Clarksville, Tenn. ? Rob Giancola caught three touchdown passes of 67, 57 and 3 yards as Valpo (2-1) defeated Austin Peay 38-14. David Macchi led a balanced Crusader attack with 333 total yards. The senior passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 101 yards. Nick Reid, a 6'1", 252-pound junior, finished with 121 yards on 20 carries. For the second straight game, Valpo displayed a productive, well-balanced offense, compiling 555 total yards. Kevin Knutson led Valpo with 8 receptions for 94 yards.
After Austin Peay took a 7-0 lead on Quea Williams' 41-yard run, Macchi and the Crusader offense engineered a seven-play, 70-yard drive that concluded with Reid's 1-yard scoring plunge to the game at 7-7 with 6:26 left in the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by three Macchi completions to Knutson for 43 yards.
Following an Austin Peay punt four possessions later, Valpo gained a 14-7 advantage when Macchi connected with Giancola for a 67-yard touchdown pass deep to the right side of the Governors' secondary on the second play.
Valpo's stingy defense forced another Austin Peay punt after three plays. The Crusaders pulled out some trickery on the very next play as tailback Matt Van Daele found Giancola wide open with an option pass for a 57-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7 with 14:39 remaining in the second quarter.
The Governors, who stopped Valpo on 4th-and-inches on Valpo's 33-yard line, trimmed their deficit to 21-14 on a 1-yard run by quarterback Jesse Kellogg with :52 left before halftime.
Valpo struck quickly in the third quarter as a 51-yard scamper by Reid set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Macchi to Kenny Keil with 13:33 left in the third quarter. A tight end, Keil deflected the pass 10-feet in the air in the left side of the end zone before making a lunging reception to increase Valpo's lead to 28-14.
Giancola made another big catch, a 45-yard aerial from Macchi, to set up Ryan Bateman's 30-yard field goal with 13:42 remaining in the game.
A 6',1", 215-pound junior, Giancola hauled in his third touchdown pass, a 3-yarder from Macchi, with 9:51 remaining to expand the Crusaders' lead to 38-14.
Lawrence Canada led a stingy defense with 11 tackles. The Crusaders limited Austin Peay to 265 total yards, including just 92 on the ground. Andrew Critchell and Bradford Riley each made sacks for Valpo, while Chris Daniels made the game's lone interception.
Valpo hosts Saint Francis (PA) next Saturday (Sept. 20) at noon.