Valparaiso piled up a
season-high 440 yards of total offense on Saturday afternoon, but it was not
enough as Carthage spoiled Valparaiso’s 2009 home opener with a 34-24 victory
over the Crusaders at Brown Field.
H.S.) rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns while Bobby Wysocki (Calumet
H.S.) passed for a career-high 252 yards and another score for the Crusaders.
Carthage (3-0) jumped on top on the opening drive of the game,
moving 75 yards in 11 plays before Evan Jones found Jeff Koeneman from six yard
out in the corner of the end zone.
The Crusaders responded with
a scoring drive of their own, as Wiemer burst up the middle from 12 yards out
to tie the game at seven. The Red Men
added another touchdown before the end of the quarter as John Seigler scored
from two yards out. Ian Altieri (Highland,
Ind./Highland H.S.) blocked the
extra point though, keeping it 13-7 after one.
Wiemer’s second touchdown run
of the game on the Crusaders’ next possession put the Brown and Gold on top
14-13. The senior running back, who had
the first 100-yard rushing game of the season for Valpo, ran up the middle
before breaking to the outside to score from 36 yards out.
The Red Men scored twice more
before halftime to take a 27-14 lead into the break though. An eight-yard pass from Jones to Jake Smith
and a six-yard run by Seigler gave Carthage
the 13-point advantage.
(Manistee, Mich./Manistee H.S.) brought Valpo to within
10 with a 43-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter. The Crusaders threatened again on the first
drive of the fourth quarter, but a blocked field goal kept the game at 27-17.
Carthage added to the lead as Alex Annes returned an
interception 16 yards for a touchdown with 10:25 to play in the game before the
Crusaders tried to rally.
Wysocki found David Coneys (Sebastian, Fla./Sebastian
River H.S.) open over the middle and the sophomore outran the defense on the
way to a 63-yard touchdown with 4:11 to play.
Valpo moved the ball down to the Carthage
18-yard line before an interception in the final minute ended the Crusaders
hopes of a comeback.
Catholic H.S.) led Valpo with seven catches for 104 yards while John Popper (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman
H.S.) rushed 12 times for 81 yards.
Carthage totaled 389 yards of offense, including 323 through
the air as Jones completed 28-of-41 passes.
Rick Loisi had four grabs for 102 yards while Seigler rushed for 76 on
the ground with two scores.
Valparaiso (1-2) will open
Pioneer Football League play next Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa with a 1 p.m.
game against Drake. The game can be
heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network.
Game Notes: The
all-time series is tied 1-1, with the only other meeting coming in 1950 … Valpo
is now 48-39-2 in home openers … Popper finished the game with 173 all-purpose
yards … Eli Crawford (Bogart,
Ga./North Oconee H.S.) intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter giving him
three takeaways this season (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) … Coneys’
touchdown reception came on the first catch of his career … Bennett went over
100 yards receiving for the first time as a Crusader.