Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) had 13 catches for 196 yards, including three touchdowns and Valparaiso rallied from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit with 28 points in the final 15 minutes as the Crusaders brought the Hoosier Helmet back to Valparaiso with a 42-37 victory over Butler on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field.
“I’m glad the helmet is home where it belongs,” head coach Stacy Adams said afterwards. “This is the second time playing for it, and the first here in Valparaiso, and it should be a great tradition to continue between these two schools for years to come.”
Valpo trailed 28-14 heading into the fourth quarter, but cut the deficit in half just nine seconds into the frame as Ogden caught a six-yard scoring strike from Warren Arnold (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein H.S.). Butler answered on the first play of its next possession, a 75-yard touchdown run by Scott Gray.
Ogden’s third touchdown reception of the game followed on Valpo’s following drive, which used nine plays but just 1:53 off of the clock. Arnodl found Ogden from eight yards out to close the Crusaders within 35-28.
“Ogden had a break out day for us today,” said Adams. “It was great to see. In order for us to be successful, our playmakers need to continue to make plays throughout the season.”
The Crusader defense held the Bulldogs to back-to-back three-and-outs, but in between the offense could not move the football. Following a Butler punt which set up Valpo at the Bulldog 40, Mozale McHenry (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park H.S.) tied the game at 35 with 6:01 remaining, scoring from two yards out. For the junior fullback, the carry marked his first career touchdown.
Valpo’s defense again held Butler on three straight plays and the Crusaders began its go ahead scoring drive from the Butler 47. Ross Weimer (Burlington, Wis./Burlington H.S.) started with a 22-yard run. Five plays later Weimer put Valpo in front with a five-yard touchdown run, a lead the Crusaders would not relinquish.
“The players played for four quarters today,” Adams added. “We never gave up and fought to the very end. I’m happy about the character this football team showed.”
Butler was again held on downs, and Valpo ran out the clock, including the final nine seconds before taking a safety running out of the end zone.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring just 2:21 into the contest as Chris Grider ran for 58 yards on a reverse. Valpo answered just 15 seconds later when Arnold found Ogden from 68 yards out. Gray’s first touchdown of the game, a one-yard run, midway through the first quarter put Butler in front 14-7 after 15 minutes of play.
Jeff Horton (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) found the end zone from a yard out with 2:56 remaining in the second to tie the game at 14, capping off Valpo’s most impressive offensive drive of the season. The Crusaders marched 99 yards in 13 plays after the defense stopped the Bulldogs on fourth down inside the one.
Butler answered the score, though, as Matt Kobli ran for a six-yard touchdown with 1:24 remaining in the half to put the Bulldogs in front. Gray added his second of three touchdowns midway through the third, setting up the final quarter.
Valparaiso finished the game with 433 yards of total offense, including 298 off the arm of Arnold, who completed 23-of-35 passes on the day. The junior quarterback also rushed 18 times for 88 yards. Butler had 390 total yards, including 103 on the ground by Gray. T.J. Brown was 17-of-29 for 186 yards through the air.
Valparaiso (4-3, 1-2) will continue its homestand next Saturday afternoon at Brown Field against Dayton as part of Parents’ Weekend. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with all the action being carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network as well as online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.