Valparaiso, Ind. - David Macchi passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and Nick Reid rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns as Valpo (3-1) defeated Saint Francis (PA) 38-6. The Crusaders are off to their best start since the 2000 season when they also began 3-1.
The Crusaders scored in every quarter and led 38-0 before Saint Francis (0-3) scored with :18 remaining. Reid, who has three straight 100-plus yard rushing games, ran for 118 yards on seven carries in the second half. The junior from Orlando, Fla./Arizona Western College produced runs of 44, 39 and 22 yards after intermission. The 39-yard scamper gave Valpo a 31-0 lead with :08 left in the third quarter. He previously scored on a 2-yard run with 4:44 remaining in the third period.
Macchi found a passing rhythm with Kevin Knutson, who topped the Crusaders with seven catches for 117 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 31-0. A senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen, Macchi's arm helped Valpo gain a 17-0 halftime advantage. He connected with Rob Giancola for a 63-yard touchdown with :03 left in the first quarter and then completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tom Schmidt with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter. Macchi, who threw for 210 yards in the first half, completed 13 of 30 passes with one interception overall.
Valpo's defense continued to impress, allowing just 256 total yards, including just 121 through the air. Both starting cornerbacks, Elliott Powell and Chris Daniels, came up with big interceptions in the first half, stopping Saint Francis drives in Valpo territory. End Bill Marshall made two tackles behind the line and had one of Valpo's three sacks. Brad Smeja led the Crusaders with 11 tackles, while Lawrence Canada had nine and Brandon Sturman added seven.
Smeja gave Valpo a bolt of energy by returning the opening kickoff 75 yards to the Saint Francis 16-yard line. The Red Flash defense halted the drive and Valpo settled for a 19-yard field goal by Ryan Bateman.
With the Valpo starters on the bench, Saint Francis mounted a fourth-quarter drive that concluded with a 3-yard touchdown reception by Luke Palko from Bo Border with :18 seconds left. The snap was high and a two-point run attempt failed.
Valpo finished with 491 total yards - 270 passing and 221 on the ground. The Crusaders compiled 19 first downs to 14 for Saint Francis.
The Crusaders travel to play Jacksonville next Saturday (Sept. 27) at 12:30 p.m. EDT.