Valparaiso (1-3, 1-0 PFL)
at Marist (2-2, 1-0 PFL)
Game #5: Saturday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.
Tenney Stadium (5,000 - FieldTurf) - Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
This Week in Crusader Football: The Brown and Gold are coming off their first win of the season, an exciting 49-42 overtime victory over the Campbell Fighting Camels last Saturday at Brown Field. After an off week sandwiched between two home games, the Crusaders hit the road for the first time in nearly a month. The Red Foxes welcome Valpo to the Empire State for Marist’s homecoming weekend. This is the first time since 2006 that the Crusaders enter Week 2 of Pioneer Football League play undefeated.
On the Air: For the eighth straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network is home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2013. All 11 games can be heard live on WVUR (95.1FM, Valparaiso), online through www.valpoathletics.com. Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play, with Brad Collignon adding the color commentary this week. Saturday’s game will feature free video streaming available on valpoathletics.com which will appear on game day. Live stats will also be available through www.valpoathletics.com.
Head Coach Dale Carlson: Dale Carlson is 3-34 in his fourth season with the Crusaders, and 113-137-3 overall in his 25th season as a collegiate head coach. He arrived at Valpo from Ohio Dominican where he began the Ohio Dominican program from scratch in 2004, just as he did at Tri-State University prior to his tenure with the Panthers. He is the 16th head coach in Valpo history, and just the seventh since 1946.
All-Time Series: This will be the fifth meeting between Valparaiso and Marist on the gridiron. Marist leads the all-time series 4-0. The two teams first met in 2009 and have been played each other every year since. The Red Foxes kept the Crusaders off the scoreboard until halfway through the 3rd quarter in last season’s 44-7 win at Brown Field.
Wrapping Up 2012: The Crusaders captured their only win of the season on the road last year by defeating Campbell, 41-21. Valpo ended the season 1-10 and 1-7 in PFL play, but returns plenty of experience for 2013, as the Crusaders bring back eight starters on both sides of the ball.
Scouting Marist: The Red Foxes return home to Poughkeepsie after two highly productive weeks on the road. Marist dismantled the Georgetown Hoyas 42-23 on their home turf before they earned a 31-20 win last Saturday against a strong Dayton team. Head coach Jim Parady is 109-112-1 in his 22nd season at the helm of the Red Foxes. In addition to overseeing Marist’s transition from D-III to FCS, Parady has three league championships under his belt. The Red Foxes operate under a more balanced offense than what Crusader fans saw last week with a rush-happy Campbell squad. Marist features four ball carriers with at least 20 carries. Their corps of receivers also contain four players with at least 13 catches.
Week in Review: Valpo is coming off one of its most dramatic wins in recent history. The Brown and Gold went back-and-forth with Campbell during Valpo’s homecoming weekend last Saturday before the Crusaders outlasted the Fighting Camels 49-42 in overtime. Hoffman had his second straight game of 400-plus passing yards and four touchdowns. The Crusader defense stuffed the Camel offense on four separate goal-to-go occasions including a 4th down from inside the 1. The win represented Valpo’s third over Campbell in the past three years.
Record Pace: Redshirt junior quarterback Eric Hoffman is on pace to throw for 3,394 yards and 30 touchdowns, which would both rank second all-time for a QB in a single season. He’s also on track to finish with 267 completions which would finish well above David Macchi’s mark of 238 set in 2003. On the receiving end, Fred Gladney is on pace for a 74 reception, 1,320-yard year with 14 touchdown catches. All those projections would place the junior wide receiver in second place in terms of Valpo receiving records.
Oh Captain, My Captain: Valpo has three captains for the 2013 season. Redshirt sophomore running back Jake Hutson will represent the offense, while senior defensive back Alex Grask and sophomore linebacker Alex Green will represent the Crusader defense.
Crusaders Picked 10th in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish 10th in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the preseason poll. The prognosticators selected San Diego to take home the 2013 championship.
Spread the Wealth: Eleven different receivers have caught passes in the last two weeks. For a second consecutive week, Gladney and Kuramata have recorded 100-plus receiving days. With Hoffman on fire, the Crusader receivers are keeping busy.
Just for Kicks: The kicking and punting game for the Crusaders has been a revolving door at times. Sophomore Josh Young and freshman Jacob Newman have both been called upon in field goal situations. Newman made his only attempt - a 37-yarder at Saint Joseph’s in Week 2 - but Young got the nod in Week 3 on a 29-yard effort. Alex Kozlowski seems to have nailed down the punting job. He has handled the duties the past two games after missing Week 1.
Alexander the Greats: Alex Green has had the breakout season Dale Carlson was hoping for. The sophomore is second in the PFL with 45 tackles and first overall with 31 solos. Two of Green’s 45 tackles have been for a loss this season. Senior Alex Grask has been equally important at safety. Grask has 26 tackles (16 solo). He picked up his first interception of the season in Week 3 versus William Jewell. The 2012 team leader in tackles has also registered a blocked kick on the 2013 campaign.
Attention: The Crusaders fly into New York Friday morning and will conduct its afternoon pregame practice at the United States Military Academy at West Point.