VALPARAISO (3-2) at MOREHEAD STATE (1-3)
WHERE: Jayne Stadium, Morehead, Kentucky
TV: (tape-delay) - Channel 43 in Valparaiso. Airs on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. - Dick Harlan announcing.
RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Baron Brendel and Mike Haase announcing. Webcast at www.valpo.edu.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 65-97-1 in his 16th season at Valpo. Morehead State is led by Matt Ballard, who is 59-50 in his 11th season at Morehead State.
SERIES RECORD: Morehead State leads 7-2
LAST MEETING: 2003 - Valpo won 54-42 in the PFL Championship Game in Valparaiso.
LAST WEEK: Valpo defeated Jacksonville 54-38 last Saturday in Valparaiso. Morehead State lost to Drake 42-12 last Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Memories of last year's Pioneer Football League title game will be present when Valpo (3-2) travels to play at Morehead State (1-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT). The Crusaders are coming off a wild 54-38 victory over Jacksonville, while Morehead State was defeated by Drake 42-12.
Valpo captured its first-ever outright PFL Championship when it defeated Morehead State 54-42 in the 2003 title game on Nov. 22 in Valparaiso.
CRUSADERS vs. EAGLES - 2003 PFL Title Game
The last game between these schools was arguably the most exciting PFL Championship Game in the three-year history of the current championship format. The Crusaders, the North Division Champions, led the entire game, but needed a 21-point fourth quarter to hold off the charging Eagles, the South Division Champions. Valpo's David Macchi was the star of the game, passing for 360 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for a game-high 88 yards and two touchdowns. Rob Giancola caught five passes for 140 yards, including an 88-yard scoring aerial from Macchi that increased the Crusaders' lead to 40-30 early in the fourth quarter. Kevin Knutson also had a big game, making five receptions for 107 yards and one touchdown. Valpo defensive end James Riker got the scoring started with a 76-yard return of a fumble forced by Michael Schnoor in the first quarter. The two teams combined for 956 total yards - 488 by Valpo and 468 for Morehead State. The Crusaders held a 19-7 halftime lead, but Morehead State outscored the Crusaders 23-14 in the third quarter to pull within 33-30 at the end of the third quarter. MSU's David Caudill passed for 331 yards and two touchdowns and added two rushing scores in his final collegiate game.
GIANCOLA NEARS ALL-TIME SCORING RECORD: After catching his first touchdown pass of the season (79-yarder vs. Jacksonville) last week, Rob Giancola is closing in on Valpo's all-time scoring mark. With 224 career points, Giancola needs 11 to eclipse the 53-year-old record of 234 held by Joe Pahr (1949-51).
VALPO RANKED IN POLLS: Valpo is ranked in the NCAA I-AA Mid-Major polls through Sept. 26. The Crusaders, coming off a PFL Championship season, are tabbed 8th in The Sports Network and 12th in the Football Gazette poll.
INSIDE VU FOOTBALL, head coach Tom Horne's TV show, airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valparaiso. This week's guest is assistant coach Richard Sanchez.
LAST WEEK'S STANDOUTS AGAINST JACKSONVILLE: Jeff Horton rushed for a career-high 125 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries (7.8 yards per carry). A sophomore, Horton added two receptions for 82 yards......Dustin Shamburg came off the bench to complete 7 of 8 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns......Kevin Knutson caught six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.........long snapper Jake Feit and Kevin Grimoldby each recovered fumbles in the end zone for touchdowns.....Andrew Critchell blocked a punt and led Valpo with 8 tackles......end James Riker made a sack and a tackle for loss among his five tackles.....Travis Davis made 7 tackles......Joel Cyrier returned two punts for 24 yards.
MILAZZO TOPS AMONG PFL PASSERS: Valpo quarterback Joe Milazzo continues to lead the PFL in passing efficiency. The senior has earned 115.1 efficiency points. Milazzo also stands 3rd in the PFL in total offense (194.0 ypg.). Kevin Knutson stands 2nd in the league in receiving yards (77.4 pg.). James Riker ranks tied for 2nd in sacks (2). Jeff Horton is 7th in rushing (59.4 ypg.).
Valpo hosts Dayton on Sat., Oct. 9 at 1:30 p.m. in the Homecoming Game.