Game #3: Saturday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. CDT
Marian (Ind.) (2-1, 0-0 MSFA) at
Valpo (1-1, 0-0 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000 - ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Coming off a victory in its home opener last Saturday afternoon, Valparaiso will wrap up the non-conference portion of the 2008 schedule on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain Marian (Ind.). Following the game, the Brown and Gold will have a bye week before beginning Pioneer Football League play at San Diego.
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: Valparaiso and Marian (Ind.) are meeting for the second time as the Knights just started their football program in 2007. Last year in Indianapolis, the Crusaders rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit with a pair of fourth quarter touchdown runs by Jeff Horton on the way to a 21-13 win over Marian. Horton finished the game with 153 yards rushing. This is the first meeting at Brown Field.
Scouting Marian (Ind.): The Knights have won back-to-back games for the first time in program history following a 28-21 victory at McKendree last Saturday. The victory over the #25-ranked NAIA program also was the first victory over a ranked foe for Marian. The Knights are led by quarterback Matt Rogers, who is the reigning Mid-States Football Association East Division Player of the Week. The junior is 42-of-80 passing for 640 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Defensively, Adam Vondersaar leads the Knights with 27 tackles in three games, including three for loss.
Wrapping Up Concordia (Wis.): Ross Wiemer rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns while Warren Arnold threw for another 170 yards and a score as Valparaiso won its home opener last Saturday afternoon, 34-10 at Brown Field. The Crusader defense recorded three interceptions and Nicholas Henton also connected with Matt Dorow on a touchdown pass. Jake Riedel added a scoring run while Ryan Myers collected his first career touchdown reception as Valpo totaled 449 total yards.
Curry Leads Nation in Interceptions: Anthony Curry leads the NCAA I-FCS in interceptions per game at 1.0 after picking off his second pass of the season against Concordia (Wis.). The junior now has five career interceptions.
Wiemer Has Career Day: Ross Wiemer ran for a career-best 94 yards in the victory over the Falcons last Saturday, surpassing his previous high of 88 against Dayton last season. The junior carried the ball just nine times for a 10.4-yard average, including two touchdowns. His 69-yard scoring run also marked a career long.
Myers and Lewis Break Into Stat Columns: Ryan Myers and Desmond Lewis both made their first career receptions last weekend against Concordia. Both hauled in two passes, while Myers found the end zone for the first time in his collegiate career on a 21-yard catch.
Henton and Dorow Connect: Wide receiver Nicholas Henton threw his first career touchdown pass, a 44-yard scoring strike to Matt Dorow, as the result of a fake punt. It was the second career completion for Henton, who threw a 30-yard pass as a freshman. For Dorow, a fifth-year senior, it was just his second career reception and the first time he found the end zone.
ProGrass Pays Off: With Valparaiso receiving nearly 11 inches of rain last weekend, Brown Field stayed in perfect condition when the new ProGrass surface that debuted against Concordia (Wis.). Last Saturday was the first time in 88 seasons Valpo did not play on grass at home.
Arnold Moves Into Ninth in Total Offense: Senior quarterback Warren Arnold moved past Andy Huegli (1996-1999) into ninth place on Valpo’s total offense list for a career after racking up 220 yards in the victory against Concordia (Wis.). Arnold now has 3,337 yards combined rushing and passing. Cortie Wilson (1977-1979) is eighth on the list with 3,417 yards, just 80 yards ahead of Arnold while Gordon Helms (1953-1955) is seventh with 3,581 total yards, 244 ahead of the senior.
Ogden Fifth All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden is in fifth place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 2,235 yards. He needs 73 more to match Kevin Knutson’s (2001-2004) fourth place total of 2,306 for a career. Ogden hauled in four passes for 73 yards in his 2008 debut against Concordia (Wis.) after missing the opener due to injury.
Popper Among Top Returners: John Popper is second in the PFL averaging 25.7 yards per kickoff return as well as second in all-purpose yards averaging 134.0 per game.
Koepke Nearing 200 Career Tackles: Senior linebacker Ryan Koepke needs just five stops to reach the 200 mark for his career. With 195 career tackles to date, Koepke is quickly approaching the milestone. He had five stops last week against Concordia (Wis.).
Valpo’s Pass Defense the Nation’s Best: Valpo’s pass defense put up some impressive numbers through two games this season. The Crusaders are tops in all of NCAA I-FCS allowing 29.5 yards per game through the air while their passing efficiency defense also ranks number one at 19.78. Valpo’s defense has also intercepted five passes already this year.
Arnold to Move Into the Top-10 in Passing Soon: Warren Arnold is just 282 passing yards shy of moving into the top-10 all-time at Valparaiso. The senior quarterback enters play with 2,364 passing yards, trailing Jon Dimitri’s (1965-1967) 10th place mark of 2,646. With 425 more yards, Arnold would move all the way into eighth place. Arnold threw for 170 yards last week against Concordia (Wis.).
Valpo Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in a tie for seventh place in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the head coaches. San Diego was selected to win the league followed by Dayton. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic on December 6.