Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Fourth Quarter Lead Evaporates as Drake Pushes Past Crusaders
Nick Moffitt registered eight tackles versus the Bulldogs Saturday at Drake Stadium. (Avery Davis)
Nick Moffitt registered eight tackles versus the Bulldogs Saturday at Drake Stadium. (Avery Davis)
Valparaiso (1-7)
at
Drake (4-4)
10/26/2013 | Des Moines, Iowa | Attendance: 2154
1st2nd3rd4thFinal
Valparaiso300710
Drake7001623
Scoring
1st Quarter
DUTD05:10Saubert 18 Yd Pass From Rice (Tesson kick)
VALPOFG01:01NEWMAN 38 Yd
4th Quarter
VALPOTD11:04TAIBI 73 Yd Pass From HOFFMAN (NEWMAN kick)
DUTD06:40Wilkins 4 Yd Run (Bohnert kick)
DUFG03:48Bohnert 31 Yd
DUTD02:17Wilkins 4 Yd Run (Bohnert missed kick)
Stats at a GlanceVALPODU
1st Downs718
3rd Down Conversions2-157-19
4th Down Conversions0-11-3
Passing (Comp-Att)179 (20-34)297 (27-41)
Rushing (Att)4 (21)74 (39)
Total Yards183371
Penalties2-305-45
Turnovers30
Fumbles Lost20
Interceptions10
Possession23:3436:26

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Valpo defense assembled its best game of the season Saturday at Drake Stadium, but the Bulldogs (4-4, 3-2 PFL) labored for a 23-10 victory over the Crusaders on a blustery afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa. 

"Our defense played their hearts out today. Unfortunately, we again didn't execute offensively when we needed to," head coach Dale Carlson said.

The Bulldogs controlled the ball for the majority of the first quarter as they ran 23 plays in over ten minutes of possession. The Crusader defense did a remarkable job keeping Drake's offense in check. Drake marched down to the Valpo 9-yard line on its opening drive where the Bulldogs opted to go for it on a 4th-and-1. Andy Rice held it on a quarterback keep, but was stuffed by linebackers Alex Green (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville Community) and Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg).

After a three-and-out that took less than a minute off the clock, the Bulldog offense was right back on the field with advantageous field position. 

Beginning on Valpo's 39, Rice capped off a nine-play drive with an 18-yard pass to Eric Saubert in the end zone. Drake took the lead 7-0 with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter. At that point, Drake had run 20 offensive plays compared to three by Valparaiso.

The seven-point Drake lead didn't last long as Jacob Newman (Lawrenceburg, Ind./Lawrenceburg) split the uprights with a 38-yard field goal. The big play of the scoring drive came on a bubble screen from quarterback Eric Hoffman (Manitowoc, Wis./Lincoln) to Denzell Conway (New Orleans, La./MICDS [Mo.]). Conway broke free along the Drake sideline for a 29-yard gain on a 3rd and 6. Newman's second field goal of the season made it a 7-3 game with a minute to play in the first stanza.

Green finished the first quarter with seven tackles on defense.

Drake appeared poised to regain its seven point lead early in the second quarter when Ben Tesson lined up for a 35-yard field goal. However, the Crusaders' special teams made a significant push as Dale Cook (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Jacobs [South Dakota State]) got a hand on the kick, batting it short.

The score stayed 7-3 at the half. All three of the Bulldogs' drives in the second quarter stalled at midfield or in Valpo territory. A testament to the Crusader defense is the fact that Drake held the ball for 19:44 in the first half of play, but had only one score to show for it.

Both defenses held up their ends of the bargain in the third quarter as neither team scored. Valpo's only first down of the quarter came on a pass interference penalty. Though Rice threw for 103 yards in the third quarter, Drake managed just two first downs through the air.

Both offenses emerged in the fourth quarter. Valpo took a 10-7 lead on the longest play from scrimmage of the day. Hoffman led Tony Taibi (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) for a 73-yard touchdown pass with 11 minutes to go in the game. Taibi broke a shoestring tackle attempt to give the Crusaders their first fourth-quarter lead since they defeated Campbell on September 28th.

On the ensuing Drake possession, the Bulldogs were forced to punt near midfield. Cam Bohnert booted the ball high into the wind, which gave their special teams plenty of time to get downfield and down it at the Valpo 1. 

With their heels on the goal line, the Crusaders managed to gain just a yard before forcing to punt. The snap short-hopped Josh Young (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) in the endzone, who fielded the ball and punted it out-of-bounds to the Valpo 19-yard line. 

Drake needed just five plays to regain the lead 14-10 on Conley Wilkins' four-yard TD scamper. Drake's first touchdown since the first quarter came with 6:40 to play.

After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Valpo opened up shop on its 25-yard line. An incompletion and a five-yard pass to Conway established a 3rd and 5. Hoffman stepped back and was stripped of the ball as he was being sacked. Drake's Sean Conerty smothered the fumble, giving Drake outstanding field position yet again.

The defense kept the Crusaders alive for a bit longer as it held the Bulldogs to a field goal despite starting on the Valpo 16. Bohnert's boot made it a 17-10 tilt with just under four minutes in regulation.

Grayson Bastin (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead) returned the following kickoff to the 20-yard line, meaning the Brown and Gold would have to navigate 80 yards to tie the game.

Their hopes were short-lived as Matt Acree forced another Hoffman fumble, this one on the first play of the drive. Wilkins added an insurance score for Drake to give the home team a 23-10 lead. John Guilford (Spencer, Ohio/Black River) blocked the PAT to keep it a 13-point Drake advantage.

Valpo's final drive of the afternoon ended on an interception hauled in by cornerback Brad Duwe. 

Hoffman turned in a 20-for-34 game for 179 yards. He threw one touchdown and one pick. 

Derbak and Green both recorded a game-high 12 tackles apiece.

The Crusaders converted only twice on 15 third down attempts. In contrast, Drake enjoyed a 7-for-19 afternoon on third downs, though a vast number of those came on scenarios where the Bulldogs needed just a few feet.

The Bulldogs also ran away with the time of possession battle as they held the ball for 36:26.

Valpo (1-7, 1-4 PFL) will play host to San Diego (5-3, 4-1 PFL) next Saturday at 12 p.m. CT at Brown Field.

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