Game #8: Saturday, Nov. 1, 12 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-5, 1-3 PFL)
at Morehead State (3-5, 1-3 PFL)
Jayne Stadium (10,000 - AstroPlay) - Morehead, Ky.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso remains on the road Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Morehead, Ky. to battle Morehead State in Pioneer Football League action. The Crusaders are looking to bounce back from a pair of losses the past two weeks and move up into the middle of the pack in the PFL.
On the Air: For the fourth straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2008. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso), and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with David Schroeder adding the color commentary. The game can also be heard online at www.valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Morehead State leads the all-time series 10-3 dating back to the 1996 season. The Eagles hold a 3-2 advantage all-time in Morehead, Ky., but Valpo posted a 42-35 come-from-behind victory on September 16, 2006, the Crusaders’ last appearance at Jayne Stadium. Last year, Morehead State defeated Valpo 16-14 on October 27 at Brown Field.
Scouting Morehead State: The Eagles are looking to snap a three-game losing skid following a 31-21 loss at Butler last Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Evan Sawyer has completed 100-of-203 passes for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, with Nick Feldman hauling in 23 passes for 453 yards and four scores. Fourteen different Eagles have at least one carry this season, with Sawyer leading the way with 281 yards rushing. Defensively, Wes McDermott is second in the PFL with 62 tackles, including 8.0 tackles for loss. He has broken up six passes and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Wrapping Up Dayton: Dayton had 310 yards of offense and scored 34 points in the first half last Saturday afternoon as the Flyers defeated Valparaiso 43-7 in Dayton, Ohio. Rob Florian threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another as he completed 21-of-28 passes for 270 yards. Warren Arnold threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Lewis in the first quarter for Valpo’s lone score as the Flyers held the Crusaders to just 109 yards of total offense on the day. Sean Dillon led Valpo with 10 total tackles, including one for loss.
Oswald Blocks Another Kick: Tom Oswald continues to block kicks for the Crusaders, getting his hands on an extra point attempt in the second quarter at Dayton. For the red-shirt junior, it was his sixth career block, including four last season.
Curry Shares League Lead in Interceptions: Anthony Curry continues to share the interception lead in the PFL with Donte’ Washington of Campbell. He has had picks in four of the seven games this season, and has five total for 2008.
Lewis Scores First Collegiate Touchdown: Red-shirt freshman wide receiver Desmond Lewis caught his first career touchdown pass last week against Dayton. He hauled in a 28-yard reception from Warren Arnold cutting over the middle and now has eight grabs for 103 yards on the season.
Dillon League’s Top Tackler: Sean Dillon continues to lead the Pioneer Football League in tackles, averaging 9.0 stops per contest this season. The fifth-year senior has 63 total stops, including six for loss. He has also recovered two fumbles and forced one to lead the Crusader defense. He had 10 tackles last Saturday at Dayton.
Wiemer Among League Rushing Leaders: Ross Wiemer ranks third in the Pioneer Football League in rushing averaging 74.7 yards per game this season. He has 523 total yards on the ground, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He has found the end zone seven times this season, and has 12 career touchdowns.
Time of Possession Against Valpo: The Crusader defense has been on the field a large portion of the last two games. Last week Dayton had the football for 38:01 while Butler held the ball for 35:35 the week before. Valpo’s offense is averaging just 28:15 with the ball on the season and 23:12 over the past two weeks.
Creating Turnovers: Valpo is +7 in turnover margin thus far this season after intercepting 11 passes and recovering seven fumbles. The 18 takeaways nearly matches the entire 2007 total of 20 through just seven games. On the other side of the football, the Crusaders have thrown just four interceptions and lost seven fumbles. The +1.00 takeaways per game ranks 11th nationally among all NCAA I-FCS schools.
Arnold Seventh in Total Offense: Senior quarterback Warren Arnold has moved past Rob Rayl (1990-1993) into fifth place on Valpo’s total offense list for a career after racking up 54 yards against Dayton. Arnold now has 4,044 yards combined rushing and passing. Dave Lass (1962-1964) is fourth all-time with 4,416 yards, 372 in front of Arnold.
Popper League’s Top All-Purpose Runner: John Popper leads the PFL averaging 132.7 all-purpose yards per game. He has rushed for 152, has 632 in kickoff returns, and another 115 yards in punt returns this season.
Ogden Fourth All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden has moved into fourth place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 2,339 yards, passing Kevin Knutson’s (2001-2004) fourth place total of 2,308 for a career. He is still nearly 500 yards shy of Dan Bogar’s (1981-1984) third place total of 2,816 yards.
PFL Weekly Honors: Valparaiso was the recipient of all three Pioneer Football League Player of the Week honors following the Davidson game on October 11. Ross Wiemer earned Offensive accolades while Anthony Curry was the Defensive Player of the Week. David Hamaker grabbed the Special Teams award after accounting for 11 points.
Arnold to Move Into Eight All-Time in Passing: Warren Arnold sits in eighth place all-time passing at Valparaiso with 2,889 yards. Most recently he moved past Noel Schlegelmilch (1957-1960) and Cortie Wilson (1977-1979) on the all-time list. Arnold is 674 yards shy of Gordon Helms (1953-1955) seventh place mark of 3,563 yards.
Valpo Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in a tie for seventh place in the Pioneer Football League according to the head coaches. San Diego was selected to win the league. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic on December 6.