Valparaiso, Ind. - David Macchi, playing in his first game for Valpo, passed for 300 yards in a 27-17 loss to Morehead State in the Crusaders' season opener. Morehead State quarterback David Caudill rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Eagles remained undefeated (2-0).
Macchi, a junior from San Jose, Cal./West Valley College, completed 24 of 35 passes for 300 yards and one touchdown, a 62-yarder to Ryan Barno with 3:11 left in the third quarter. Barno, a junior from Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette, caught six passes for a career-high 139 yards.
The second half brought out the best in Macchi as he completed 16 of 21 passes for 251 yards. He also connected with Barno on 28 and 24-yard aerials, as well as a 32-yarder to sophomore Kevin Knutson.
After a scoreless first quarter, Caudill completed a seven-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard run with 4:39 remaining in the second quarter. The snap on the conversion attempt was fumbled and the Eagles settled for a 6-0 halftime lead.
Morehead State increased its lead to 21-0 during a 1:10 stretch of the third quarter. Jeff Morrett blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone by Vincent Hinkle with 7:20 left in the period. Caudill then found Eli Parkes with a two-point conversion pass to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead. On the first play after the kickoff, Garrett Potz recovered a Crusader fumble. Three plays later, Caudill scampered eight yards for the score at the 6:10 mark.
Bryan Hollermeier, who amassed 85 yards on four punt returns, gave the Crusaders favorable field position with a 23-yard return with under 13 minutes left in the game. Macchi's nine-yard pass to Casey Liddle and a 24-yarder to Barno put Valpo at Morehead State's three-yard line. The Eagle defense held on the next three plays and Adam Hudak booted a 30-yard field goal to cut MSU's lead to 21-10 with 9:33 remaining.
Morhead State produced an insurance score when Ralph Delsardo made an acrobatic catch of Caudill's off-balance throw at the back edge of the end zone with 3:23 left to give the Eagles a 27-10 lead.
Valpo answered with its longest drive of the day when Chris Daniels capped off an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds remaining.
The Crusaders outgained MSU 309-305 and won the first-down battle 18-15. The Eagles, who benefited from four Valpo turnovers, rushed for 138 yards. Caudill completed 12 of 29 passes for 167 yards.
Valpo's Rob Giancola added five receptions for 47 yards. Defensively, Lawrence Canada led the Crusaders with 11 tackles, while Jeffrey Vlk made nine. Kevin Schaekel (7 tackles) and John Tsahas (6 tackles), made two pass breakups each. Brad Riley recorded an 11-yard sack for Valpo.
The Crusaders host Campbellsville next Saturday (Sept. 14) at noon CT.