Valpo Opens PFL North Schedule Against Dayton On Homecoming
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
VALPARAISO (3-3, 0-0 PFL) vs. DAYTON (4-1, 0-0 PFL)

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 9 - 1:30 p.m. CT-Homecoming

WHERE: Brown Field, Valparaiso, Indiana

TV: (tape-delay) - Channel 43 in Valparaiso. Airs on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. - Dick Harlan and Bill Koch announcing.

RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Andy Viano and Andrew Stem announcing. Webcast at

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 65-98-1 in his 16th season at Valpo. Dayton is led by Mike Kelly, who is 219-44-1 in his 24th season at Dayton.

SERIES RECORD: Dayton leads 11-2
LAST MEETING: 2003 - Valpo won 33-28 in Dayton.

LAST WEEK: Valpo lost to Morehead State 29-23 in Morehead, Kentucky. Dayton defeated Davidson 45-27 in Dayton, Ohio.

Valpo (3-3, 0-0 PFL North) opens Pioneer Football League North Division action on Saturday by hosting Dayton (4-1, 0-0 PFL North) on Homecoming beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Crusaders defeated the Flyers 33-28 last season in Dayton. The victory was the first of three straight PFL North wins as Valpo went on to capture its first-ever outright PFL Championship.

Last week, the Crusaders' late comeback fell short in a 29-23 loss at Morehead State. Dayton, the consensus #1-ranked team in the NCAA I-AA Mid-Major polls, defeated Davidson 45-27 in Dayton.

CRUSADERS vs. FLYERS - Valpo 33, Dayton 28 - Oct. 11, 2003 at Dayton

Valpo set the tone for its first-ever outright PFL Championship by defeating Dayton in the PFL North opener. A 17-point second quarter gave the Crusaders a 24-7 halftime lead and the Crusader defense stopped the Flyers at the Valpo 16-yard line on four straight incomplete passes with 41 seconds remaining in the game.

The tandem of Valpo quarterback David Macchi and wide receiver Rob Giancola evolved as the story of the game. Macchi completed 22 of 33 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns, while Giancola set a Valpo-single-game record with 275 receiving yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. Macchi and Giancola lifted the Crusaders to a 7-0 lead with a 36-touchdown aerial in the first quarter. After Dayton tied the game at 7-7, Valpo cornerback Michael Mroz changed the complexion of the contest with two second-quarter interceptions - the first to halt a Flyer scoring threat near the Valpo goal line and the latter with 1:40 before halftime that set up Macchi's 16-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Knutson with 1:09 remaining.

Dayton cut Valpo's lead to 27-21 with 5:47 left in the game. Giancola, who also made catches of 56, 44 and 40 yards thoughout the game, slipped past the Flyer secondary for a 78-yard touchdown reception from Macchi with 4:40 left. Following a Dayton touchdown that pulled the Flyers within 33-28 with 2:24 remaining, Valpo's final stand included a pass breakup in the end zone by cornerback Chris Daniels. Overall, the teams combined for 1,024 total yards - 524 for Valpo and 500 for Dayton.

GIANCOLA NEARS ALL-TIME SCORING RECORD: Rob Giancola is closing in on Valpo's all-time scoring mark. With 224 career points, Giancola needs 11 to eclipse the 53-year-old record of 234 held by Joe Pahr (1949-51).

INSIDE VU FOOTBALL, head coach Tom Horne's TV show, airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valparaiso. This week's guest is senior tight end Kenny Keil.

LAST WEEK'S STANDOUTS AGAINST MOREHEAD STATE: Rob Giancola caught four passes for 109 yards. His 55-yard and 25-yard receptions set up touchdowns......Jeff Horton rushed for 82 yards on six carries and caught four passes for 28 yards and one touchdown......Ryan Doerffler passed for 101 yards and two touchdowns in just over a quarter.....Matt Van Daele caught a 2-yard touchdown pass.....Kevin Knutson made a 13-yard touchdown reception.....Brandon Sturman made 11 tackles, including a sack (eight yards) and a tackle for loss (five yards).....Brad Smeja led the team with 12 tackles and Bill Marshall added 11.......Elliott Powell made an interception and Seungyeup Ro recovered a fumble.....James Riker forced a fumble and made seven tackles.

VALPO INDIVIDUALS AMONG PFL LEADERS: Rob Giancola ranks 4th in receiving yards (71.2 ypg.). Kevin Knutson stands 5th in the league in receiving yards (66.7 ypg.) and receptions (4.5 pg.). Jeff Horton is 6th in rushing (63.2 ypg.). Quarterback Joe Milazzo stands 3rd in passing efficiency and 6th in the PFL in total offense (163.0 ypg.). James Riker and Brandon Sturman rank tied for 2nd in tackles for loss (5.0) and tied for 3rd in sacks (2). Joe Blahowicz is 3rd in punting (37.1 ypp.).

Valpo travels to play at San Diego on Sat., Oct. 16 beginning at 3:30 p.m. CT.