Game #4: Saturday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. CDT
Valpo (2-1, 0-0 PFL)
at Marian (Ind.) (0-2, 0-0 MSFA)
Pike H.S. Field (3,000 - Pro Grass) - Indianapolis, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: After starting the season with a 2-1 record for the third time in four years, Valparaiso looks to continue its winning ways with game three of its current four-game road trip on Saturday as the Crusaders head to Indianapolis, Ind. to battle Marian (Ind.).
On the Air: For the third straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2007. The Valpo Sports Radio Network consists of WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), WAKE (1500-AM, Valparaiso), and WE-FM (95.9-FM, Michigan City). Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Josh Weinhold adding the color commentary.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Marian (Ind.) are meeting on the gridiron for the first time in history.
Scouting Marian: The Knights are competing in collegiate football for the first time in the school’s history this season. Marian, playing at the NAIA level, has opened the season with a pair of losses, including a 39-7 setback to McKendree two weeks again in their home debut. Last week the Knights were idle. Eldrin Jones has thrown for 204 yards and three touchdowns thus far this year while JaQuan Patilla is averaging 58.5 yards per game receiving. Defensively, Sam Flynn has 24 tackles, including one for loss to lead the way.
Last Week: Valparaiso rallied from a one-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to defeat Kalamazoo 38-24 last Saturday afternoon on the road. Warren Arnold threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another while finishing the day 21-of-32 for 256 yards passing. Four different receivers hauled in the touchdown passes while Jeff Horton carried the ball for 109 yards on the ground. Defensively, Kyle Himmelwright led the way for the Brown and Gold with 11 tackles and two interceptions.
Crusaders Among Nation’s Top Offenses: Valparaiso currently ranks 9th in NCAA Division I-FCS rushing the football, averaging 253.67 yards per game on the ground. The Crusaders are also 20th in the country in total offense, averaging 428.33 total yards per game. Valpo leads the Pioneer Football League in rushing offense and is second in total offense behind San Diego.
Himmelwright Earns Player of the Week Honors: Starting cornerback Kyle Himmelwright was named the Pioneer Football League’s Defensive Player of the Week on September 17 following his play at Kalamazoo. The redshirt-sophomore led the Crusaders will 11 tackles, including 10 solos, while also intercepting a pair of passes. His second interception started Valpo’s go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
Crusaders Set School Rushing Record in Opener: Valparaiso broke a 53-year old single game rushing record with 389 yards on the ground in the season opener against Saint Francis (Ill.). The Crusaders carried the ball 59 times in the game, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Valpo’s previous best rushing day was at DePauw on October 16, 1954 when the Crusaders tallied 387 yards.
Horton Holds School Rushing Record: Fifth-year senior running back Jeff Horton became Valparaiso’s all-time leading rusher last season, passing Joe Pahr (1949-1951). Horton has already increased his total this season with 343 yards in the first three games. He now has 2,772 career rushing yards, 446 more than Pahr’s total.
Ogden Among Valpo’s Top-10 All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden has moved into 8th place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 1,538 yards. He passed Greg Tatarek (1986-1989) and Ryan Barno (2000-2003) in his first action of the year at Kalamazoo. Ogden is just 98 yards shy of the Crusaders’ top-five in receiving. He needs 42 yards to match Michael Tolbert (1993-1996) for seventh place and 62 yards to equal Doug Holok’s (1990-1994) sixth place total.
Horton Moves Into Fourth on All-Time Scoring List: With Jeff Horton’s eight points at Kalamazoo, he now has 170 career points moving him into fourth place all-time in a Crusader uniform, passing Kevin Mackey (1982-1985). Horton is just four points shy of Ozzie Young (1991-1995) for third place all-time. Rob Giancola (2000-2004) is the school record-holder with 242 points while Joe Pahr (1949-1951) is second eight points back.
Valpo’s Rush Defense More than Solid: Valparaiso has allowed just 90 yards rushing on the season through three games. The 30.0 yard per game average ranks third in all of NCAA I-FCS among the 116 schools. The Crusaders do not even lead the Pioneer Football League in this category though, as the nation’s leader is the PFL’s own Morehead State (11.50 ypg).
Horton Registers 11th 100-Yard Game: Jeff Horton rushed for 109 yards in Valpo’s victory over Kalamazoo on Saturday afternoon, his second 100+ rushing day of the year. For his career, the fifth-year senior has rushed for more than 100 yards 11 times, tied for 10th among all active players in NCAA I-FCS.
Rundh Keeps Wrapping Up the Backfield: Adam Rundh continues his assault on opponents’ backfields, as he has already registered five tackles for loss this season. Included in that are the three quarterback sacks the sophomore has recorded.
Good Work Gets Rewarded for Watkins: Matt Watkins has been recognized for his efforts in the community, having been named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. He has participated in "Read for Fun Day" activities at Central Elementary School, reading books and helping the students with arts and crafts. In addition, the redshirt-junior has helped raise money and walked in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life as well as participating in the Merrillville Diabetes Walk. In addition, Watkins has participated in the annual Theta Chi "Couch", sitting on a couch for a week to raise money and gather clothes for the Spring Valley Homeless Shelter.
Valpo Picked Eighth in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders were selected to finish eighth place in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the head coaches. The PFL champion will face the Northeast Conference champion in the Gridiron Classic at year’s end.