3-8 Overall, 1-6 Pioneer Football League
This Year in Crusader Football: Valpo wrapped up its 2006 football season with a victory over Aurora at home, giving the Crusaders a 3-8 record for the campaign. The Brown and Gold finished in a tie for seventh place in the Pioneer Football League standings on the year.
On the Air: For the second straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network was the home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2006. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consisted of WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso), Relevant Radio 1270-AM (WWCA, Gary), and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow handled all the play-by-play with Josh Weinhold adding the color commentary.
Last Game: Valparaiso limited Aurora to just 79 total yards as the Crusaders snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 20-7 victory over the Spartans. Mike Krieg kicked a pair of field goals, including a career-long 37-yarder for the Brown and Gold. Josh Lynn found the end zone from two yards out while Kevin Folk added a one-yard touchdown run. John Popper rushed for 139 yards while Steve Ogden caught six passes for 104 yards.
10 Seniors Play Final Game in Crusader Uniform: Valparaiso honored 10 members of the 2006 senior class prior to kickoff of the final game of the season. Omar Alexander, Brandon Bogenschutz, Kevin Folk, Adam Gregait, Kyle Kater, Mike Montgomery, Jimmy Riker, Seungyeup Ro, Mike Schilling, and Charlie Thompson all participated in their final game wearing the Brown and Gold.
Ogden Surpasses 1,000 Yards Receiving: Redshirt-sophomore Steve Ogden went over the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the Crusaders in the win over Aurora. Ogden finished the season with 1,048 yards on 55 catches. He is the first Crusader to go over 1,000 yards since both Rob Giancola (1,496) and Kevin Knutson (1,139) did it in 2003.
Ogden Also Among Division I-AA Receiving Leaders: Steve Ogden remained among the nation's best receivers all season long. Heading into the Division I-AA national semifinals, Ogden ranks fifth in all of I-AA in receiving yards per game. He averaged 95.27 yards per game.
Doerffler Among Best All-Time in Passing Yardage: Quarterback Ryan Doerffler moved into fifth place on Valpo's career passing list this season. The redshirt-junior has tallied 4,016 yards over three years for the Brown and Gold, trailing Dave Lass (1962-1964) by just 45 yards for fourth place all-time. Doerffler has one year of eligibility remaining.
Ogden Among Career Leaders in Receiving: Steve Ogden has already become one of the top receivers in school history. The redshirt-sophomore has 1,493 receiving yards, moving past Matt Junia (1998-1999) for tenth place on Valpo's all-time list. Ogden trails Greg Tatarek (1986-1989) by just nine yards for ninth place on the school charts and is 143 yards shy of the top-five all-time.
Krieg Nearly Automatic on PAT Attempts: For a redshirt-freshman, Mike Krieg was nearly perfect on point after touchdown attempts this season. He finished 27-of-28 on the season, and shared the lead the PFL in PAT percentage on the year converting at a 96.4% rate. The only attempt he missed was blocked.
Riker Second Among All PFL Linemen in Tackles: Jimmy Riker finished the season second among all Pioneer Football League defensive linemen in tackles, bringing down 50 ball carriers. The senior finished with 8.0 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks. For his career, Riker finished with 39 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including 16 sacks.
Block Party: Valpo blocked four kicks on the season, including three in a two week span. At Dayton, the Brown and Gold rejected a pair of extra point attempts.
Koepke Leads the Team in Tackles: Ryan Koepke hauled down 67 ball carriers this season for the Brown and Gold. He also recorded five tackles for loss as well as a forced fumble.
Good Work Gets Rewarded: Ryan Koepke has been recognized for his efforts in the community, having been named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. He has been active with many different service organizations, including a mission trip to Guatemala where he helped provide medical care and nutrition to the local residents. He also has worked at Camp Watcha Wanna Do for children who are cancer patients or survivors as well as helped lead Valpo's football team into various elementary schools to read to the students.
Valpo Finishes Right Where The Crusaders Were Picked: The Crusaders were selected to finish seventh and ended up up finishing in a tie for seventh place in the ?restructured" Pioneer Football League this season. The PFL moved to one division this season, with the league champion, San Diego, defeating the Northeast Conference champion, Monmouth (N.J.) in the Gridiron Classic.
Krieg Earns PFL Honors in Week One and Week 11: Mike Krieg was named the Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week following the Wisconsin Lutheran game for a perfect performance in his collegiate debut. The redshirt freshman kicker was a perfect 7-of-7 on extra point attempts while adding a 25-yard field goal in the victory. He then garnered the award for a second time following the final game of the season against Aurora. He made a pair of PAT attempts against the Spartans as well as two field goals, including a career long from 37 yards out.
Horton Sets School Rushing Record: Senior running back Jeff Horton set a new school career rushing record at Wisconsin Lutheran. Horton surpassed Joe Pahr's (1949-1951) 50-year old rushing mark of 2,326 yards. Horton now has 2,429 career rushing yards.
Horton Ties Valpo Single Game Touchdown Mark: Jeff Horton found the end zone four times in the Crusaders' season opener at Wisconsin Lutheran, tying Valpo's school record for touchdowns in a game. The mark, originally set by Paul Naumann at DePauw on October 20, 1956, has now been tied six times during the history of Valpo football.
Riker Competed in East Coast Bowl: Jimmy Riker was selected to compete in the East Coast Bowl in Petersburg, Va. on November 25. The all-star game was for seniors at NCAA I-AA, II, III, and NAIA schools.
Four Crusaders Earn PFL Honors: Senior Jimmy Riker ended his career wearing the Brown and Gold by being named to the Pioneer Football League's First Team. Seniors Mike Schilling and Charlie Thompson each earned Second Team accolades while redshirt-sophomore Steve Ogden earned Honorable Mention honors.
Team Awards Also Handed Out: The Crusader football coaches handed out their team awards at the season-ending banquet. Steve Ogden was named Offensive Player of the Year while Jimmy Riker was the Defensive Player of the Year. Adam Rundh was Special Teams Player of the Year and Ben Faulkner was named Most Improved. Brandon Bogenschutz received the Richard P. Koenig Award while Seungyeup Ro was the recipient of the Joe Sever trophy.