Drake survives Butler in 13-9 scrum to secure first FCS playoff appearance

Luke Bailey threw for a touchdown and Dorian Boyland ran it in from the 2-yard line for the game-winning score and Drake clinched the Pioneer Football crown beating Butler 13-9 on Saturday for its eighth-straight win.

With the win, Drake (8-3, 8-0) earned its first outright PFL championship and its first FCS playoff appearance. Drake finished 3-8 in 2022 and 2-8 in 2021. The last time the team finished above .500 was in 2019 when the Bulldogs went 6-5.

Trailing 9-7, Bailey led an 11-play, 78-yard drive that lasted 5:13 and ended when Boyland crashed into the end zone with 2:43 remaining. Butler managed just 17 yards in eight plays on its ensuing drive and turned it over on downs. Drake ran out the clock from there.

Luka Zurak kicked field goals of 38, 23 and 48 yards for Butler (7-4, 5-3). Bret Bushka threw for 140 yards and Jyran Mitchell ran for 55 yards.


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