VANDALIA – The Greenville Green Wave looked like they had the formula for spoiling Vandalia-Butler’s homecoming game Friday night.
After a pick-six and another turnover that had the Wave inside Butler’s 10-yard line barely six minutes into the game, all the momentum was in Greenville’s favor.
Unfortunately for the Wave, Butler’s defense stood tall and turned what could have been a two-score advantage into a tie game as the Aviators pulled away for a 38-14 win.
The win lifted Butler to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in Greater Western Ohio Conference American North play. Greenville dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The start wasn’t what the Aviators had in mind.
After taking the opening kickoff and driving to the Greenville 35-yard line, Mason Motter’s pass was picked off by Micah Light and returned 60 yards to lift the Green Wave to an early 7-0 lead.
Four plays later, Motter was sacked by the Greenville defense and fumbled. Wave defensive lineman Braden Russell scooped up the loose ball and rambled to the Butler 5-yard line before being tackled from behind.
That’s when the game turned.
After Greenville quarterback Tyler Beyke gained a yard on first down, he overthrew a receiver on second down. He was sacked on third down for a 14-yard loss, forcing the Wave back to the 18. Instead of kicking Greenville went for it on fourth down, but Beyke’s pass was just out of reach, and the Wave turned it over on downs.
Butler wasted no time in capitalizing.
Aided by a 36-yard run by Logan Flatt, the Aviators marched 82 yards in just eight plays capped off by a 4-yard score by Flatt to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:22 remaining in the first period.
While Flatt was dominating the drive, few knew he was on his way to 303 yards of rushing – a Butler record – and three touchdowns, giving Flatt eight touchdowns in the last two games.
The Aviators started putting distance between them and the Wave midway through the second period as Motter found Bryant Johnson open over the middle for a 26-yard touchdown pass to claim a 14-7 lead.
The Aviators added a field goal just before halftime after forcing a Greenville punt. Another big gain from Flatt set the Aviators up on first and goal from the 4-yard line, but this time with was the Wave defense that stood tall and forced the 19-yard kick by Sutton Skapik for a 17-7 lead at half.
Flatt pushed the Aviator lead to 24-7 when he scored from 50 yards out midway through the third period. After forcing a three-and-out, the Aviators threatened to score again, but Greenville’s Marcus Wood intercepted a Motter pass at the 5-yard line with 2:59 left in the third.
Greenville couldn’t capitalize, though, and after being forced to punt, Flatt made the Wave pay again from 35 yards out with 51 seconds left in the quarter for a 31-7 lead.
To add insult to injury, Motter fumbled on the Aviators’ next drive but a fortunate bounce put the ball in Nick Murphy’s hands who scooped it at the 6-yard line and scored for Butler’s final score.
Greenville added a score with 1.6 seconds left to set the final score.
Butler will travel to Troy (4-2, 1-0) on Friday. Greenville will host Piqua (3-3, 0-1).