Staying grounded
Butler running attack grinds out 429 yards in 42-7 victory

Butler's front line started it. The Golden Tornado running backs finished it.
Lucas Dubyak rushed for 165 yards and Tim Vernick ran for 120, both scoring two touchdowns Saturday as
Butler spoiled Shaler's homecoming by posting a 42-7 Northern Eight football victory.
The Tornado (2-2, 1-1) failed to complete a pass, but ran for 429 yards on 57 carries. The Titans (0-4, 0-3) netted a mere nine yards rushing and quarterback Taylor Bocka was sacked five times.
Shaler dropped its 26th consecutive game.
“It all starts with the guys up front on both sides of the ball,”
Butler coach Rob Densmore said. “Everybody else just feeds off their play.
“When you control the line of scrimmage, you win. We need to find a way to do that against more teams.”
Junior tailback Damien Pickett — one of the top rushers in the county — did not suit up because of an ankle sprain. The Tornado ground game rolled, regardless.
“It's a product of the system, but it's a product of that offensive line, too,” Densmore said. “We've had Derek Gengler (two-way lineman and captain) out for a couple of weeks and other guys have filled in well for him, too.”
In both of
Butler's wins this year, the offensive line dominated.
“We were getting holes all day,” Vernick said.
Shaler played without senior running back-linebacker Tim Nickel, who suffered a knee injury the previous week.
“We had another linebacker out, too, so we're thin there,” Shaler coach Jon LeDonne said. “
Butler found a flaw in our defense and they exploited it.”
Butler drove 60 and 80 yards in scoring on its first two possessions. Jeremy Hanford broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 late in the second quarter.
Shaler scored its only touchdown on a 28-yard interception return by Nick Fugh with
1:24 left in the half. Butler quickly answered as Dubyak ripped off a 58-yard run to set up his own 4-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds left. The Tornado took a 28-7 lead into halftime.
“That showed the new mentality we have with
Butler football,” Dubyak said. “When something bad happens, we're going to respond to it.”
Densmore referred to his team's late touchdown as “huge.”
“Our offense gave up a score, then went right back out there and got it back,” the coach said. “It took back the momentum going into halftime.”
Dubyak had an interception, Aaron Zitalone a fumble recovery for the Tornado. Eric Hindman made the hit on Bocka that caused the fumble. Hindman had three sacks on the day.
Butler's Robert Burdine returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown, but a holding penalty wiped out the score,
“We were just making tackles, plugging gaps ... doing what the coaches are teaching us to do,” Vernick said.
The Tornado return home Friday night to play
Seneca Valley. The Butler Eagle Traveling Trophy will be presented to the winner of that game.
“Trophy or no trophy, we're looking for a win,” Densmore said. “That's a big game in terms of the playoffs and we are thinking about the playoffs.”
Butler 42, Shaler 7
Butler 14 14 0 14 — 42
Shaler 0 7 0 0 — 7
18 First Downs 9
57-429 Rushes-Yards 19-9
0 Passing Yards 125
0-6-1 Comp.-Att.-Int 12-37-1
429 Total Yards 134
1-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-1
4-55 Penalty Yards 4-40

First Quarter
B — Kelley Kuharic 9 run (Devin Fitz kick), 8:47
B — Tim Vernick 9 run (Fitz kick), :59
Second Quarter
B — Jeremy Hanford 54 run (Fitz kick), 3:57
S — Nick Fugh 28 interception return (Nick Friel kick), 1:24
B — Lucas Dubyak 4 run (Fitz kick), :11
Fourth Quarter
B — Vernick 15 run (Fitz kick), 11:41
B — Dubyak 4 run (Fitz kick), 8:19
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Butler, Jamison Smith 4-(-1), Lucas Dubyak 25-165, Tim Vernick 17-120, Jeremy Hanford 3-60, Kelley Kuharic 3-35, Antinio DeVaughn 3-42, Zach Hunka 2-8. Shaler, Taylor Bocka 6-(-21), Jake Hartman 6-9, Jeremy Barnhart 5-19, Anthony Zelina 2-2.
Butler, Jamison Smith 0-6-0-1. Shaler, Taylor Bocka 12-37-125-1.
Receiving: Shaler, Robby Reinheimer 3-53, Eddie Wynkoop 1-6, Jake Wikert 1-9, Nick Fugh 2-9, Devin Spagnola 5-48.