Junior Hendry Hebda (Brighton, Mich. / Gabriel Richard) recorded his first career interception and redshirt sophomore Trey Stablein (Delaware, Ohio / Olentangy Liberty) hauled in the first touchdown catch of his career, but the Valparaiso University football team was on the wrong end of a 38-7 score on Saturday afternoon at Truman State. The game at Stokes Stadium kicked off four hours earlier than originally scheduled due to forecasted thunderstorms in the Kirksville, Mo. area on Saturday evening.
How It Happened
- The Truman State (3-0) defense thrived in the first half, forcing punts on Valpo’s first seven possessions.
- After allowing a 44-yard touchdown reception on Truman State’s first drive of the game, the Valpo defense forced a punt and a field goal on the remaining two possessions of the opening quarter. The play before the first touchdown of the game was nearly a Valpo interception, but the Bulldogs were awarded possession at the bottom of a pile on the football.
- A punt return for a touchdown early in the second quarter made it 17-0 Truman State, then the Valpo defense got stops on the final three drives of the half – a three-and-out, an interception and a turnover on downs. The Hebda pick was a red-zone turnover, stalling a Bulldog drive at the Valpo 15-yard line.
- An 11-play, 78-yard touchdown drive opened the second half for Truman State, then the final two scores for the Bulldogs came on interceptions returned for touchdowns.
- The biggest Valpo play of the game went for 61 yards as quarterback Joe Mullen (Elgin, Ill. / St. Edward’s [Tiffin]) found Ollie Reese (Franklin, Tenn. / Battle Ground) for a gain that went down to the Truman State 14-yard line with 8:04 left in the third.
- Redshirt junior Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child) took over at quarterback in the fourth quarter and helped his team get on the board. The veteran signal caller hooked up with Stablein for a 16-yard score with 6:42 to play. The Seewald-to-Stablein connection was the key to the drive, as four of the six pass completions on that sequence went to the redshirt sophomore.
Inside the Game
- Stablein entered Saturday’s fourth quarter without a catch in his collegiate career and finished the day with six for 62 yards.
- Reese’s 75 yards represented the team lead in receiving. His 61-yard grab was his second of the season that went for that exact distance, the longest two plays for Valpo as a team this year.
- Trey Psota (Bay Village, Ohio / Bay) finished as the team’s leading tackler with seven, while Henry Hebda totaled six to go along with his interception. The pick was the first of his career and the third by the Valpo defense this season.
- Benjamin Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]) booted 10 punts for 404 yards and a long of 51. He averaged 40.4 yards per punt to aid Valpo in the field-position battle throughout the game.
- Seewald went 6-of-12 for 76 yards in his first action of the season. Redshirt freshman quarterback Ben Nimz (Waukesha, Wis. / Catholic Memorial) made his collegiate debut under center on the final series and went 2-for-2 for 10 yards.
Valpo (0-3) will look to bounce back on Homecoming Saturday at Brown Field. The University of Charleston will be in town for a game that kicks off at 1 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.