Game #2: Saturday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. CDT
Valpo (1-0, 0-0 PFL)
at Trinity International (0-1, 0-0 PFL)
Leslie Frazier Stadium (2,000 - Grass), Deerfield, Ill.
This Week in Crusader Football: After winning the season opener, Valparaiso takes to the road for the first time in 2007 on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Deerfield, Ill. to face Trinity International. Valpo has won its last two games dating back to the finale last year.
On the Air: For the third straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2007. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso), and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Josh Weinhold adding the color commentary.
Series Notes: Trinity International won the only meeting between the two schools, 39-20, last year at Brown Field. The Crusaders led 13-3 midway through the second quarter before the Trojans scored 36 straight points.
Scouting Trinity International: The Trojans dropped their season opener 32-27 on Saturday afternoon against Malone. Trinity International returns 33 letterwinners, including 14 starters, from last year’s team. Kyle Bennett threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns in the opener for the Trojans. Jacob Love caught five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Jason Welch made 12 tackles, and forced a fumble against Malone.
Last Week: Valpo won its third straight season opener last Saturday, defeating Saint Francis (Ill.) 28-21 at Brown Field. The Crusaders rushed for a school record 389 yards on the way to rolling up 505 yards of total offense. Quarterback Warren Arnold ran for 172 yards and a score while Jeff Horton returned from last year’s injury, tallying 167 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Valpo’s defense limited the Fighting Saints to 254 yards for the game while Matt Watkins led the way with eight tackles and a fumble recovery defensively.
Valpo Picked Eighth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish eighth place in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the head coaches. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic at year’s end.
Crusaders Set School Rushing Record in Opener: Valparaiso broke a 53-year old single game rushing record with 389 yards on the ground in the season opener against Saint Francis (Ill.). The Crusaders carried the ball 59 times in the game, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Valpo’s previous best rushing day was at DePauw on October 16, 1954 when the Crusaders tallied 387 yards.
Horton Holds School Rushing Record: Fifth-year senior running back Jeff Horton became Valparaiso’s all-time leading rusher last season, passing Joe Pahr (1949-1951). Horton has already increased his total this season with 167 yards in the opener. He now has 2,596 career rushing yards, 270 more than Pahr’s total.
Ogden Among Valpo’s Top-10 All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden enters 2007 in 10th place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 1,493 yards. He needs nine yards to match Greg Tatarek (1986-1989) for ninth place on the career charts and 43 more to equal Ryan Barno’s (2000-2003) eighth place total of 1,536. Ogden is just 147 yards shy of the Crusaders’ top-five in receiving.
Horton Moves Onto Scoring List: Jeff Horton scored three touchdowns in the season opener against Saint Francis (Ill.) and now has 156 career points ranking ninth all-time in a Crusader uniform. He passed Nick Browder (1993-1996) and Adam Hudak (2000-2002) to move up the charts, and with his next touchdown will jump up to fifth place all-time.
Crusaders Among Nation’s Top Offenses In Week One: Valparaiso currently ranks fourth in the country with the Crusaders’ 389 yards rushing during the opening week of NCAA-FCS football. In addition, the Crusaders are ninth in total offense (505 yards).
Arnold and Horton Both Among Top-10 Rushers: Warren Arnold currently ranks fifth in NCAA-FCS in rushing with his 172-yard performance against Saint Francis (Ill.). In addition, Jeff Horton is eighth in the national rankings with 167 yards on the ground.
Lengthy Road Trip Begins: After playing the season opener at Brown Field, the Crusaders begin a month away from home. Valpo will play four straight games on the road, including this week at Trinity International as well as the PFL opener at Drake to end the trip, before returning home on October 6 to face San Diego on Homecoming weekend.
Creating Takeaways: Valpo recovered a pair of Saint Francis (Ill.) fumbles in the opener to put the Brown and Gold well ahead of its takeaway pace from last season. The Crusaders only forced 11 turnovers during the entire 2006 season, including recovering just five fumbles.
Third Quarter Domination Leads to Big Possession Edge: Valpo held onto the football for 10:39 of the third quarter while scoring twice, increasing the lead to 14 points at one point, against Saint Francis, helping to give the Brown and Gold a nearly 10-minute edge in possession time for the entire game.
Van Aartsen Perfect in Opener: As a freshman kicking in his first collegiate contest, Dan Van Aartsen made all four of his PAT attempts in the game. He did not attempt a field goal in his debut.