VALPARAISO (2-1) vs. SAINT FRANCIS (PA) (0-2)
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 20 - noon CDT
WHERE: Brown Field, Valparaiso, Indiana
RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Ed Schillinger and Drew Wolf announcing.
TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan and Bill Koch announcing.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 56-92-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Saint Francis (PA) is led by Dave Opfar, who is 2-10 in his 2nd season at Saint Francis (PA).
SERIES RECORD: 0-0
LAST MEETING: First Meeting
LAST WEEK: Valpo defeated Austin Peay, 38-14, last Saturday in Clarksville, Tenn. Saint Francis (PA) lost to Sacred Heart, 37-12, last Saturday in Fairfield, Conn.
VALPO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Valpo Players of the Week as selected by the coaching staff: Offense: David Macchi, senior quarterback; Defense: Kris Hardaway, sophomore linebacker; Special Teams: Mike Schnoor, freshman; Offensive Scout: Joel Cyrier, freshman running back; Defensive Scout: Matt Markowski, sophomore defensive back.
WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo travels to play Jacksonville next Saturday (Sept. 27) at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Currently owning a two-game win streak, Valpo (2-1) plays its second home game of the season Saturday, hosting Saint Francis (PA) (0-2). The Crusaders are off to their best start since the 2000 season when they also began 2-1. Valpo is coming off a 38-14 road victory over Austin Peay.
RUSH NIGHTMARE FOR OPPONENTS, RUSH PARTY FOR OFFENSE: Fundamental lessons that football coaches teach are defensive control of the opponents' rushing attack, as well as offensive effectiveness in running the ball. Through three games, Valpo has excelled at both as the Crusader defense leads the Pioneer Football League in rushing defense (72.3 ypg.), while the offense ranks 2nd in rushing offense (159.3 ypg.).
BIG PLAY GIANCOLA COMES UP HUGE: Rob Giancola (Whiting, Ind./HS) caught three touchdown passes of 67, 57 and 3 yards in the win over Austin Peay. A junior, Giancola made another big catch, a 45-yard aerial from David Macchi, to set up Ryan Bateman's 30-yard field goal with 13:42 remaining in the game. On the day, Giancola finished with five catches for 174 yards.
REID, MACCHI RUN TO VICTORY: For the second straight game, Valpo dominated the line of scrimmage as evidenced by 266 rushing yards and two 100-yard rushers. Nick Reid, who rushed for 130 yards and one touchdown against Wisconsin Lutheran, followed with a 121-yard effort on 20 carries against Austin Peay. A junior from Orlando, Fla./Arizona Western College, Reid ranks 4th in the PFL in rushing (87.3 ypg.). The 6'0", 252-pound tailback has produced 262 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries (6.0 ypc.). Quarterback David Macchi (101 yards, 12 carries) also garnered a 100-yard game. The senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen, compiled 333 total yards with 232 coming through the air. Macchi stands 2nd in the PFL in pass efficiency (136.1) and 4th in total offense (208.0 ypg.).
KNUTSON A FOOTBALL VACUUM: For the second straight game Kevin Knutson led Valpo in receptions. The junior from River Falls, Wis./HS snagged 8 aerials for 94 yards against Austin Peay after a 7-reception performance a week earlier. Knutson ranks 5th in the league in receptions per game (5.3, 16 rec.) and 6th in receiving yards per game (66.0, 198 yds.).
HARDAWAY, CANADA ENJOY BIG GAMES AGAINST AP: Although Valpo's defensive success has been a team effort, linebackers Kris Hardaway and Lawrence Canada stood out against Austin Peay. Canada (Mequon, Wis./Lane College), the team's tackle leader with 30 overall, made 10 stops against the Governors. Hardaway (Portage, Ind./HS) also made 10 tackles, including 2 for losses.
DANIELS TIED FOR PFL INTERCEPTION LEAD: Junior cornerback Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) is tied for the PFL lead with 2 interceptions (.67 pg.).
SMEJA 2nd IN PFL IN PUNT RETURNS: Sophomore Brad Smeja is 2nd in the PFL in punt return average (14.7 ypr./88 yds, 6 ret.).
"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo. This week's guest is offensive coordinator Stacy Adams.
A LOOK AT SAINT FRANCIS (PA):
The Red Flash (0-2) are playing their second straight road game on Saturday. Saint Francis lost its home opener to Gannon 52-20 before falling 37-12 at Sacred Heart in the Northeast Conference opener last Saturday. Head Coach Dave Opfar has an outstanding running back in Michael Hall. A 5'11", 200-pound senior, Hall averages 5.0 yards per carry (116 yrds, 23 carr.). Freshman Anthony Doria calls the signals for the Red Flash, completing 24 of 59 passes for 369 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions. Damon Hill, a sophomore wide receiver, leads SFC with two touchdowns. Luke Palko tops the receivers with seven catches for 83 yards. Free safety Marcus Haines spearheads the defense with 23 tackles.