A night to remember: Butler tops Tecumseh to give new coach first win

Aug 31, 2018
  • By Jeff Gilbert
  • Contributing Writer
Vandalia-Butler receiver Bryant Johnson is tackled by a Tecumseh defender after one of his eight receptions on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. He gained 99 yards and scored two touchdowns to help the Aviators to a 49-28 victory. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Mason Motter won’t need a scrapbook to remember his moments at Tecumseh’s Spitzer Stadium. As a sophomore in the second game of the 2016 season he came off the bench in the first half when the starter was injured. He rushed for a touchdown and passed for 138 yards to lead the Aviators to a 24-7 victory.

Motter has been the starter since that game. He returned to Tecumseh on Friday night with the intention of helping new head coach John Puckett make a great memory and earn his first victory as a head coach. Motter threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown to lead the Aviators to a 49-28 victory.

Motter won’t remember much of the first quarter and a half. His interception on the second play of the game and a sack and fumble on the second possession helped the Arrows to a 7-0 lead. Then the Aviators’ offensive line took over, making big holes to convert third downs, and powered three touchdown drives in the last nine minutes of the half.

“We started to click and the linemen just opened up holes and they were feeding off us making plays,” Motter said.

Ryan Martin capped a 66-yard drive with an eight-yard run with 5:23 left to tie the score 7-7. After a good punt return by Bryant Johnson, Motter threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Wilson with 1:41 left. Gavin Casella intercepted a Tecumseh pass on the Arrows’ next play. A quick 46-yard drive made it 21-7 at halftime on Jackson Akers’ 2-yard run.

“Their offensive line got rolling on us and we could just never rebound from it,” Arrows coach Chris Cory said. “Defensively we’re still missing too many tackles. We’ve got to find a way to stop the bleeding.”

Butler (1-1) had its lead cut to 21-14 in the third on Gavin Wasson’s 35-yard touchdown run. Wasson struck again for the Arrows late in the third quarter with a 92-yard kickoff return to make it 35-21. But the Aviators scored again on Motter’s 5-yard run to finally put the game out of reach at 42-21 with nine minutes left.

“It feels great,” Puckett said. “You start looking up at the clock and, ‘OK, is this going to happen?’ Then you give a point here and a point there and by the time it’s over with it’s surreal.”

Puckett spent the last several years as an assistant coach at Centerville. This is his first head-coaching job.

“Since I was a little boy it’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to be a head coach and impact lives.”

Motter had lots of help. Johnson caught eight passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan Martin rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries in the first half. He was held out of the second half as a precaution because of a leg injury. Akers took over and rushed for 59 yards on 16 carries.

Tecumseh (1-1) was coming off a 31-0 victory at Fairborn. The Arrows started in Butler territory on their first three possessions but came away with only seven points. The Arrows had their moments with some good runs by fullback Davey Berner and Wasson’s big plays, but Butler controlled both lines of scrimmage enough to keep the Arrows playing from behind. The Arrows also committed three turnovers.

“As the offensive line coach I know we have to block better up front and give our running backs more than a yard before they get touched,” Cory said. “We’ve got to work this week and make sure we’re getting some push up front.”