Valparaiso (1-8, 1-5 PFL)
Game #10: Saturday, Nov. 10 - 1 p.m.
Davidson (1-8, 1-5 PFL)
Brown Field (5,000 - ProGrass) - Valparaiso, Ind.
This Week in Crusader Football: Valparaiso returns home for its final home game of the season when it hosts Davidson College as part of Senior Day at Brown Field.
Previously: The Crusaders notched their first win of 2012 with a 41-21 come-from-behind win against Campbell University at Barker-Lane Stadium. Jake Hutson ran for 248 yards and three touchdowns, while Sterling Summerville caught two touchdown passes in the first half. The Crusaders overcame a 14-point first-half deficit and rattled off 34 unanswered points to earn the victory.
Next Up: Valpo closes out the season with a road contest against Morehead State on Nov. 17 at Jayne Stadium. The Crusaders are seeking their first win against Morehead State since 2006 when they earned a 42-35 win in Kentucky.
On the Air: For the eighth straight season, the Valpo Sports Radio Network will be home to all 11 Crusader football games in 2012. All 11 games can be heard live on WAKE (1500 AM, Valparaiso), online through www.valpoathletics.com or by downloading the WAKE Radio app for Android or iPhone devices. Todd Ickow will handle all the play-by-play with Travis Lucian adding color commentary. In addition, Saturday’s game will be video streamed via the Horizon League Network.
Head Coach Dale Carlson: Dale Carlson is 2-29 in his third season with the Crusaders and 112-132-3 overall entering his 24th season as a collegiate head coach. He arrived at Valpo from Ohio Dominican where he began the Ohio Dominican program from scratch in 2004, just as he did at Tri-State University prior to his tenure with the Panthers. He is the 16th head coach in Valpo history, and just the seventh since 1946.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Davidson are meeting for the eighth time in a series that dates back to 2001. The Crusaders lost 30-22 against the Wildcats last November at Richardson Stadium in Davidson, N.C. The two schools last met at Brown Field on Oct. 11, 2008 when the Crusaders claimed a 35-29 overtime win against the Wildcats.
Scouting Davidson: The Wildcats are currently riding a two-game losing streak after beating Campbell for their lone win of the season on Oct. 20. All eight of the Wildcats’ defeats have been by double figures, including a 49-14 loss to Morehead State last week. The Wildcats enter with one of the top passing games in the PFL but have struggled to establish a running game. Davidson has the PFL’s fourth best passing offense (282.9 yards/game) and has attempted the most passes (420) in the league. Meanwhile, Davidson is averaging only 52.4 yards per game on the ground and is the only PFL squad not averaging more than 100 yards per game on the ground.
Last Season: The Crusaders captured their first win of the Dale Carlson era in the home finale last year by defeating Campbell, 34-31. Valpo ended the season 1-10 and 1-7 in PFL play, but returns plenty of experience for 2012, as six starters are back on both sides of the ball.
Grask Wraps Them Up: With a team-high 10 tackles against Campbell, defensive back Alex Grask has been the team’s leading tackler seven times this season. The junior has four double-digit tackles efforts and ranks fifth in the PFL, averaging 9.9 tackles per game.
What a Rush: Running back Jake Hutson ran for 248 yards and three touchdowns in Valpo’s road win against Campbell. The performance is the second-highest single game rushing yards total in Valpo football history and the most by a PFL rusher since 2005, when Crusader running back Jeff Horton ran for 253 yards against Wisconsin Lutheran. The rookie also posted the most rushing yards among FCS freshman in a single game this season.
Hutson, Wood Garner National Honors: Redshirt freshman running back Jake Hutson was named the The Sports Network FCS National Co-Freshman of the Week following his record-setting performance against Campbell. The College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) named Crusader punter Greg Wood its FCS Punter of the Week. The senior punted three times against Campbell, averaging 53 yards per kick, including one that pinned the Camels inside the two-yard-line.
Senior Day: The Crusaders will be honoring the following seniors in a pregame ceremony on Saturday at Brown Field: RB Jabril Baker; WR Tim Bennett; OL Bill Bodzianowski; DL Bruce Collins; TE Mike Gerton; RB Chris Giehon; LB Cody Gokan; LB Chris Howard; RB Ryan Lehr; QB Quinn Schafer; C Matt Schroll; WR Eric Slenk; RB Sterling Summerville and P Greg Wood.
Yards for Bennett: Senior wide receiver Tim Bennett has compiled 872 receiving yards since 2009, the second-highest total among any Crusader during that stretch. Bennett trails only Sean McCarty who compiled 1,184 career receiving yards, 1,127 of which came between 2009-11.
Road Win in PFL: With the Crusaders’ 41-21 win against Campbell last Saturday, the Crusaders earned their first conference road win since beating Campbell University 47-14 on Nov. 15, 2008.
Team Captains: Valpo entered the 2012 season with a pair of captains, with senior tight end Mike Gerton representing the offense and senior cornerback Alan Porter Jr. representing the defense. Due to a season-ending injury to Porter, junior safety Alex Grask has been appointed defensive captain for the rest of the season.
Crusaders Picked Tenth in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish tenth in the Pioneer Football League this season according to the preseason poll. The prognosticators selected San Diego to take home the 2012 championship.