Valparaiso’s Nate Goergen
(Golden, Colo./Golden H.S.) threw for a career-high 261 yards and two
touchdowns by Jacksonville pulled away from the Crusaders in the second half on
the way to a 49-20 victory at D.B. Milne Field on Saturday afternoon in the
final road game of the season for the Brown and Gold.
“Nate really led us
offensively today,” head coach Stacy
Adams said. “He had a really good
game. We’re starting to get more
Goergen completed 21-of-35
passes on the afternoon, six of which went to Nicholas Henton (Chicago, Ill./De
La Salle H.S.) for 97 yards. Goergen
entered the game having just completed nine passes all season for 108 yards in
his first season with the Brown and Gold.
Jacksonville’s offense started quickly, as Rudell Small scampered
57 yards on the second play from scrimmage for a touchdown. After the Dolphins held Valpo to a
three-and-out, a 74-yard pass play set up the hosts again. Josh Philpart hauled in a 12-yard pass from
Josh McGregor just 3:47 into the game to make it 14-0 Dolphins.
“Coming off of our second
flight trip in as many weeks, we started off sluggish,” Adams
said. “I’m proud of our guys for fighting
back and making it a game though.”
Valpo’s offense came alive
late in the first quarter following a JaVon
Welch (Grand Rapids, Mich./Ottawa
Hills H.S.) fumble recovering at the Jacksonville
34-yard line. Ryan Myers (Chesterton,
Ind./Chesterton H.S.) made a
four-yard touchdown grab from Goergen with 3:59 remaining in the quarter.
The Crusader defense then
on fourth down and Valpo’s offense went back to work. A 12-play, 66-yard drive, keyed by a 24 yard
pass play to Henton and a roughing the passer call by the Dolphin defense put
Valpo back in the red zone. Nick Jones (Effingham, Ill./Effingham
H.S.) scored on a two-yard plunge up the middle with 8:47 to play before
halftime. The point after try was missed
though but Valpo was within one, 14-13.
Just before halftime Jacksonville added to the
lead as J.J. Laster scored from three
yards out to give the Dolphins a 21-13 lead at the break.
“We left four points on the
field in the first half due to our kicking game (missed field goal and PAT),” Adams added. “We
will have to strive to improve in that area next week.”
Jacksonville tallied 305 first half yards to Valpo’s 186, but the
Crusaders completed 12-of-20 passes for 130 yards, including four to Henton for
The Dolphins came out of the
locker room and held Valpo to a three-and-out on the first possession of the
second half. Jacksonville made it 28-13 on its first drive
as McGregor connected with tight end Christopher Kuck from 11 yards out in the
middle of the end zone for a touchdown.
McGregor’s third touchdown
pass of the day, an 11-yard toss to Rodney Sumter, late in the third quarter
increased the Dolphin lead to 22. Small
scored from a yard out with 10:25 to play in the game making it 42-13.
Goergen added his second TD
toss of the day with 7:55 to play, finding Sean
McCarty (Waukesha, Wis./West H.S.) from 21 yards out in the
corner of the end zone for a Valpo touchdown.
Jacksonville added a late score as Keith Dawson ran it in from
eight yards out with 59 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
(Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) led the defense with
his first two interceptions of the season, giving the senior 12 for his
career. Both picks came inside the
Crusader 10-yard line to end drives.
Curry had two big
interceptions at crucial times,” Adams
added. “That’s what you need from your
senior captain and defensive plays like that kept us in the ball game.”
Jones finished the game with
17 carries for 55 yards as Valpo totaled 323 yards of offense on the
afternoon. Myers had five receptions for
73 yards and the touchdown.
Small led Jacksonville’s
(5-4, 4-2 PFL) rushing game with 151 yards and the two scores on 16 carries
while McGregor completed 16-of-24 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. The Dolphins finished the game with 581 yards
of total offense.
“We’re still being hit by the
injury bug with three more players going down this week,” Adams
Valparaiso (1-8, 0-6) will begin its final homestand of the
regular season next Saturday at Brown Field hosting Campbell.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Goergen’s
two touchdowns matched his season total entering the game … Jones’ touchdown
run was the first of his career … Myers’ and McCarty’s scoring grabs were their
first of the year … Laurence Treadaway
(Detroit, Mich./Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s H.S.) led Valpo with eight tackles,
all solo … Valpo’s total offense (323) was its second highest total of the
season … Jacksonville leads the all-time series 4-2.