VANDALIA — Every team practices the two minute drill. Every team prepares for it, and many are forced to execute it. Not many are as successful as the Butler Aviators were on Friday night.
After conceding a field goal and 35-33 lead to visiting Stebbins with 2:17 left things looked bleak when the Aviators were pinned to their 5-yard line and staring at a two point deficit.
Butler responded with a 10-play, 95 yard drive that consumed all but seven seconds as Logan Flatt scored from 15 yards out followed by a two point conversion run by Mason Motter to lift the Aviators to a 41-35 victory.
The win lifted Butler’s overall record to 3-2 and boosted them two spots in the OHSAA Divison II, Region 8 playoff standings. The Indians fell to 2-3.
Flatt finished the game with 188 yards on 21 carries. Both teams combined for 855 yard of total offense with Stebbins pounding out 351 yards on the ground.
Butler scored first as Motter found Aaron Fields for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 3:14 in the first quarter. Andrew Boren kicked the extra point and the Aviators led 7-0.
Stebbins responded with three straight scores before halftime and took a 22-7 lead into intermission.
Butler used good field position to open the third quarter with a 12-yard touchdown run by Jabari Wortham that capped off a 5-play, 57-yard scoring drive early in the period to cut the lead to 22-14.
Stebbins countered with a 25-yard scoring run over their own to take a 29-14 lead, but the Aviators responded in the seesaw third quarter with a big play of their own.
Miles Joyner took a 65-yard pass from Motter that cut the lead to 29-21 with 5:37 to play in the third.
Stebbins wasn’t finished, though, as they tacked on another big scoring play by Gage Fosberg from 21 yards out with 1:34 to take a 32-21 lead heading into the final quarter.
Butler closed the gap to 32-27 on a 2-yard run by Wortham but the conversion attempt failed. Six minutes later, the Aviators took their first lead since the early part of the second quarter on a 16-yard pass from Motter to Treylann Sanders with 3:55 to play. Again, the conversion failed which left the Aviators clinging to a 33-32 lead.
Sanders led all receivers for the Aviators with five catches for 86 yards.
Stebbins went back to work and drove 55 yard to the Butler 17-yard line, but the Aviator defense allowed no more and the Indians were forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal with 2:17 left. That set up the final score for the Aviators.
Defensively, Butler was led by Dawson Vandervort with 11 tackles and Dylan Sagers with eight. Aaron Field had an interception and a 40-yard return.
Next up for the Aviators will be a trip to Greenville who, along with three other teams in the GWOC American North Division, have an identical 3-2 record to Butler. Greenville is coming off a 44-0 loss to Trotwood-Madison.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer