Valparaiso saw its 2007 football season come to a close on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 44-6 decision to Davidson in Davidson, N.C.
Davidson found the scoreboard first, scoring quickly on its second drive. A 58-yard completion from Ryan Alexander to Ryan Hubbard paved the way for a 21-yard touchdown run on the next play by Justin Williams at the 8:09 mark of the opening quarter.
The Crusaders answered with a big play of their own as Warren Arnold (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) found Ben Faulkner (Hammond, Ind./Bishop Noll H.S.) for 50 yards, down to the Wildcats 19-yard line. Valpo had to settle for a field goal try though, but the kick was blocked and Davidson held the 7-0 lead through one quarter of play.
Third down completions of 19 and 35 yards moved Davidson down field early in the second quarter. Williams then found the end zone from three yards out for his second rushing score of the game, pushing the lead to 14-0.
A Valpo fumble at its own 29 set up the Wildcats in Crusader territory, and one play later Alexander threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Williams for his third score of the game. Alexander added one more touchdown toss before intermission, with a five-yard pass to Hubbard with 38 seconds remaining, pushing the Davidson advantage to 28-0 at the break.
On the first play of the third quarter, Davidson intercepted a Crusader pass and two plays later Alexander and Hubbard connected again on an 18-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 34 points.
Another interception on the next Valpo drive led to yet another Davidson touchdown as the lead continued to grow throughout the third quarter and the Wildcats took a 41-0 lead to the fourth.
The hosts tacked on a field goal early in the fourth quarter. Valpo finally got on the scoreboard with 5:26 to play in the game as Jake Riedel (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee H.S.) scampered into the end zone from seven yards out for his first collegiate touchdown.
Davidson finished the game with 517 yards of total offense, including 419 through the air, while Valpo tallied 345 yards on the day. The Crusaders were hampered by 10 penalties for 105 yards as well.
Faulkner finished the game leading Valpo with eight catches for 120 yards. Arnold threw for 174 yards on 14 completions.
Alexander finished the day 20-of-27 for 381 yards and four touchdowns for Davidson (6-4, 4-3 PFL). Hubbard caught eight passes for 189 yards and two scores while Williams finished with 67 yards on the ground and his two touchdowns.
“After being picked to finish last in the PFL, our players had character to post not one, but two league wins,” Adams concluded to sum up the season. “We would have loved to finish with a win, but heading into next season we have lots to look forward to. With around 80 returnees for next season, we feel good about the direction the program is heading.
Valparaiso wraps up its season 5-6 overall, matching its most victories since the 2003 season. The Crusaders were 2-5 in the Pioneer Football League.