W. Illinois 23, Butler 15
Caulton Ray ran for two touchdowns and Western Illinois held on
to beat Butler 23-15 Thursday night in the season opener for both
Ray finished with 106 yards on the ground and Nikko Watson ran
for 109 yards for the Leathernecks. Pat Smith kicked three field
goals for Western Illinois.
Western Illinois built a 16-0 lead at halftime and led 23-0 in
the third quarter. The Bulldogs rallied behind Matt Lancaster, who
threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, and they drove deep
into Leathernecks territory in the final minute. After getting
possession at its 1-yard line, Butler drove to the Western Illinois
4 before time ran out.
The Leathernecks ran 56 times and controlled the ball for 37
minutes. It was the first meeting between the teams.