Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) caught two touchdown passes and Jeff Horton (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran North H.S.) added another but it was not enough as Trinity International utilized a 24-point second quarter to defeat Valparaiso 39-20 on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field to spoil the Crusaders' home opener.
Valpo jumped in front just 2:59 into the game as Ogden caught a pass from Ryan Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia H.S.) and broke a tackle on his way to the end zone for a 37-yard score. The point after attempt was blocked and the Crusaders took the 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Trojans found the scoreboard on the second play of the second quarter as Kelly Tappenbec connected from 30 yards out on a field goal to cut the Valpo lead to three.
Valpo answered again, this time with a two-yard touchdown pass from Doerffler to Horton to cap off an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Trinity International (1-1) scored quick three more times before halftime, beginning with a 61-yard scoring run by Matthew Reaves to cut Valpo's lead to 13-10 with 8:11 left before break. Josiah Sheedlo then picked off a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown at the 2:12 mark to give the Trojans their first lead, 17-13. After a three-and-out by Valpo, Brennan Smith caught a 10-yard pass from Ryan Thorson to give the visitors a 24-13 lead at halftime.
Thorson then connected with Deon Dukes from 22 yards out on the first possession of the second half, and Smith added a three-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter as the lead swelled to 39-13.
Valpo added a touchdown midway through the fourth as Ogden caught a five-yard scoring strike from Doerffler to cap the scoring.
Horton finished the game with 20 carries for 92 yards while adding another 45 receiving and averaged 31.6 yards per kickoff return. Ogden made six grabs for 81 yards while Doerffler finished the day 16-of-34 for 193 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Dukes had nine grabs for 126 yards for the Trojans while Thorson was 13-of-24 for 171 yards on the day. Reaves finished the day with 17 carries for 125 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Ryan Koepke (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) led the way with nine tackles while Jimmy Riker (Tekonsha, Mich./Tekonsha H.S.) made eight stops.
Valpo (1-1) will begin Pioneer Football League play next Saturday afternoon as the Crusader head to Morehead, Ky. to battle the Eagles of Morehead State. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CDT with all the action carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.