XENIA — Xenia jumped on Butler early and then hung on late to beat the Aviators, 40-34, in Miami Valley League football action Friday.
The Bucs (5-2 overall, 4-1 MVL Valley Division) led 27-0 after the first quarter and then saw Butler (3-4, 3-3 MVL Miami Division) twice make it a one-score game in the second half. But taking over with 8:50 left in the game and up six, the Xenia offense was able to chew up more than six minutes on the clock before giving the ball back to Butler, which ran five plays before fumbling with less than two minutes.
Xenia recovered and was able to run out the clock.
The Bucs scored in a variety of ways. They led 7-0 after a 38-yard TD pass from Gavin McManus to Tremell Wright. They made it 14-0 with 7:23 left in the first when Trenton Lee picked off a tipped pass and returned it 38 yards for a score. On the next play from scrimmage, Connor Miller picked up a fumble by the Butler QB and returned it 18 yards then kicked the extra point to make it 21-0.
Butler moved the ball on its next drive, but on a third-and-20 play from the Xenia 40, Wright intercepted a pass on the 13. Three plays later he burned the Aviator defense for a 68-yard TD. The PAT was no good to make it 27-0.
Early in the second, Butler scored on a 41-yard TD run from D’Marcus McKinney to make it 27-7, but on the next drive, Xenia’s Trei’Shaun Sanders slipped through the line for a 25-yard TD run to make it 33-7.
With 4:15 left in the half, McKinney scored on a 15-yard run to make it 33-14. Butler had the ball again late in the half, but the QB was sacked on a fourth-and-goal play from the seven as time expired.
Butler made it 33-21 on the fifth play of the second half, returning an interception about 45 yards for a TD with 9:39 left in the third. Following a series of punts, McKinney scored on a 92-yard touchdown run down the Butler sideline to make it 33-28 with 3:25 left.
After punting on its next possession, Xenia forced the Aviators to punt from deep inside its own territory. Dylan Hoelscher blocked it and Sanders recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 40-28 lead with 14 seconds left in the third.
On the ensuing possession, Butler faced a third-and-nine from the Xenia 44 and QB Luke Seibert found Cody Joynes on a 44-yard slant and a touchdown. A two-point run failed to make it 40-34 with 8:57 left.
Xenia is at Stebbins next week, while Butler hosts Greenville.