October 05, 20191st2nd3rd4thFinal
2nd Quarter
DUTD13:34Lauer 2 Yd Run (De Bruin kick)
DUTD10:00Meis 11 Yd Pass From Corwin (De Bruin kick)
DUTD02:05Lauer 15 Yd Run (De Bruin kick)
3rd Quarter
DUTD14:25Meis 53 Yd Run (De Bruin kick)
DUTD08:10Cates 4 Yd Pass From Corwin (De Bruin kick)
Stats at a GlanceVALPODU
1st Downs1125
3rd Down Conversions2-156-13
4th Down Conversions2-20-1
Passing (Comp-Att)66 (10-25) 191 (20-31)
Rushing (Att)65 (34) 184 (41)
Total Yards131375
Fumbles Lost00
Valpo Opens Pioneer Football League Play with Setback at Drake
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Valpo Opens Pioneer Football League Play with Setback at Drake

Senior Dimitrios Latsonas (Westmont, Ill. / Westmont) connected twice from longer than 40 yards in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, but that was the extent of the scoring for the Valparaiso University football team in a 35-6 defeat to Drake in the Pioneer Football League opener. Fifth-year senior Nick Turner (Gurnee, Ill. / Warren Township) was again the team’s leading tackler, racking up 10 including 3.5 tackles for a loss.

How It Happened

  • The Valpo defense kept a multi-faceted Drake offense in check on the first two drives, forcing a turnover on downs followed by a punt.
  • The third time the Bulldogs (2-3, 2-0 PFL) possessed the football, they went for 64 yards over 15 plays spanning 6:20 late in the first quarter and early in the second. That drive ended with veteran tailback Drew Lauer scoring from two yards out to make it 7-0.
  • Quarterback Ian Corwin found Caden Meis for a freshman-to-freshman 11-yard touchdown pass that doubled the lead to 14-0 with 9:51 left in the second quarter.
  • A 13-yard rush by Elias Earley (Land O’Lakes, Fla. / Carrollwood Day) on the first play of the ensuing possession set the stage for Valpo’s first scoring drive of the day. The team moved the ball into field-goal range, and Latsonas did the rest, as his boot from 46 yards had plenty of distance to put the visitors on the board.
  • Lauer had his second score of the day on a 15-yard run to make it 21-3, but Valpo responded with its most exciting drive of the afternoon to close out the first half. The possession appeared to stall when punter Benjamin Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]) came onto the field on fourth-and-9 from the Valpo 42, but the team successfully converted on a fake-punt play. Niesner took off for 10 yards to advance the ball into Drake territory and move the chains.
  • The drive extended by the fake punt resulted in points as Latsonas drilled one from 41 yards out as the final seconds of first-half time ticked off the clock.   
  • Meis ran for a 53-yard score on the second play after halftime to extend the lead to 28-6, then Devin Cates tacked on a four-yard touchdown on a pass from Corwin to account for the final score.

Inside the Game

  • Latsonas is 4-for-4 on field goal attempts over the last two weeks after starting the season 0-for-4. Three of his makes, including both this week, have come from longer than 40 yards. He’s up to 24 made field goals in his Valpo career.
  • Turner led the team in tackles for the second straight week, registering another double-figure output. Five of his team-high 10 came in the opening quarter. The fifth-year senior racked up 3.5 TFL, becoming the third PFL player with 3.5 or more TFL in a game this season. His company consists of San Diego’s Kevin Glajchen (4.0 vs. Harvard) and Morehead State’s Vaughn Taylor (3.5 vs. Union).
  • Turner became the first Valpo player with 3.5 TFL in a single game since John Guilford on Oct. 17, 2015 vs. Dayton. He equaled the most by a Valpo player since Guilford’s 4.0 on Nov. 8, 2014 vs. Butler.
  • Earley finished as the team’s leading rusher with 10 carries for 52 yards. Senior Kyle Cartales (Loxahatchee, Fla. / Cardinal Newman) led the team with six catches for 29 yards. Michael Scarsella (Valparaiso, Ind. / Valparaiso) chipped in six tackles, including 3.0 TFL.
  • As a team, Valpo dropped Drake players behind the line of scrimmage on 12 occasions for 32 yards. There are only 14 instances in the Division-I FCS this season of teams racking up more than 12 tackles for loss in a game.
  • Valpo had a dozen TFL in a single game for the first time since Sept. 20, 2014 at William Jewell. It was the most TFL by Valpo in a league game since Sept. 25, 2010 vs. Drake (13).
  • Two of the most memorable tackles for loss by the Valpo defense came late in the third quarter, when Turner and freshman Evan Annis (Hilliard, Ohio / Hilliard Davidson) made back-to-back sacks.

Up Next

Valpo (0-5, 0-1 PFL) will face off with head coach Landon Fox’s former team as the University of Dayton makes its way to Brown Field next week. The kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday with the game broadcast available on ESPN+.