Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Takes 3-Game Win Streak To Jacksonville

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

VALPARAISO (3-1) at JACKSONVILLE (2-1)

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 27 - noon EDT
WHERE: D.B. Milne Field, Jacksonville, Fla.

RADIO: 95.1 (WVUR-FM) - Ed Schillinger and Baron Brendel announcing.

TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Tom Horne, who is 57-92-1 in his 15th season at Valpo. Jacksonville is led by Steve Gilbert, who is 21-32 in his 6th season at Jacksonville.

SERIES RECORD: 0-0
LAST MEETING: First Meeting

LAST WEEK: Valpo defeated Saint Francis (PA), 38-6, last Saturday in Valparaiso. Jacksonville defeated Coastal Carolina, 14-9, last Saturday in Jacksonville.

VALPO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Valpo Players of the Week as selected by the coaching staff: Offense: Nick Reid, junior running back; Defense: Bill Marshall, sophomore end; Special Teams: Mike Mroz, sophomore; Offensive Scout: Ryan Doerffler, freshman quarterback; Defensive Scout: Chad Boland, freshman, end; Jeremy Cummings, freshman defensive lineman.

WHAT'S NEXT: Valpo hosts Morehead State on Sat., Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m. CDT in the Homecoming Game.

Off to its best start since the 2000 season, Valpo (3-1) travels to play Jacksonville (2-1) on Saturday beginning at noon EDT. The Crusaders, who own a three-game win streak, are coming off a 38-6 victory over Saint Francis (PA) in Valparaiso. Jacksonville, winners of two straight, defeated Coastal Carolina 14-9 in Jacksonville last Saturday.

VALPO RANKED 9th IN SPORTS NETWORK POLL: Valpo is ranked 9th in this week's Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major College Football Poll. The weekly Top 10 poll, which selects non-scholarships teams from the PFL, MAAC and NEC, is based on the votes of selected media members and I-AA mid-major sports information directors.

REID'S RUNNING UNPRECEDENTED: With three straight 100-plus yard rushing games, Nick Reid (Orlando, Fla./Arizona Western College) has accomplished a feat that no Crusader running back is believed to have achieved in the last 20 years. Reid currently ranks 2nd in the Pioneer Football League in rushing (395 yds., 98.8 ypg.). A 6'1", 252-pound junior, Reid scampered for a career-high 133 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries (11.1 ypc.) against Saint Francis (PA). He produced 118 yards on just seven carries (16.9 ypc.) in the second half, including runs of 44, 39 (TD) and 22 yards. In the previous two weeks, Reid finished with 130 yards against Wisconsin Lutheran and 121 against Austin Peay.

GIANCOLA LEADS PFL IN SCORING: Junior Rob Giancola (Whiting, Ind./HS) tops the PFL in scoring. Through games of Sept. 20, the wide receiver has scored 32 points (5 TDs, 1, 2-pt). Giancola stands 2nd in the PFL in receiving yards (110.0 pg., 330 total).

TAKEAWAY THE RUN, GIVETH THE RUN: Through four games, Valpo continues to excel at stopping the opponents' rushing attack, while demonstrating excellence in its own rushing game. For the third straight week, the Crusader defense leads the PFL in rushing defense (88.0 ypg.). Valpo's offense ranks 2nd in rushing offense (174.8 ypg.).

MACCHI CONTINUES TO ROLL: Quarterback David Macchi has been the centerpiece of Valpo's offensive success the last two years. Once again, the senior from San Jose, Cal./Willow Glen is among the PFL leaders, ranking 2nd in the league in pass efficiency (138.9) and 3rd in total offense (233.0 ypg.). Macchi now stands 3rd on Valpo's all-time list in total offense (4,481 yards) and 3rd in passing yards (4,128).

KNUTSON REMAINS HOT RECEIVER: Kevin Knutson is rising toward the top of the PFL receiving leaders, currently standing 3rd in receptions (5.75 pg., 23 total). For the third straight game, the junior from River Falls, Wis./HS led Valpo in receptions, snagging 7 aerials for 117 yards against Saint Francis (PA) after 8 and 7-reception performances in the two previous weeks. Knutson also ranks 7th in receiving yards per game (78.8, 315 yds.).

CANADA AMONG PFL TACKLE LEADERS: Lawrence Canada, Valpo's middle linebacker, stands 3rd in the PFL in tackles (9.75 pg., 39 total). The senior from Mequon, Wis./Lane College also stands 5th in tackles for loss (1.25 pg.).

DANIELS 2nd IN PFL IN INTERCEPTIONS: Junior cornerback Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) picked off a pass against Saint Francis (PA) and ranks 2nd in the PFL with 3 interceptions (.75 pg.).

SMEJA 2nd IN PFL IN PUNT RETURNS: Sophomore Brad Smeja is 2nd in the PFL in punt return average (12.8 ypr./102 yds, 8 ret.). As a free safety, Smeja (Oak Brook, Ill./Downers Grove North) led Valpo with 13 tackles against Saint Francis (PA).

"Valparaiso University Football", head coach Tom Horne's TV Show, airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 43 in Valpo. This week's guest is senior strong safety John Tsahas.

A LOOK AT JACKSONVILLE:

The Dolphins (2-1) own a two-game win streak after defeating Coastal Carolina 14-9 last Saturday. Jacksonville opened the season with a 24-0 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne before rebounding to win a 42-38 slugfest against Wingate. Head coach Steve Gilbert's squad features solid skill players in running back Emmett Hunter, quarterback Mike Sturgill and wide receiver Travis Lewis. Hunter, a senior, ranks 4th in the PFL in rushing, averaging 88.3 rushing yards (265 yards, 4.0 ypc.). Sturgill, a sophomore, has completed 44 of 93 passes for 556 yards and 5 TDs with 1 interception. Lewis, a senior, has made 11 receptions for 253 yards and 1 touchdown. Charlton Williams, a free safety, leads JU and ranks 4th in the PFL in tackles (8.7 pg.).

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