DRAKE (4-4, 1-2 PFL North) at VALPARAISO (2-7, 1-2 PFL North)
WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 2005, 12 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Brown Field (5,000), Valparaiso, 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 2-7 overall and at Valpo. Drake is led by Rob Ash, who is 165-97-5 in his 25th season overall and 114-61-2 in 16 seasons with the Bulldogs.
SERIES RECORD: Drake holds a 9-3 advantage in 12 meetings between the two schools. The series is tied 3-3 at Brown Field.
LAST MEETING: Drake jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead on the way to a 37-10 victory over Valparaiso in Des Moines, Iowa on October 23, 2004. The Bulldogs held the Crusaders to just 190 total yards for the game and Joe Milazzo scored Valpo's lone touchdown on 5-yard run in the fourth quarter. Connor Jostes completed 12-of-16 passes for Drake, including two touchdowns.
The 2005 home schedule will come to a close on Saturday for the Valparaiso Crusaders as the Brown and Gold entertains Drake on Senior Day. Valpo is looking to snap a two-game losing skid after falling 63-21 to San Diego last Saturday.
HORTON NEARING 1,000 AND SCHOOL RECORD: Jeff Horton needs just 55 yards rushing today to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. He is also on the verge of Valpo's single season rushing record as he needs only 65 yards to break Dave Newnam's 1977 mark of 1,009 yards. He ranks seventh on Valpo's career rushing list with 1,755 yards.
KUEHN STEPPING UP ON DEFENSE: Freshman Bryan Kuehn is making the most of his opportunities as a freshman. The starting outside linebacker has made eight tackles each of the last two weekends, and led the team in that category last Saturday against San Diego.
THE ONLY PERFECT ONE: Andrew McCawley is the only kicker in the PFL to make every single extra point this season. McCawley is 16-of-16 on the year and has made 18 straight dating back to the 2003 season.
McCAWLEY ALSO NEARS RECORD: Andrew McCawley has 79 career extra points heading into the Drake game. He needs just two more PATs to tie Norman Arnold's (1949-1952) mark of 81.
DOUBLE DUTY: Joe Blahowicz has excelled in his role performing double duty this season as a wide receiver and punter. He has caught a team-high 38 passes for 482 yards on the year and grabbed a pair of touchdown tosses last Saturday. He has also punted 45 times for a 39.0-yard average, landing ten inside of the 20.
THANK YOU SENIORS: Saturday's game against Drake marks the final appearance at Brown Field for 20 seniors who have contributed to the Valpo program over the past few seasons.
DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will wrap up the 2005 season next Saturday as the Crusaders travel to Aurora, Ill. to battle the Aurora Spartans. The Spartans are in the Illini-Badger Conference, and play in the NCAA Division III. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Aurora University Field.
DRAKE NOTES: Drake snapped a two-game losing streak last Saturday afternoon with a 56-10 victory over Butler at home for the Bulldogs' first PFL North Division win of the season.
Running back Scott Phaydavong leads the way for the Bulldogs. The sophomore leads the Pioneer Football League with 1,180 yards rushing this season, a 147.5 yard per game average. Last week, Phaydavong led Drake's rushing attack as the team piled up 372 yards on the ground against Butler on 50 carries.
Defensively, James Adams leads the way with 77 tackles on the year, including 55 solo takedowns. He has posted 7.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks. In addition, he has intercepted a pass, forced two fumbles, and recovered a fumble.
Drake has jumped out in front of opponents quickly this season, averaging 21 first half points.