Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Drops PFL Battle to Drake
Eric Slenk caught two touchdown passes Saturday. (Ralph Greenslade)
Eric Slenk caught two touchdown passes Saturday. (Ralph Greenslade)
Drake (5-2)
at
Valparaiso (0-6)
10/13/2012 | Valparaiso, Ind. | Attendance: 1189
1st2nd3rd4thFinal
Drake1477735
Valparaiso707721
Scoring
1st Quarter
DUTD14:48Ratelle (Bohnert kick)
DUTD07:07James 10 Yd Pass From Piatkowski (Bohnert kick)
VALPOTD02:17SLENK 24 Yd Pass From LEHMAN (PANDO kick)
2nd Quarter
DUTD00:55Schmudlach 1 Yd Run (Bohnert kick)
3rd Quarter
VALPOTD09:46LEHR 3 Yd Run (PANDO kick)
DUTD03:48Piatkowski 1 Yd Run (Bohnert kick)
4th Quarter
DUTD03:38Morse 29 Yd Run (Bohnert kick)
VALPOTD02:05SLENK 23 Yd Pass From SCHAFER (PANDO kick)
Stats at a GlanceDUVALPO
1st Downs2420
3rd Down Conversions4-144-17
4th Down Conversions1-32-2
Passing (Comp-Att)327 (22-36)178 (17-34)
Rushing (Att)108 (33)162 (41)
Total Yards435340
Penalties7-679-105
Turnovers21
Fumbles Lost20
Interceptions01
Possession29:4030:20

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Senior Eric Slenk (Holland, Mich./Christian) caught a pair of touchdown passes on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Brown Field, but it was not enough for the victory, as Valparaiso dropped a 35-21 decision to Drake in Pioneer Football League action.

“There’s going to be five or six plays in every game that you have to make in order to win that game,” said Crusader head coach Dale Carlson.  “We had some opportunities that we had to convert on today, some of which we weren’t able to.”

The game got off to an inauspicious start for the Crusaders, as Mike Ratelle took the opening kickoff back 88 yards for a Drake touchdown just 12 seconds into the game.  But after Valpo was forced to punt on its first offensive possession, the defense came up with a big play, as a mishandled snap was recovered by redshirt junior Steve O’Bryant (Chicago, Ill./Tinley Park [Carthage]) and returned 20 yards, giving the Crusaders prime field position at Drake’s 33-yard line.

But the euphoria was short-lived, as two plays later, sophomore Ben Lehman (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward Central Catholic) had a pass intercepted just outside the end zone, giving the ball back over to the Bulldogs.  Drake took advantage with a quick five-play, 68-yard drive, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mike Piatkowski to T.J. James to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with 7:07 to go in the first quarter.

Valpo was forced to punt on its next turn with the ball, but again came up with a big play to regain possession, as the punt was muffed and recovered by junior Alex Grask (Naperville, Ill./Central) deep in Drake territory.  Facing fourth-and-six on the Bulldog 24, the Crusaders elected to go for it, and Lehman hit Slenk with a 24-yard touchdown strike to cut the deficit to 14-7 late in the opening period.

The teams traded punts on the next four possessions, never getting inside the other team’s 40, before the Crusader defense stopped Drake on a fourth-and-two near midfield.  The offense went three-and-out, however, and after a touchback on the ensuing punt, the Bulldogs drove down the field, covering the 80 yards in eight plays and scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by Jacob Schmudlach to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.

Having deferred after winning the coin toss, the Crusaders received the kickoff to start the second half, and proceeded to run the ball down the Bulldogs’ throats with their opening possession.  Four different players carried the ball during the 13-play, 69-yard drive, 11 of which were rushes, while the drive was also aided by a roughing the passer call against Drake.  Ultimately, it was senior Ryan Lehr (Cincinnati, Ohio/Glen Este), on his fourth carry of the drive, who punched it in from three yards out to make it 21-14 with 9:46 to play in the third period.

Drake responded with a nearly six-minute long drive which covered 62 yards in 12 plays, kept alive by a pass interference call in the end zone on a fourth-down incomplete pass attempt.  Piatkowski closed the drive with a QB sneak on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line to push the Bulldog edge to 28-14 with 3:48 to go in the third.

The Crusaders had a prime opportunity to put more points on the board on their next drive, but a 22-yard completion from Lehman to Slenk, which would have put the ball in the red zone, was called back on a holding penalty, and Valpo was forced to punt on that trip, as well as its next three possessions.

Drake added its final touchdown on a 29-yard touchdown run by Trey Morse with 3:38 to play in the game.  Redshirt junior quarterback Quinn Schafer (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) entered at quarterback for Valpo’s final possession, his first action of the season, and drove the Crusaders 78 yards in eight plays, hitting Slenk with a 23-yard touchdown to cap the drive and the scoring.

Redshirt freshman Jake Hutson (Blanchard, Mich./Montabella) got the start at tailback on Saturday and ran for a career-best 98 yards on 25 carries, pacing a Valpo rushing attack which out-gained Drake on the ground, 162-108.  Lehman finished the game 11-for-26 for 100 yards, while Schafer went 6-for-8 for 78 yards in his drive.  Slenk caught five passes for 81 yards and his two scores, while redshirt sophomore Fred Gladney (Milwaukee, Wis./Dominican) also finished with five receptions.  Fifth-year senior Cody Gokan (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) finished with a game-high 13 tackles to pace the Crusader defense, and freshman John Guilford (Spencer, Ohio/Black River) posted a pair of sacks among his five tackles.

Piatkowski went 22-for-36 through the air for Drake (5-2, 4-0 PFL) for 327 yards and one touchdown, with his favorite target being Schmudlach, who caught seven passes for 143 yards.  James posted 111 yards combined rushing and receiving as well for the Bulldogs.

“Obviously, the score is not acceptable,” said Carlson.  “However, I told the players we wanted to make sure to focus on one play at a time, and we were better at that today - better than we were the last two weeks.”

Valparaiso (0-6, 0-3 PFL) hits the road next Saturday to take on Dayton in league play.  Kickoff is slated for noon CDT, and the game can be heard live via the Valpo Sports Radio Network on WAKE, 1500 AM. Links for the live audio, as well as live stats, will also be available at www.valpoathletics.com.

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