Game #3: Saturday, Sept. 15, 12 p.m. CDT
Valpo (1-1, 0-0 PFL)
at Kalamazoo (0-0, 0-0 MIAA)
Angell Field (3,000, Grass) - Kalamazoo, Mich.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso continues its current road trip, playing game two of a four-game stretch away from Brown Field, this Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Kalamazoo to battle the Hornets.
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 leads the all-time series between the two schools 6-2, but the two teams have not met since September 23, 1995 when Valpo posted a 47-39 victory at Kalamazoo. The series began during the third season of Crusader football, way back on November 11, 1921, with a 12-0 victory by Kalamazoo in Valparaiso.
Scouting Kalamazoo: The Hornets are opening their 2007 season on Saturday against the Crusaders, and are picked to finish in seventh place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Last year, Kalamazoo finished 2-7 overall and 2-5 in the MIAA, finishing sixth. The Hornets return nine starters on offense and 10 starters on defense. Senior quarterback Jordan Tallman threw for 1,994 yards and 15 touchdowns last year while Stephen Johnston rushed for 556 yards on the ground. Blake McDonald is the team’s top returning defender with 61 tackles, including 6.5 for loss, last year.
Last Week: Valpo took to the road for the first time this season and dropped a 17-13 decision at Trinity International. The Crusaders lost four fumbles and committed nine penalties for 94 yards in the loss. Warren Arnold ran for a touchdown and also added a touchdown toss to Jeff Horton for the two Valpo scores. The Brown and Gold led 13-10 heading into the final quarter, but were unable to preserve the lead.
Crusaders Among Nation’s Top Rushing Offenses: Valparaiso currently ranks 10th in NCAA Division I-FCS rushing the football, averaging 280.0 yards per game on the ground. The Crusaders tallied 389 yards rushing in the opener against Saint Francis (Ill.)
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 234 yards in the first two games. He now has 2,663 career rushing yards, 337 more than Pahr’s total.
Ogden Among Valpo’s Top-10 All-Time in Receiving: Steve Ogden enters 2007 in 10th place on Valpo’s career receiving list with 1,493 yards. He needs nine yards to match Greg Tatarek (1986-1989) for ninth place on the career charts and 43 more to equal Ryan Barno’s (2000-2003) eighth place total of 1,536. Ogden is just 147 yards shy of the Crusaders’ top-five in receiving.
Horton Moves Into Top-5 on All-Time Scoring List: With Jeff Horton’s touchdown at Trinity International, he now has 162 career points moving him into a tie with Dan Bogar (1981-1984) for fifth place all-time in a Crusader uniform. With his next touchdown, Horton will tie Devin Mackey (1982-1985) for fourth place and with 12 more points will tie Ozzie Young (1991-1995) for third place on the scoring charts.
Arnold and Horton Both Among Top-20 Rushers: Warren Arnold currently ranks 16th in NCAA Division I-FCS in rushing with averaging 131.5 yards per game on the ground. The Crusader quarterback has registered games of 172 and 91 yards rushing to begin the season.
Rundh in the Backfield: Adam Rundh has been active behind the line of scrimmage in the early portion of the season. He had 2.5 tackles for loss against Trinity International and already has 4.0 total for the year, including two sacks. The sophomore ranks 17th in the country averaging 2.00 tackles per loss per game.
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.
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.
Crawford Returns Pick to Set Up Score: Late in the first half at Trinity International, with the Trojans driving, freshman Eli Crawford intercepted his first collegiate pass and returned it 74 yards to set up Valpo’s first touchdown of the game, giving the Crusaders the lead at halftime.
Second and Third Quarters Productive for Brown and Gold: Valparaiso has outscored its opponents 34-10 during the second and third quarters thus far this season. The Crusaders have put up 21 third quarter points after making halftime adjustments.
Looking to Move to 2-1 Yet Again: With a win at Kalamazoo, Valparaiso would improve to 2-1 on the season for the third time in the last four years.