Rammed tough
Butler uses power running game, defense to produce 19-7 defeat of Pine-Richland

BUTLER TWP — On Hall of Fame Night,
Butler's varsity football team demonstrated tradition. 
The Golden Tornado used hard-nosed defense and a grinding running game to defeat Pine-Richland, 19-7, at Art Bernardi Stadium. 
“I guess we played old man football tonight,” Butler coach Clyde Conti said. 

It worked. 
Pine-Richland was limited to 58 yards rushing and turned the ball over four times. The Rams were stopped a yard short on fourth down inside the Butler 10-yard line late in the third quarter. 

Butler's defense totally shut us down,” Pine-Richland coach Clair Altemus said. “They came right at us and hit us hard.” 

The win marked Butler's first over Pine-Richland since the Rams moved into the Quad North in 2008. 

The Tornado (2-1) took a 6-0 lead into halftime on Devin Fitz field goals of 25 and 28 yards. The first ended an 11-play, 73-yard drive. The second came after Eric Hindman recovered a muffed Ram punt at the Pine-Richland 13-yard line. 
Pine-Richland took the second-half kickoff and marched 53 yards in eight plays, taking the lead on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Nate Roberts and a Grant Goldberg PAT. 
But Butler responded in a big way. 
Two plays after losing a fumble at the Rams' 27, Butler regained possession when Jake Olenick covered a P-R fumble at the Rams' 30. Quarterback Jordan Cratty scored on a 10-yard run five plays later. 
A successful conversion pass to Olenick was wiped out by a procedure penalty. 
“That was my fault,” Conti said. “I have to do a better job of relaying to the kids what we want to do in certain situations. I failed to do that there.” 
Back came the Rams, who used a 30-yard Ben DiNucci pass to Luke Everett to drive to the Butler 11-yard line. But on fourth-and-7 from there, running back Connor Slomka was stopped a yard short of the sticks at the 5-yard line. 
“We're playing pretty good team defense right now,” Conti said. 
A 32-yard bomb to Olenick moments later highlighted a nine-play, 95-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard Cratty scoring run and a 19-7 Tornado lead with 9:38 remaining. 
Pine-Richland's final two possessions ended in interceptions. On a first down from the Tornado 26, DiNucci tried hitting Luke Merhaut on a deep fade pattern down the right sideline. 
Pat Lokhaiser made a leaping interception and returned the ball 34 yards down field. 
Jake Alston intercepted a tipped pass near midfield with 2:21 remaining to officially seal the deal. 
“I don't know how prepared we were to play this game and that's on me,” Altemus said. “But I can't take anything away from Butler. Clyde has them going in the right direction. 
“They caught us with traps in the running game. They have scrappy 165-pound kids executing some great blocks. Those guys are going to be the foundation of bringing Butler football back. They're making it cool to play football at Butler again.” 
The Tornado rushed for 258 yards. Kolby Kriess had 19 carries for 94 yards, Claude Clark 12 for 93. 
Pine-Richland played without senior running back Brock Baranowski for the third straight game. He is recovering from an Achilles injury. 
“I shudder to think how good that team is going to be a year or two down the road,” Conti said. “We actually won this game tonight. We beat a great program and I'm proud of and happy for our kids. 
“They're playing hard and they're playing for each other. That's great to see.”