INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Drew Bevelhimer made the most of a second opportunity, kicking a 38-yard field goal on the game’s final play, to lift Butler to a 24-21 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday.
The game appeared headed for overtime after Valparaiso’s Cody Boxrucker scored on a 5-yard run with 19 seconds remaining.
Butler (3-8, 2-5 Pioneer Football League) got a 28-yard return from AJ Deinhart on the ensuing kickoff, giving the Bulldogs a first-and-10 at their own 35-yard line. On first down, Sam Brown hit Stephen Dennis for 15 yards putting the ball at midfield. On the next play, Brown ran for a 9-yard gain and the Crusaders’ Jamari Booker was flagged for a personal foul. That set up a game-winning 43-yard attempt for Bevelhimer, who left it short but got another chance and delivered after Valparaiso (1-10, 1-6) was flagged for offsides.
Valpo’s Chris Duncan hooked up with Ollie Reese twice in the second quarter, from 22 and 33 yards out. In between, Brown connected with Dennis for a 13-yard score and the Crusaders led 14-7 at halftime.
Brown pulled Butler even in the third quarter when he hit Johnny O’Shea for a 5-yard score and gave the Bulldogs a 21-14 lead with 4:37 left in the game. Boxrucker’s game-tying TD run capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Brown completed 23 of 38 passes for 209 yards and two scores without an interception. Dennis finished with 11 catches for a season-high 143 yards.
Duncan passed for 264 yards and two scores with one pick. He also ran for 102 yards on 19 carries.