Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Fourth Quarter the Difference as Saint Joseph's Tops Valpo
Matt Upshaw connected on 14-of-25 for 127 yards. (Ray Acevedo)
Matt Upshaw connected on 14-of-25 for 127 yards. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Valparaiso dropped its season opener to Saint Joseph's (Ind.) 31-6 on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium in Rensselaer, Ind.

The Pumas scored 24 points in the final 9:24 of the game to break open a close game.

“We played well for awhile,” head coach Stacy Adams said afterwards.  “We just need to learn how to play four quarters.”

The host Pumas had the first opportunity of the game to score, taking the opening kickoff down field before Kyle Himmelwright (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall H.S.) forced a fumble that Eli Crawford (Bogart, Ga./North Oconee H.S.) pounced on in the end zone to give Valpo the football.

Neither team could find the scoreboard in the opening quarter though, as Valpo’s defense forced two three-and-outs after the initial drive.  In the second quarter, the Crusaders struck first as Chris Smith (Manistee, Mich./Manistee H.S.) made his first career field goal, a 34-yarder, with 5:17 remaining before halftime.

Valpo took the 3-0 lead into the break, but the Pumas took the lead on their first possession of the second half.  Terrence Freeman scored the first of his three touchdowns from a yard out at the 10:35 mark of the third quarter.  The Crusaders answered with another field goal by Smith, this one from 47 yards, with 2:53 to play in the quarter, to make it 7-6 heading into the final 15 minutes.

“Smith did a good job battling back to make two field goals after missing his first one,” Adams said.  “We need to score touchdowns though.”

The Pumas extended the lead to 14-6 as Robert Dutton caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Mike Hladek with 9:24 to play.  Freeman then busted through the middle for a 44-yard touchdown run on Saint Joseph’s next drive.  He would add another 39-yard score in the final two minutes after the Pumas tacked on a field goal to increase the lead.

Freeman finished the game with five carries for 108 yards and the three scores as Saint Joseph’s (1-1) tallied 311 total yards of offense.  John Popper (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman H.S.) led the Crusaders with 13 carries for 38 yards and six catches for 39 yards.  Matt Upshaw (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren  Central H.S.) was 14-for-25 passing for 127 yards for the Crusaders.

“In the first half we did a good job of controlling the game with the run and we kept their offense off of the field,” Adams concluded.  “They keyed on Popper more in the second half and we weren’t able to move the ball as well.”

Valparaiso (0-1) will look for its first victory of the season next Saturday in Mequon, Wis. as the Crusaders take on Concordia.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with all the action carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online at www.valpoathletics.com.

Game Notes: Valpo is now 46-40-3 all-time in season openers and 23-16-2 in openers on the road … Saint Joseph’s leads the series 32-28-2 … Valpo’s longest play from scrimmage was a 39-yard pass from Upshaw to Nicholas Henton (Chicago, Ill./De La Salle H.S.) which set up the third quarter field goal … Crawford’s fumble recovery was the first of his career while Himmelwright’s forced fumble was his first since his freshman year (2006) … Smith’s 47-yard field goal was the longest by a Crusader since Andrew McCawley kicked a 47-yarder in 2004.

W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo