The Northeastern Bobcats picked up a crucial win to snap a two game losing streak. Christian Arnold
Jonathen Butler came up big when Northeastern needed him most Friday night.
Butler followed his 5-yard touchdown reception with just over five minutes left in the game with an interception moments later, which helped seal the Bobcats 24-13 win over Dallastown.
The victory was Northeastern's first ever over the Wildcats and, more importantly, ended the Bobcats' recent two-game skid.
“Our goal tonight was to get back after it and make sure that ‘hey, we got the lead, let’s finish this time,’” Northeastern head coach Jon Scepanski said. “We went down there for a little bit, but our kids battled back, which was very impressive to see tonight. It would have been easy for them to say here we go again, but they didn’t and they did a great job.”
The Bobcats let a first half lead slip away early in the third quarter. Northeastern quarterback Shannon Valenti threw an interception and the Wildcats scored on the ensuing drive.
But Northeastern’s Anu Johnson found a way to answer back later in the quarter, with a 38-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead again.
Northeastern’s defense made a stand on the Wildcats next drive, stopping them on fourth-and-2 on the Bobcats' 20-yard line. Northeastern chipped away at time on the clock and, with 5:37 left in the game, Butler scored to give them the cushion on the scoreboard.
A minute and 30 seconds later, Butler made the interception to all but seal the win.
“The whole time in the huddle everybody said big players make big plays,” Butler said. “I just kept that in the back of my mind the whole time, so when they needed a big play I made sure I stepped up for my team. Of course it wasn’t just me, it was everybody else out there.”
The loss was Dallastown’s first of the season, after winning the first five games of the year. Friday’s outcome was disappointing, but head coach Kevin Myers expects his team to bounce back from the loss.
“We’ll get back at the drawing board,” he said. “Our guys have nothing to hang their heads about. Northeastern is a good team and we got a battle next week… We still control destiny. We still have to play everybody else.”
Northeastern running back Anu Johnson was on the field for Northeastern on Friday after missing two previous games due to injury. Johnson had 112 yards on the ground, but was ejected from the game by the officials late in the fourth quarter.
According to Scepanski, Johnson was ejected from the game during a play when his helmet was knocked off. According to Scepanski, officials ruled that when Johnson went to retrieve his helmet, he struck an opposing Dallastown player.
Scepanski said that Johnson inadvertently made contact with the Dallastown player, and the coach added he would appeal Johnson's ejection.
If the ejection is upheld, Johnson will miss next week's road game at William Penn.
Northeastern – Hayden Seifert 21 field goal, 6:36.
Northeastern – Fred Mulbuh 45 run (Seifert kick), 3:36.
Dallastown – Drake Pew 34 field goal, 11:02.
Dallastown – Pew 18 field goal, .6.
Dallastown – Rodney Scott 4 run (Pew kick), 9:28.
Northeastern – Anu Johnson 38 run (Seifert kick) 2:44.
Northeastern -- Jonathen Butler 5 pass from Shannon Valenti (Seifert kick), 5:37.
Rushing — DT, Mike Sparks 13-30, Rodney Scott 10-33, Brett Smith 2-9, Zion DeVance 16-58, Elijah Lloyd 1-2. NE, Anu Johnson 14-112, Taemar Willis 1-13, Fred Mulbuh 6-101, Shannon Valenti 5-18, Chris Whack 2-1.
Passing — DT, Name Mike Sparks 6-15-51-1. NE, Shannon Valenti 7-11-91-1.
Receiving — DT, Elijah Lloyd 1-0, Benjamin Ward 1-9, Nathan Downey 1-10, Max Teyral 2-27, Donavan Catchings 1-5. NE, Taemar Willis 1-8, Coby Motley 1-3, Fred Mulbuh 2-34, Jonathen Butler 3-46.