CRUSADERS CONCLUDE SEASON OPENING ROAD TRIP SATURDAY AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
VALPARAISO (1-0, 0-0 PFL) at SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (1-0, 0-0 Great West)

WHEN: Saturday, September 10, 2005, 7 p.m. CDT.

WHERE: Coughlin-Alumni Stadium (15,000), Brookings, S.D.

RADIO: Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1-FM, Valparaiso; WAKE, 1500-AM, Valparaiso; Relevant Radio 1270-AM, Gary; and WE-FM, 95.9-FM, Michigan City). Also available on the web at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Todd Ickow will handle the play-by-play with Brent Whitlock providing the color commentary.

TV: None.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Stacy Adams, who is in his 1st season as the Crusader head coach. He is 1-0 overall and at Valpo. South Dakota State is led by John Stiegelmeier, who is 49-38 in his 9th season overall and with the Jackrabbits.

SERIES RECORD: This marks the first meeting ever between Valparaiso and South Dakota State on the gridiron.

Valparaiso looks to go to 2-0 for the first time since 2000 on Saturday evening as the Crusaders travel to South Dakota State. Valpo is coming off of a 17-3 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran last week.

HORTON HAS RECORD-SETTING NIGHT: Junior running back Jeff Horton set a new Valparaiso single game rushing record on Saturday at Wisconsin Lutheran with 254 yards on 34 carries. The total was 25 yards more than previously believed, due to errors in the original statistics. Horton shattered Ozzie Young's 1994 record of 226 yards against Evansville. His total of 254 yards was the most in NCAA Division I-AA last week.

KEEPING IT ON THE GROUND: Valpo rushed the ball 58 times total in the season opener against Wisconsin Lutheran. Quarterback Ryan Doerffler threw the ball just eight times, completing five, for a total of 54 yards.

VALPO MEETS GREAT WEST FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON: Valparaiso is playing a team from the Great West Conference for only the second time in school history. Last year, the Crusaders opened the season at North Dakota State, falling 41-0 to the Bison. The Great West Conference is a NCAA Division I-AA scholarship conference.

BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA: Stacy Adams took over as the head coach of the Crusaders this season after 16-year head coach Tom Horne resigned in late July. Adams is the 15th head coach in Crusader history and just the sixth since 1946. He was Valpo's offensive coordinator for the past eight years and has been on the Crusader sidelines since 1991.

VALPO TABBED FOURTH IN PFL NORTH: Valparaiso was picked to finish in a tie for fourth place with Butler in the Pioneer Football League's North Division in the preseason poll of the league's head coaches. Drake is the preseason favorite in the division, while Morehead State was tabbed the favorite in the South Division.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will return to Brown Field to kickoff the 2005 home campaign as the Crusaders host defending Pioneer Football League champion Morehead State. Kickoff is set for noon. Valpo then will conclude a two-game homestand the following weekend entertaining PFL South Division foe Davidson.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE NOTES: South Dakota State kicked off its 2005 season last Saturday with a 42-13 victory over Wisconsin-LaCrosse in Brookings. Three straight touchdowns over the final quarter and a half broke up what was a seven-point game midway through the third quarter.

The Jackrabbits did most of their damage on the ground last week, rushing for 357 yards on 42 carries. Anthony Watson led the way with 183 yards and three scores on 15 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. Cory Koenig touched the ball 14 times and carried for 93 yards.

Andy Kardoes was 11-for-21 passing for 98 yards while Reed Burckhardt connected with JaRon Harris for a 50-yard scoring strike on his only pass attempt of the game.

South Dakota State was led on defense by Kevin Vitkus who made 11 tackles, including six solos, while Gene Janke added seven total tackles.

The Jackrabbits were 6-of-9 on third downs in their season opener, and were forced to punt just twice on the evening.