VALPARAISO (1-5, 0-0 PFL North) at BUTLER (0-6, 0-1 PFL North)
WHEN: Saturday, October 15, 2005, 1 p.m. CDT.
WHERE: Butler Bowl (3,000), Indianapolis, Ind.
RADIO: Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1-FM, Valparaiso; WAKE, 1500-AM, Valparaiso; Relevant Radio 1270-AM, Gary; and WE-FM, 95.9-FM, Michigan City). Also available on the web at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Todd Ickow will handle the play-by-play with Brent Whitlock providing the color commentary.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Stacy Adams, who is in his 1st season as the Crusader head coach. He is 1-5 overall and at Valpo. Butler is led by Kit Cartwright, who is 7-31 in his 4th season overall and with the Bulldogs.
SERIES RECORD: Butler leads the series with Valparaiso 41-22 dating back to the 1927 season. The Bulldogs have won two straight meetings at home at three of the last four overall.
LAST MEETING: The Crusaders defeated the Bulldogs 31-26 at Brown Field on November 6, 2004. Jeff Horton rushed for 211 yards on 21 carries and scored twice for the Crusaders in the victory. Ryan Doerffler threw for 141 yards, including a scoring strike to Kevin Knutson. Billy Nardini rushed for 139 yards for the Bulldogs while Ian Nelson threw for three touchdowns, including two to Phil Vorndran.
Valparaiso begins the Pioneer Football League North Division portion of the schedule on Saturday as the Crusaders travel to Indianapolis to battle longtime state rival Butler. The Crusaders are looking to snap a five-game losing skid after falling 34-21 at home to Saint Joseph's (Ind.) last weekend.
JONES EARNS PFL HONORS: Mike Jones was named the Pioneer Football League's Defensive Player of the Week this past week after turning in some big numbers last week against the Pumas. The senior made ten tackles, forced a fumble, recovered two others, and had a pass break-up for the Brown and Gold.
BLOCK PARTY: Doug Howard had a solid game on special teams last week for the Crusaders, blocking a pair of extra points. Josh Bintzler also blocked a PAT attempt for the Crusaders. All three came in the first half. Valpo allowed a pair of blocked kicks as well though, as the Saint Joseph's defense turned away a field goal attempt and a punt.
A RIVALRY CONTINUES: When Valpo and Butler meet Saturday for the 64th time in the two programs history, it will continue the Crusaders longest rivalry with any opponent in football. The Brown and Gold have met last weekend's opponent, Saint Joseph's (Ind.), 60 times. Butler and Valpo have met in consecutive years dating back to the 1951 season, and the series began in 1927.
MAKING THE MOST OF THEIR CATCHES: Pete Karamitos and Dustin Shamburg each made just one reception last weekend against the Pumas, but both made them count. Karamitos caught a three-yard touchdown pass and Shamburg caught an 11-yard score.
SEEING RED: Valpo has struggled inside the red zone this season, converting just 13-of-22 opportunities into scores.
FOURTH QUARTER SUCCESS: The Crusaders are a late-starting team this season. Valpo has outscored opponents 37-25 in the fourth quarter.
DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will played its third game in four weeks on the road next Saturday as the Crusaders head to Ohio to battle the Dayton Flyers. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CDT. The Brown and Gold will then return home for two straight weekends, hosting San Diego on October 29 and Drake on November 5. Kickoff for both games at Brown Field is noon.
BUTLER NOTES: Butler is still looking for its first victory of the season and trying to snap a 12-game skid dating back to 2004 after falling 49-7 at San Diego last Saturday. This Saturday is Butler's annual Homecoming game.
The Bulldogs are led offensively by running back Billy Nardini, who has averaged nearly 70 yards per game on the ground this season. Through the air, Bob Farmer has thrown for 855 yards while Phil Borndran has caught 312 of those yards and two scores.
On defense, Mike Marzotto has made 65 tackles on the season for Butler, including 2.5 for loss. Dave Inman has brought down 48 ball carries, including three behind the line of scrimmage, in addition to three pass break-ups.
Last week, San Diego piled up 576 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs in Butler's divisional opener.