INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Robert Washington amassed a career-high 199 yards rushing and ran for a touchdown and Valparaiso won the season-opening and Pioneer-Football League opening game with a 24-14 win over Butler on Saturday.
Washington’s 7-yard touchdown run off right tackle pulled Valpo into a tie at seven with seven minutes before halftime.
Washington, who played a Charlotte in 2016 and Old Dominion in 2019, ran for a mere 135 yards on 49 carries and two touchdowns with ODU in which he played in 12 games starting in three.
Valparaiso took the lead as time expired at halftime when Chris Duncan threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Deuce Larose. The offense’s 5-play, 30-yard drive occurred complements of the defense when Jaxon Peifer forced a fumble on Kavon Samuels. Keyon Turner scooped the ball and ran 35 yards to set up the score.
Butler knotted it at 14-all after stopping Valpo on downs then going on a 10-play, 60-yard scoring drive that ended when Nick Orlando crashed in from a yard out.
Brian Bartholomew kicked a 19-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the third and Valpo sealed it when Duncan threw a 20-yard score to Holden Hodge to seal it.
Samuels ran for 117 yards for Butler and Orlando had both scores.
Butler hadn’t started the season at home since 2011 and had won seven of its last 10 against Valpo prior to Saturday.
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