MACOMB, Ill. (AP) -- Caulton Ray ran for two touchdowns and Western Illinois held on to beat Butler 23-15 Thursday night in the season opener for both schools.
Western Illinois built a 16-0 lead at halftime and led 23-0 in the third quarter. The Bulldogs rallied behind Matt Lancaster, who threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, and they drove deep into Leathernecks territory in the final minute. After getting possession at its 1-yard line, Butler drove to the Western Illinois 4 before time ran out.
The Leathernecks ran 56 times and controlled the ball for 37 minutes. It was the first meeting between the teams.