Game #11: Saturday, Nov. 11, 12:30 p.m. CST
Aurora (5-4, 5-2 IBFC) at Valpo (2-8, 1-6 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000 - Grass), Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valpo wraps up the 2006 football season on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain Aurora looking for their first home victory of the season. Saturday is also Senior Day as 10 players will compete for the final time at Brown Field.
On the Air: For the second straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2006. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists 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 will handle all the play-by-play with Josh Weinhold adding the color commentary.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Aurora are meeting for the 14th time on Saturday in a series that dates back to 1930. The Crusaders hold an 11-2 advantage all-time between the two schools, including winning the last three. At Brown Field, Valpo is a perfect 7-0 against the Spartans all-time. Last year, the Crusaders posted a 13-7 victory in Aurora to close out the season. In the last meeting at Brown Field, back in 2004, the Crusaders recorded a 33-0 shutout against the Spartans.
Scouting Aurora: The Spartans are closing out their 2006 season on Saturday as well. Aurora finished tied for second in the Illini-Badger Football Conference after a 25-20 victory over Lakeland last Saturday. Quarterback Mathew McGary leads the way offensively, throwing for 1,177 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 52.0% of his passes. On defense, Austin Deer has a 57 tackles and four interceptions while Marcus Goedken has brought down 11 runners behind the line of scrimmage.
Last Week: Dayton limited Valparaiso to just 173 total yards while piling up 523 yards of its own on the way to a 51-7 victory over the Crusaders last Saturday in Ohio. Steve Ogden hauled in a 24-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Doerffler in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 17-7, Valpo's lone score of the game. Ogden finished with five catches for 78 yards. Defensively, Charlie Thompson led the Crusaders with 10 tackles, including eight solos.
Ten Seniors to Play Final Game on Saturday: Valparaiso will honor 10 members of the 2006 senior class prior to kickoff on Saturday against Aurora. Omar Alexander, Brandon Bogenschutz, Kevin Folk, Adam Gregait, Kyle Kater, Mike Montgomery, Jimmy Riker, Seungyeup Ro, Mike Schilling, and Charlie Thompson will all be participating in their final game wearing the Brown and Gold.
Ogden Nearing 1,000 Yards Receiving: Redshirt sophomore Steve Ogden needs just 56 yards in catches against Aurora to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the season.
Ogden Also Among Division I-AA Receiving Leaders: Steve Ogden remains among the nation's best receivers, ranking eighth in all of I-AA in receiving yards per game. He is averaging 94.4 yards per game.
Doerffler Among Best All-Time in Passing Yardage: Quarterback Ryan Doerffler has moved into fifth place on Valpo's career passing list. The redshirt-junior has tallied 3,881 yards over three years for the Brown and Gold, trailing Dave Lass (1962-1964) by just 180 yards for fourth place all-time.
Ogden Among Career Leaders in Receiving: Steve Ogden has already become one of the top receivers in school history. The redshirt-sophomore has 1,389 receiving yards, moving past Matt Junia (1998-1999) for tenth place on Valpo's all-time list. Ogden trails Greg Tatarek (1986-1989) by 113 yards for ninth place on the school charts.
Krieg Nearly Automatic on PAT Attempts: For a redshirt-freshman, Mike Krieg has been nearly perfect on point after touchdown attempts this season. He is 25-of-26 on the season, and leads the PFL in PAT percentage on the year converting at a 96.2% rate.
Riker Leads PFL Linemen in Tackles: Jimmy Riker continues to lead all Pioneer Football League defensive linemen in tackles, bringing down 48 ball carriers. The senior also has 7.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks. For his career, Riker has 38.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including 16 sacks.
Block Party: Valpo has blocked four kicks on the season, including three in the last two weeks. Last week at Dayton, the Brown and Gold rejected a pair of extra point attempts. Last season, the Crusaders also blocked four kicks.
Koepke Leads the Team in Tackles: Ryan Koepke has hauled down 64 ball carriers this season for the Brown and Gold. He also has 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 Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish seventh in the ?restructured" Pioneer Football League this season. The PFL moved to one division this season, with the league champion facing the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic.
Krieg Earns PFL Honors in Week One: 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.
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.