Oskaloosa.com

October 18, 2013

Statesmen entertain defending NAIA champs


William Penn University

OSKALOOSA —

The Statesmen football team plays outside the league for the final time this fall as it hosts defending national champion Marian (Ind.) in an MSFA crossover game Saturday.
William Penn (3-3) takes on the Knights (3-3) in Lacey Complex Stadium at 1 p.m. Both teams are in desperate need of a win to keep their postseason hopes alive. Marian was preseason No. 2 in the NAIA, while William Penn as No. 16 in that poll, but both are currently on the outside looking in on the current top-25 rating.
Saturday’s game can be followed on the radio (740 AM) as well as two different internet sites:
• http://origin.peg.tv/pegtv_player?s=wpenn (video)
• http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/kboe.portal (audio)
William Penn is 1-1 all-time in its series against Marian, including dropping the last contest back in 2008, 28-14.
Ryan VanDalen led the team by going 11-for-25 for 207 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for the other touchdown as well, picking up 52 yards on the ground.
William Penn dominated Waldorf 65-0 in Midwest League play last Saturday.
The Statesmen outgained the Warriors 519-150, including 485 yards on the ground.
Sam Tvedt led the offense with 122 rushing yards, while Tyler Hafner added 105 and three scores.
Jacob Batterson also had a huge day, highlighted by returning a kickoff 85 yards for a score. He also had an interception and a blocked punt that helped him net an MWL Special Teams Player of the Week award.
Defensively, Nick DiMarco had 10 tackles and two sacks, while Isaac Samek intercepted two Waldorf passes. DiMarco joined Batterson on the awards list by being named MWL Defensive POW.
“It was a great team win,” William penn caoch Todd Hafner said. “We really played well in all aspects of the game.”
Thus far in 2013, William Penn is averaging 25.0 points and 343.0 yards per game, including 293.0 rushing and 50.0 passing. The Statesmen are second in the NAIA in total rushing (1,950) and third in rushing average.
Evan Ressler leads the team with 457 rushing yards, while Shawn Davis is next with 438 yards and eight scores. Two others are also over 300 yards.
Hafner has led the passing game by going 21-for-54 for 205 yards. Aaron Broyles is pacing the receiving corps with 12 catches for 94 yards.
William Penn has committed 11 turnovers so far this fall.
Defensively, the Statesmen are giving up an average of 21.0 points and 310.8 yards, including 177.3 passing and 133.5 rushing.
Samek tops William Penn with 44 tackles and three interceptions. DiMarco has a team-best eight sacks (13.5 tackles for loss). The junior is second nationally in total sacks and sacks per game (1.3), and fourth in total tackles for loss and tackles for loss per game (2.3).
William Penn is sixth in the nation in total sacks (20) and sacks per game (3.3).
The Statesmen have forced seven turnovers this year.
Marcus Kerrigan is 18-for-20 in extra points and 4-for-11 in field goals. The senior is again pairing up with Jason Johnson to make a strong punting duo. Johnson has punted 11 times for a 38.2 yard clip, while Kerrigan has seven attempts for a 38.9 mark.
Batterson is tops in the kick return game with a 33.0-yard average, including one TD.
The Knights scored in the final minute to knock off Siena Heights (Mich.) 27-23 in Mideast League action last Saturday.
Marian trailed 13-3 early, but scored 17 unanswered to lead 20-13 at the break. Siena Heights responded with ten points of its own, but the Knights had the final say to stay perfect in MEL play (2-0).
Tevin Lake rushed for 1116 yards, while Robert Gibson tallied 52 yards and two scores.
Zach Sparks also connected on field goals of 30 and 22 yards.
Thus far in 2013, Marian is averaging 19.2 points and 318.3 yards per game, including 191.3 passing and 127.0 rushing.
Quarterback Joey Hecklinski leads the team by going 88-for-152 for 1,120 yards and four touchdowns. His top receiver is Anthony Jones Jr. with 26 grabs for 423 yards and two scores. Three other players are also over the century mark in receiving yards.
Lake is leading the ground attack with 665 yards and six TDs. Gibson is also over the century mark at 153 yards.
Marian has committed seven turnovers so far this fall.
Defensively, the Knights are giving up an average of 22.8 points and 300.3 yards, including 166.8 passing and 133.5 rushing. Marian is 10th in the NAIA in yards allowed per game.
Ryan Hartnett leads Marian with 38 tackles, while Bryan Derence has four sacks. Two players have intercepted two passes.
The Knights have forced eight turnovers this year.
Sparks is perfect on the year, going 5-for-5 in extra points and 4-for-4 in field goals. Connor Cope is averaging 34.2 yards per punt over 31 attempts.
Clifford Brown guides the return game with a 34.6-yard kick average and a 6.5-yard punt average.
“They are a very experienced team with a national championship under their belt,” hafner said. “Their running back is one of the best in the country so we will really have to focus on stopping the run. Offensively, we will need to control the clock.”