Game #11: Saturday, Nov. 21, 12 p.m. CST
Morehead State (2-8, 0-7 PFL)
at Valpo (1-9, 0-7 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000-ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso closes out the 2009 football season on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field as the Crusaders host Morehead State. Prior to kickoff, 16 members of the Valpo football program will be honored on Senior Day.
On the Air: For the fifth straight season the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2009. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso) and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle the play-by-play with Andy Viano adding the color commentary. The game can also be heard live online at www.valpoathletics.com. WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) will also broadcast Saturday’s game. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Valpo and Morehead State are meeting for the 15th time in a series that dates back to the 1996 season. The Eagles have won 11 of the first 14 contests all-time, including two straight meetings. Last year Morehead State posted a 44-10 win over the Crusaders in Kentucky. Valpo’s last win in the series came down in Morehead, a 42-35 triumph in the 2006 season. The Eagles are 7-1 against Valpo at Brown Field, with the Crusaders’ lone triumph coming in the 2003 PFL championship game.
Head Coach Stacy Adams: Stacy Adams is in his fifth season at the helm of the Crusader football program, taking over the team prior to the 2005 season. Adams has a 15-39 record both overall and at Valpo. He is the 15th head coach in Crusader history, and just the sixth since 1946.
Scouting Morehead State: The Eagles are entering the game also looking for their first PFL win of the season while trying to snap a seven-game losing skid following a 13-7 loss to San Diego last Saturday. Wes McDermott leads Morehead State defensively with 100 tackles, including 16 for loss, ranking eighth in the nation. The Eagles are fifth in the country against the run, allowing just 78.2 yards per game on the ground.
Wrapping Up Campbell: The Fighting Camels scored a pair of first half rushing touchdowns on the way to a 17-0 halftime lead and hung on for a 17-3 victory over the Crusaders last Saturday at Brown Field. Andrzej Skiba’s 20-yard field goal with 8:16 remaining accounted for Valpo’s lone score on the afternoon.
Thanks Seniors: Sixteen Crusaders are closing their collegiate careers this afternoon. Those being honored prior to kickoff are Ian Altieri, Anthony Curry, Zac Griffin, Nicholas Henton, Kyle Himmelwright, Trevor Jaskiw, James Joos, Luke Kanclerz, Josh Lynn, Mike Miller, John Popper, Marco Porcelli, Adam Rundh, Mitch Secrest, Ross Wiemer, and Dave Wisniewski.
Welch Has Solid Season: With a team-leading 12 tackles last week against Campbell, JaVon Welch continues his stellar season. He leads Valpo with 63 total tackles, including four for loss. He has also added an interception, forced a fumble, and recovered another this year.
Henton Looks for 1,000 Career Yards: Senior Nicholas Henton needs 82 yards to reach the 1,000 mark for his career. He already has a career-high 335 yards worth of grabs this year.
Curry Continues to Make Picks: Anthony Curry made his first two interceptions of the season two weeks ago at Jacksonville, and added another last week against Campbell, giving him 13 for his career now, most among active PFL players. The senior has had at least one interception each season with the Brown and Gold.
Griffin Registers First Sack: Fifth-year senior Zac Griffin recorded his first sack of the season, and second of his career, last week against Campbell.
MASH Unit: Valparaiso has fallen victim to the injury and illness bug throughout the season. Out of 22 starting positions between offense and defense, 38 different players have earned at least one start this season. Only nine players have started all 10 games for the Brown and Gold this season. Of the 10, five comprise the offensive line as Nate Blair, Gavin Grillo, Steve Lara, Ferdinand Velez, and David Wisniewski have started every game. In fact, only 18 players have seen action in all nine contests this year.
Rundh Earns Academic All-District Honors: Senior defensive lineman Adam Rundh has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V First Team for the third straight season. He is now eligible for Academic All-America accolades again after being a Second Team All-America selection in 2008.
Fourth Down Success: Valparaiso has had success on fourth down conversions this season, converting 7-of-16 tries (43.8%). The percentage is third best in the Pioneer Football League this season
Rundh a Finalist for Sportsmanship Award: Adam Rundh is one of the 10 finalists for the ARA Sportsmanship Award in 2009. The award is giving to one outstanding NCAA Division I collegiate football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship. Rundh is one of only two FCS players among the finalist.
Player of the Week: Defensive lineman Nikko Carson recorded four sacks at Drake on October 3, the most in a single game in the NCAA-FCS this season. The sophomore earned Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Week honors for his work, which included eight total tackles, all of the solo variety. His four sacks also tie the Pioneer Football League’s single game record in that category.
In Their Own Words: Follow the Crusaders from an up close and personal stand point online this season through the team’s official team blog at http://blogs.valpo.edu/football. Head coach Stacy Adams will share his thoughts throughout the season along with seniors Dave Wisniewski and Adam Rundh and redshirt sophomore Matt Upshaw.
Team Captains: Four players will serve as team captains for the Brown and Gold this season. On the offensive side of the football, Matt Upshaw and Dave Wisniewski were voted as team captains while on the defensive end Zac Griffin and Anthony Curry were selected as captains.
Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish in ninth place in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the head coaches. San Diego was selected to win the league with Dayton and Jacksonville sharing the second spot. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic on December 5.