Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Opens PFL North Season At Defending Champ Dayton

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

VALPARAISO (3-3, 0-0 PFL) at DAYTON (6-0, 0-0 PFL)

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 11 - 1 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Welcome Stadium, Dayton, Ohio

RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Drew Wolf and Andy Viano announcing.

TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 57-94-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Dayton is led by Mike Kelly, who is 212-41-1 in his 23rd season at Dayton.

SERIES RECORD: Dayton leads 11-1
LAST MEETING: 2002 - Dayton won 52-3

LAST WEEK: Valpo lost to Morehead State 32-26 last Saturday in Valparaiso. Dayton defeated Davidson 32-25 last Saturday in Davidson, N.C.

VALPO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Valpo Players of the Week as selected by the coaching staff: Offense: Matt Van Daele, junior running back; Defense: John Tsahas, senior strong safety; Special Teams: Jake Feit, sophomore long snapper; Offensive Scout: Jim Cantrell, freshman wide receiver; Defensive Scout: Terrance McBryde, freshman linebacker.

WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo hosts San Diego on Sat., Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. CDT.

Valpo (3-3, 0-0 PFL) will travel to play defending champion Dayton (6-0, 0-0 PFL) on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. EDT in the PFL North opener. The Crusaders will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak after dropping a heartbreaking 32-26 Homecoming contest to Morehead State last Saturday. David Macchi, who compiled 429 yards in total offense, passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Knutson, who caught a 31-yard touchdown, led Valpo with 133 receiving yards on six receptions. Dayton engineered a fourth-quarter comeback to claim a 32-25 victory over host Davidson last Saturday.

MACCHI KEEPS ROLLIN': Quarterback David Macchi has been the key component to the Valpo offense, particularly over the last four games. Macchi has thrown 13 of his 14 touchdown passes during that span. The senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen tops the PFL in total offense (300.2 ypg., 1,801 yds.) and ranks 2nd in pass efficiency (142.6) and passing yards per game (268.2). Macchi now stands 3rd on Valpo's all-time list in total offense (5,350 yards) and 3rd in passing yards (4,935).

MACCHI'S PERFORMANCE BEST IN NATION LAST WEEK: David Macchi's 429 yards in total offense were the most of any NCAA I-AA player last week. Macchi's performance marked the second straight week he earned accolades for most total yards in the nation (440 vs. Jacksonville).

GIANCOLA TOPS PFL IN SCORING: Wide receiver Rob Giancola continues to lead the PFL in scoring (56 pts.). He has proven to be one of the best "big play" receivers in NCAA I-AA as six of his nine touchdown receptions have been for 56-or-more yards. Giancola also leads the PFL in receiving yardage per game (119.8 ypg.). Overall, he has 20 catches for 599 yards. In two-plus seasons, he ranks 3rd on Valpo's all-time receiving yards list with 2,201. Giancola's 22 career touchdown receptions are four shy of Valpo's all-time record of 26 (Dan Bogar, 1981-84, Mike Healey, 1982-85).

BARNO COMING ON STRONG: Ryan Barno followed a career-best performance with a six-catch, 83-yard game against Morehead State last Saturday. The senior from Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette caught a career-high 11 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown against Jacksonville a week earlier.

KNUTSON REMAINS HOT RECEIVER: Kevin Knutson is rising toward the top of the PFL receiving leaders, currently standing 4th in receptions (6.0 pg., 36 total). Against Morehead State, the junior from River Falls, Wis./HS snagged 6 aerials for a career-high 133 yards. Knutson also ranks 6th in the PFL in receiving yards per game (85.3, 512 yds.).

CANADA 2nd AMONG PFL TACKLE LEADERS: Lawrence Canada, Valpo's middle linebacker, stands 2nd in the PFL in tackles per game (10.3 pg.). The senior from Mequon, Wis./Lane College leads the league in total tackles (62).

DANIELS 2nd IN PFL IN INTERCEPTIONS: Junior cornerback Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) ranks 2nd in the PFL with 4 interceptions (.67 pg.).

POWELL 3rd AMONG PFL INTERCEPTION LEADERS: Elliott Powell (Orange, Cal./Mater Dei) now has 3 interceptions, tying for the third most in the PFL (.50 pg.).

SMEJA 2nd IN PFL IN PUNT RETURNS, 4th IN TACKLES: Sophomore Brad Smeja is 2nd in the PFL in punt return average (12.6 ypr./126 yds, 10 ret.). As a free safety, Smeja (Oak Brook, Ill./Downers Grove North) stands 4th in the league with 8.5 tackles per game (51 total).

"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo. This week's guest is junior defensive tackle Nick Hausmann.

A LOOK AT DAYTON:

The Flyers (6-0, 0-0 PFL), who have either won or shared four straight PFL championships, are enjoying another great season. Head coach Mike Kelly's squad features incredible balance, leading the PFL in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense, while ranking first in rushing offense and second in total offense. The top-ranked defense is led by safety Doug Jones (45 tackles) and end Eric Dearth (38 tackles, 5 TFL). Safeties Chris Cowan and Chris Fackler rank tied for 3rd in the PFL with 3 interceptions each. Dayton, which averages 40.7 ppg., is led offensively by senior running back Cliff Sachini, who stands 5th in the league in rushing (85.0 ypg.). Junior quarterback Brandon Staley (45-71-3int,4TDs,733yds.) has rushed for 5 touchdowns, while fullback Geno Mattioda ranks 5th in the PFL in scoring (7 TDs, 8.0 ppg.).

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