This week the young Falcons (0-1) will face a veteran Valparaiso Crusader team (0-1) that plays a 4-3 defense. Valpo's defense actually dominated St. Jospeh's (IN) for 30 minutes last week before falling victim to a late 24 point 4th quarter barrage.
"They are big and control the line of scrimmage very well so it will be a challenge for our offensive line," said offensive coordinator Jeff Walker.
The Crusaders also feature two very good cornerbacks in seniors Anthony Curry and Kyle Himmelwright so "we will have to be adept at the quarterback position in terms of distributing the ball to our playmakers," he added.
Defensively the Falcons have a real size challenge. The Crusaders have a huge offensive line and like to run the ball. They also have an athletic quarterback and a power/speed combination in the skilled positions. Expect the Crusaders to pound the ball at the Falcons smaller defensive line. They have two very capable running backs in seniors John Popper and Ross Wiemer . Quarterback Matt Upshaw also has a big threat receiver in senior Nicholas Henton.
"Defensively we need to get back to the fundamentals and play assignment football," according to defensive coordinator Adam Walker. "We need to know our assignments and align accordingly. Most importantly, we need to focus on tackling with a purpose. Effort - Effort - Effort for 60 minutes."