Game #6: Saturday, Oct. 18, 1 p.m. CDT
Butler (4-1, 2-0 PFL)
at Valpo (2-3, 1-1 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000, ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Coming off of a thrilling overtime victory against Davidson last Saturday, Valparaiso looks to continue its success at home this Saturday as the Crusaders host Butler in the Battle for the Hoosier Helmet. The Crusaders are looking to retain the helmet after winning last year’s contest between the two instate rivals.
On the Air: For the fourth straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2008. 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 David Schroeder adding the color commentary. The game can also be heard online at www.valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Butler leads the all-time series between the two Indiana rivals 42-24 dating all the way back to the 1927 season. Valpo has won three of the last four meetings, though, including a 42-37 triumph at Brown Field last season. Last season Butler led by 14 entering the final quarter before Valpo scored 28 fourth quarter points. The Crusaders and Bulldogs began playing for the Hoosier Helmet in 2006, and since then each school has won one game.
Scouting Butler: The Bulldogs have won three straight games following a 56-7 victory at Campbell last Saturday. Butler’s four victories this season have already matched their win total from all of 2007. Quarterback Matt Kobli leads the Pioneer Football League in total offense averaging 278 yards per game, including 225.6 yards through the air, second most in the league. Derek Guggenberger is Butler’s leading tackler, with 38 stops including 4.5 for loss. Butler has scored on 19 of 20 trips into the red zone this year.
Wrapping Up Davidson: Jake Riedel’s two-yard run and Anthony Curry’s interception in overtime proved to be the difference last Saturday afternoon as Valparaiso defeated Davidson 35-29 at Brown Field. The Crusaders rallied from an 18-point second quarter deficit behind 170 yards rushing and three touchdowns by Ross Wiemer. David Hamaker made all three field goal attempts, including a career-long 43-yarder and Curry finished the game with three interceptions. Valpo rushed for 351 yards in the victory.
Valpo Sweeps PFL Honors: Valparaiso was the recipient of all three Pioneer Football League Player of the Week honors following the Davidson game. Ross Wiemer earned Offensive accolades while Anthony Curry was the Defensive Player of the Week. David Hamaker grabbed the Special Teams award after accounting for 11 points.
The Hoosier Helmet: The trophy for the winner of the annual instate battle is a white helmet on a wooden base. On one side the Valparaiso logo is displayed while the other side has the Butler logo. The tradition began in 2006 with Butler winning the inaugural game 32-10. Valpo claimed the prize last season with the 42-37 victory.
Curry Picks Them Off: Anthony Curry had two more interceptions against Davidson to give him four for the season, tying him for the PFL lead. The first came on the final play of the first half and the second secured the victory in overtime. The junior now has seven for his career.
Wiemer and Riedel Have Career Day: Ross Wiemer’s 170 yards rushing and Jake Riedel’s 75 yards on the ground against Davidson marked a new career high for each running back. Wiemer scored three times on his way to his first 100-yard rushing day of his career while Riedel tallied the game-winning touchdown and had rushed for just 53 career yards prior to last Saturday.
Hamaker Kicks Them Through: David Hamaker had attempted just two career field goals, making a 21-yarder, prior to the Davidson game. The sophomore kicker connected from 32, 40, and 43 yards against the Wildcats to help Valpo score the come-from-behind win.
Creating Turnovers: Valpo is +9 in turnover margin thus far this season after intercepting 10 passes and recovering six fumbles. The 16 takeaways nearly matches the entire 2007 total of 20 through just five games. On the other side of the football, the Crusaders have thrown just three interceptions and lost four fumbles. The +1.8 takeaways per game ranks second nationally among all NCAA I-FCS schools.
Arnold Seventh in Total Offense: Senior quarterback Warren Arnold is in seventh place on Valpo’s total offense list for a career after racking up 141 yards against Davidson. Arnold now has 3,858 yards combined rushing and passing. Ryan Doerffler (2003-2006) is sixth all-time with 3,861 total yards, just three yards ahead of the senior. Rob Rayl (1990-1993) is fifth on the list with 4,007 yards, 149 in front of Arnold.
Serra Makes Big Play: Kris Serra, who serves as the long snapper for the Crusaders, made his first fumble recovery of his career against Davidson on a mishandled punt return.
Ogden Fourth All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden has moved into fourth place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 2,339 yards, passing Kevin Knutson’s (2001-2004) fourth place total of 2,308 for a career. He is still nearly 500 yards shy of Dan Bogar’s (1981-1984) third place total of 2,816 yards.
Valpo’s Pass Defense Among the Nation’s Best: Valpo’s pass defense ranks second in all of NCAA I-FCS through week seven allowing just 124.0 yards per game through the air. Only one opponent had thrown for 150 yards against the Crusaders this season. Valpo’s defense has also intercepted 10 passes already this year.
Arnold to Move Into the Top-10 in Passing: Warren Arnold moved into the top-10 all-time passing at Valparaiso with 75 yards against Davidson. The senior quarterback now has 2,705 passing yards, moving past Jon Dimitri’s (1965-1967) mark of 2,646. Arnold needs just 33 more yards to move into ninth place and 84 yards to move up to eighth all-time on the Crusader list.
Valpo Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in a tie for seventh place in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the head coaches. San Diego was selected to win the league followed by Dayton. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic on December 6.