Butler pounces on Hempfield mistakes
An opportunistic defense has the Golden Tornado off to a 2-0 start.
Butler scored 25 points off Hempfield mistakes Thursday night, and rolled to a 28-7 victory in a non-conference game at Heinz Field.
Junior running back Bobby Alexander scored two touchdowns and rushed for 121 yards to lead Butler, now 2-0.
Hempfield started quickly, scoring on its first possession. But the Spartans couldn’t do anything after that against the Butler defense.
The Spartans used the Anthony Constantine show to grab the early lead, 7-0. Constantine, who scored on a 3-yard run, carried the ball five times, and his 66-yard reception highlighted the 93-yard drive.
Hempfield, which fell to 1-1, actually gained 98 yards on its first possession. It only gained 35 yards the rest of the game.
It was all Butler after that, as the Spartans offense sputtered the rest of the night.
Baldwin’s offense, behind the running of Alexander and the throwing of junior Nick Monteleone, picked the Hempfield defense apart.
Two Chris Haley field goals (37 and 31 yards) trimmed the Hempfield lead to 7-6 early in the second quarter.
The second field goal was set up by a 24-yard interception return by linebacker Alex Tatangelo.
A fumble recovery by Butler tackle Nathan Shulik set up the Golden Tornado go-ahead score. That’s when Monteleone tossed a 4-yard scoring strike to tight end Noah Hartung for a 12-7 halftime lead.
Monteleone completed 7 of 11 passes for 105 yards.
After a scoreless third quarter, Butler put the game away in the fourth.
The first points came on a safety when the Hempfield center’s snap sailed over punter Patrick Costello’s head and out of the end zone. The safety gave Butler a 14-7 lead.
On the ensuing free kick, Butler drove 58 yards to make it 21-7. Alexander capped the drive with a 4-yard run with 7:25 left.
Butler’s final score came after another Hempfield turnover. Quarterback Casey Teagarden, who completed only 2 of 8 passes for 78 yards, fumbled while getting sacked.
The ball was recovered at the Hempfield 10, and two plays later, Alexander capped the scoring with a 2-yard run with 5:48 left.
Constantine was Hempfield only bright spot of offense. He gained 86 yards on 20 carries.
But the Butler defense did not allow the Hempfield offense to get untracked. They shutdown the Spartans’ running game, and they constantly pressured Teagarden when he attempted to pass.
Hempfield’s defense did make a stand early in the second quarter when tackle Justin Rechichar recovered an Alexander fumble at the Hempfield 5.
But Constantine gave the ball right back to Butler when he fumbled on the next play.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review sports reporter. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .