Valpo's Fourth-Quarter Comeback Falls Short At Morehead State
Saturday, October 2, 2004
Morehead, Kent. ? Morehead State scored 23 points off turnovers as the Eagles defeated Valpo 29-23. Valpo scored 16 fourth-quarter points to pull within six with over three minutes left. The Crusaders (3-3) scored their touchdowns on a 2-yard pass from Dustin Shamburg to Matt Van Daele, a 2-yard pass from Ryan Doerffler to Jeff Horton, and a 13-yard pass from Doerffler to Kevin Knutson.

MSU, which intercepted four passes and recovered a fumble, led 23-7 at halftime. After Chris Hutchinson returned an interception 13 yards to the Valpo 24-yard line, Casey McCoy rushed for a 2-yard score with 4:52 left in the first quarter.

Valpo responded with an 8-play, 65-yard drive, culminating with Van Daele's touchdown with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter. Rob Giancola caught two passes from Shamburg for 43 yards on the drive, the latter a 25-yarder to the MSU 2-yard line.

Following a 42-yard kickoff return by Demarcus Deadwyler, the Eagles answered with a 13-play, 53-yard scoring drive, ending with quarterback Brian Yost's 9-yard run.

On Valpo's next possession in the second quarter, Hutchinson intercepted Shamburg for the second time, returning the ball 14 yards to the Valpo 20. Three plays later, Jabari McGee scampered into the end zone from four yards to give the Eagles a 20-3 lead with 6:20 left before halftime.

MSU (2-3) recovered a fumble on a punt return and added a 21-yard field goal by Adam Jones.

The only scoring in the third quarter occurred after MSU's Craig Unger returned Valpo's fourth interception to the 39-yard line. McGee, who led all rushers with 124 yards on 15 carries, ran for a 4-yard score with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.

Doerffler, Valpo's third quarterback on the afternoon, led the Crusaders to two consecutive touchdown drives. The redshirt freshman connected with Giancola on a 55-yard reception to set up Horton's 2-yard touchdown reception from Doerffler.

Valpo scored on a safety after an MSU snap went over the head of Eagle punter Aaron Charles in the end zone.

Following Seungyeup Ro's fumble recovery to halt an MSU drive in Valpo territory, the Crusaders mounted another scoring drive. Horton rushed for 10 yards and, after a personal foul on MSU advanced the ball to the 12-yard line, Doerffler found Knutson open in the right side of the end zone to bring Valpo within 29-23 with 3:33 remaining.

The Eagles converted a fourth down-and-three into a first down with over two minutes left after Valpo used all three timeouts during the drive. MSU ran several plays to run the remaining time off the clock

Horton led Valpo with 82 rushing yards on six attempts and made four catches for 28 yards. Doerffler, who entered the game in the latter portion of the third quarter, completed 6 of 11 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Giancola caught four passes for a game-high 109 yards.

MSU held a 274-243 advantage in total yards ? 236 coming on the ground. Valpo had 159 yards through the air and 84 via the rush.

Valpo celebrates Homecoming by playing its Pioneer Football League North Division opener against Dayton next Saturday (Oct. 9) at 1:30 p.m.