The Valparaiso University football team visited San Diego on Saturday for a matchup with the top team in the Pioneer Football League, and the Toreros showed why they’re unblemished in league play with a 49-10 victory over the Crusaders. The win extended San Diego’s streak to 26 straight home PFL victories spanning six seasons.
How It Happened
- After forcing a three-and-out on San Diego’s opening drive, the Crusaders found the scoreboard first when Dimitrios Latsonas (Westmont, Ill. / Westmont) converted a 31-yard field goal.
- However, San Diego scored 49 unanswered points before the Crusaders found the end zone with 9:35 remaining. Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child) shoveled an underhand pass to Kyle Cartales (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. / Cardinal Newman), who booked across the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown.
- Field position played a significant role in the first half, as the Crusaders trailed 28-3 at the break despite recording more first downs (9) than the Toreros (7) in the opening half.
- San Diego’s first TD came on a 6-yard TD run by Jonah Hodges, a drive that started in Valpo territory after a 52-yard kickoff return by Jacob Arnell.
- Special teams hurt the Crusaders again with 2:08 left in the first quarter, when Jamal Agnew broke free for a 63-yard punt return for a TD.
- A failed fake punt by the Crusaders gave the Toreros favorable field position again early in the second quarter. San Diego took full advantage of the opportunity when quarterback Anthony Lawrence hit Justin Priest for a 12-yard score.
- San Diego’s first long drive of the day against the Valpo defense came just before halftime. The Toreros marched 89 yards on 10 plays, a drive capped by Lawrence’s 5-yard connection with Jacob Arnell to make it 28-3.
- Lawrence added three more TD passes in the second half to finish with five for the game. He totaled 301 yards passing on 22-of-32.
Inside the Game
- Seewald and junior Ryan Clarke (Hopatcong, N.J. / Hopatcong) split time at quarterback. Seewald went 14-of-26 for 200 yards, while Clarke completed 8 of 22 passes for 58 yards.
- The field goal by Latsonas was the first of his collegiate career. Latsonas, who normally handles exclusively kickoffs, filled in for injured field goal kicker Jake Simpson for the second straight week.
- The run defense was a bright spot, as the Crusaders kept Jonah Hodges in check. The PFL’s leading rusher (113.5 yards per game) totaled just 34 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Toreros rushed for just 83 yards.
- The TD snag by Cartales was the first score – rushing or receiving – of his collegiate career. It also marked Seewald’s 10th TD pass this season.
- For the second time this year, Valpo did not commit a turnover.
- The Crusaders were limited to 4-of-15 on third down and 0-of-3 on fourth down.
- Sophomore Ryan Moore (St. Lauderdale, Fla. / Westminster Academy) led the Crusaders in receiving yards with a career-high 66 on three receptions.
- Junior Kye Hall (New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna) paced the Valpo defense with eight tackles.
- Sophomore Christian Campbell (South Bend, Ind. / Washington) intercepted a long pass by Lawrence in the final minute of the first half. It was his second pick of the season. It was the third interception of his career as he became the fourth Valpo player with multiple interceptions this year.
The Crusaders (3-5, 2-3 PFL) return home next week after back-to-back weeks away from Brown Field. They host rival Butler (3-5, 1-4) on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. in the annual Battle for the Hoosier Helmet. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Links to the video stream as well as live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.