wasted no time as Nic Martin went around the left end on the very next play to give the Aviators a lead they would never lose.
Dustin Lewis ran in from three yards out for the 2-point conversion and Butler had an 8-0 lead with 10:12 left in the first period.
“The special teams coaches have committed to making them as good as they can possibly be,” said Bush. “As a team, we have never spent this much time on special teams. It paid off with three 2-point conversions – that’s the same as scoring an extra touchdown.”
Butler’s defense forced Tecumseh to punt after gaining just one yard in three plays and a punt put the Aviators at the 44 yard line. Four plays later Chandler Craine connected with Tyler Burley for a 34-yard touchdown pass for the Aviators’ second score. Lewis passed to John Anderson for the two point conversion and the Aviators held a 16-0 lead.
Butler broke the game open with three scores in the second quarter set up by a pair of Arrow turnovers.
Logan Flatt capped off a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive with a seven yard touchdown run followed by another conversion from Lewis to Anderson to lift Butler to a 24-0 lead.
Flatt got his second touchdown of the day with a 1-yard run that ended a 12-play, 68-yard scoring drive to give the Aviators a 31-0 lead following a PAT by Andrew Boren.
Craine found Aaron Fields for a 6-yard touchdown pass that saw the Aviators take three plays to go 45 yards. Boren again made the PAT and Butler led 38-0.
Craine completed 11-of-16 passes for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Flatt scored his third touchdown of the day from two yards away with just over a minute left in the third period for a 45-0 lead and Jack Akers scored Butler’s final touchdown of the day from 12 yards out to set the final score at 52-0.
Flatt led all rushers with 114 yards on 19 carries.
“I’m sure other teams are surprised by Flatt, but I’m not,” said Bush. “He’s a hard-nosed kid who is coach-able, just like his brother.
“I thought Vinnie Fiori, Curtis Davis, and Gavin Kohler played well on the defensive line,” Bush continued. “Tecumseh was bigger than we were and we held our own very well.”
The Aviators expect a big jump in competition Friday when they travel to Wilmington (2-0). The Hurrican are coming off a 27-21 win at Bellbrook last week and the Aviators still feel the sting of a 32-28 loss to Wilmington at home last season.
“We need to approach this week as if we are 0-2 instead of 2-0,” said Bush. “Wilmington is dedicating a new stadium renovation, we have to drive an hour and a half to get there, and they are undefeated too, so it will be quite a challenge.
“I think our kids have learned the lesson to play to the last whistle,” Bush continued. “They know every play has the potential to be a disaster that costs you the game or to go very well.”
Butler and Wilmington will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.