Backup quarterback steers Vandalia-Butler past Tecumseh

Vandalia Butler sophomore Mason Motter couldn’t have expected to play quarterback Friday night at Tecumseh. But when first-year senior starter Tyler Burley broke his collarbone on the fifth play, Motter entered the game.

Motter had plenty of help, but the Aviators needed his steady play to take control of the first half and wear down Tecumseh in the second half for a 24-7 non-conference victory.

Motter’s first snap was a pass play. He looked around, didn’t know what to do and took a 2-yard loss. His first pass was incomplete. But he finished 9-of-18 passing for 140 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Burley was 15-of-25 passing for 210 yards in Butler’s opening 24-14 loss last week at Massillon Perry. After his injury, Tecumseh (1-1) drove 71 yards to take a 7-0 lead on Jayden McFarland’s 1-yard touchdown on fourth down. But Brody Martin, who had three carries for 26 yards on the drive, was injured and left the game.

Motter was zero for his first three passes but rallied the Aviators (1-1) with completions of 6 and 16 yards to Miles Joiner to set up a 30-yard field goal by Drew Boren with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.

Motter wasn’t rolling quite yet. His next pass across the field hung up in the wind and was intercepted by Gavin Wasson. But the defense forced a second straight three-and-out that put the Aviators at the Tecumseh 21 on a 33-yard punt return by Aaron Fields.

Motter handed off four times, but the fifth time he kept it and his ball fake froze the Tecumseh defense. Motter trotted in from the 6 and the Aviators led 10-7 with 8:25 left in the first half.

Tecumseh turned to power running with Darian Spencer, filling in for Martin, and McFarland, a 240-pound fullback. Will Sowder’s 10-yard pass to McFarland took the Arrows to the Butler 33, but McFarland was hit hard from the side and fumbled.

Butler responded with a 67-yard drive that featured three Motter completions for first downs and finished with Logan Flatt’s 15-yard run for a 17-7 lead. Flatt added a 1-yard score in the fourth quarter and finished with 90 yards on 18 carries.

Tecumseh’s best chance to tighten the score in the third quarter came after a 28-yard interception return by Devin Alltop to midfield. After reaching the Butler 29, the Arrows went backward with three penalties and a sack to eventually face fourth-and-43.

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