Valparaiso snapped its losing skid on Saturday afternoon and registered its first home victory of the year, closing out the 2006 season with a 20-7 win over Aurora at Brown Field.
The Crusaders scored first as Mike Krieg (Romeo, Mich./Romeo H.S.) made a 37-yard field goal with 1:15 to play in the opening quarter. His kick clipped the crossbar, but fell through, giving him a career long.
Valpo added to the lead in the second as Josh Lynn (Hammond, Ind./Morton H.S.) found the end zone from two yards out, making it 10-0 Brown and Gold at the break.
Kevin Folk (Chicago, Ill./Richards H.S.), one of ten seniors participating in their final game of their career, scored his first collegiate touchdown, going around left end on a fourth-and-goal from the one to make it 17-0 Valpo.
Aurora cut the Crusader lead to 10 on the first play of the fourth as Matt McGary connected with Cory Cowan from five yards out. Krieg added a 28-yard field goal with 7:45 left for insurance as the Crusaders finish the season 3-8 overall. The Spartans conclude their season 5-5.
Valpo's defense led the way, allowing just six first downs, two by penalty, and 79 total yards. Aurora managed just 11 yards on the ground for the contest. Kyle Kater (Montague, Mich./Montague H.S.), another senior, led the way with nine tackles and a pass breakup. The Crusader defense only allowed two third down conversions by Aurora in 14 opportunities as well.
Jimmy Riker (Tekonsha, Mich./Tekonsha H.S.) finished his career with 143 tackles, including 39 for loss.
Offensively, Valpo tallied 304 total yards. John Popper (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman H.S.) carried 29 times for 139 yards to lead the way. Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) finished with six grabs for 104 yards, allowing the redshirt-sophomore to finish the year with 1,048 yards receiving.
The victory was the first at home for the Brown and Gold since the final game of the 2004 season, and snapped a seven-game losing skid overall.
Prior to the game, Kater, Folk, and Riker joined teammates Omar Alexander (The Columbia, N.C./Columbia H.S.), Mike Montgomery (Orlando Fla./Dr. Phillips H.S.), Seungyeup Ro (Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S.), Brandon Bogenschutz (Cleveland, Wis./North H.S.), Adam Gregait (Geneva, Ill./Geneva H.S.), Mike Schilling (Wauwatosa, Wis./East H.S.), and Charlie Thompson (Sheboygan, Wis./North H.S.) in being recognized for Senior Day.