Sunday, September 30, 2012

All Is Well for Bulldogs After Inclement Weather Delays Start Of Game More Than An Hour. They Have All the Lightning In 35-7 Romp Past Campbell's Fighting Camels

Drake  improved to 2-0 in the Pioneer Football League with an impressive 35-7 victory Saturday over Campbell in Buies Creek, N.C. 

The Bulldogs held one of the top rushing teams in the league to just 57 yards on the ground in a game that was delayed by more than an hour due to inclement weather and played in wet, rainy conditions.

The Bulldogs held a 481-286 advantage in total yardage and racked up 32 first downs in the victory. 

Offensively Drake was led by senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski’s (Wheaton, Ill.) 258 yards on 23-of-38 passing with a touchdown through the air and on the ground.

 The aerial attack was supported by 283 rushing yards with Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) leading the pack with 77 yards and a touchdown followed by Trey Morse’s (Elmo, Texas) 68 yards.

 The staunch defensive effort recorded a pair of interceptions, five tackles for loss and two sacks. Jake Underwood (Cary, Ill.) was in on a team-high 10 tackles to help Drake improve to 3-2 overall while the Fighting Camels fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the PFL.

“It was a weird game with lightning delays,” coach Chris Creighton said. “But I was proud of our guys and how they were able to maintain the momentum and the emotion through all the breaks.”
The Bulldogs ended the first half with a 21-0 lead, thanks to a 27-yard Derek Temple (Grimes) interception return for a touchdown with 1:51 left in the half. 

That defensive highlight redeemed an offensive drive that stalled out on the Campbell 8-yard line and resulted in a missed field goal. It was one of three Drake trips inside the CU 30-yard line that came up scoreless in the first half.

“Our defense was great,” Creighton said of Temple’s interception return and the squad’s ability to stop the run. “I’m really proud of our defense. They led the charge tonight and it’s a tall order when you don’t see an option team that often. It’s tough to prepare for and our guys did a great job.”

The Bulldogs got on the board first on their second drive of the game as Scott strode into the end zone from three yards out to cap an 8-play, 63-yard drive. Drake’s next score came on a momentum-shifting special teams play when the Campbell punter failed to handle the snap. The pressure and miscue gave Drake excellent field position on the Camels’ 22-yard line. Two plays later, 

 Piatkowski found Nick Rosa for an 11-yard strike before the 63-minute lightning delay suspended play with 5:29 left in the half. Rosa finished the game with a team-high seven catches and 92 yards.

After halftime, the Bulldogs suffered one of their few defensive miscues on the night as Campbell quarterback Dakota Wolf found A.J. Artis behind Drake's defense for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Wolf finished the evening with 169 passing yards and 41 on the ground. 

The Bulldogs countered the Camels’ lone score on the ensuing drive with a 4-minute drive that spanned 64 yards on nine plays the resulted in a Piatkowski keeper getting into the endzone.
A 14-play, 61-yard drive accounted for the final tally with James scoring on a 1-yard run to cap the evening’s scoring. Twenty-five of James’ yards came on the drive that allowed the Bulldogs to comfortably end the game.

“All three of our backs played well,” Creighton said. “That’s always due to the offensive line and we’ve got guys who can make plays there. It’s a good feeling. This was a long trip and our guys handled it well tonight.”

The Bulldogs return to action Saturday when they host PFL rival  and fellow defending league co-champion San Diego for homecoming. Kickoff at Drake Stadium is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for communications].

Drake's Rowing Team Does Well On Des Moines River

Drake's rowing team completed a successful Saturday at the 2012 Head of Des Moines Regatta held on the Des Moines River.

The Bulldogs competed in five races: club doubles, collegiate doubles, club novice quads, club singles and the collegiate novice eight. The team raced many of the newcomers on this year’s team and it gave most the chance to compete in their first rowing competition.

“We had some really good results, especially from our freshman,” coach Charlie DiSilvestro said. “Many times this race serves as the first rowing competition for many of the freshman who didn’t row competitively until they came to Drake. [Saturday] was perfect weather and water conditions and we had a good turnout to watch us and I’m happy how things went and we will use this going forward to next week’s regatta.

Senior captain Andrea Piekarczyk and teammate Brianna Leinon won the women’s collegiate doubles race to highlight the day’s performances. Fellow captain and senior Kristina Vann and Justine Choe finished in third place. Wenel Jais-Cross and Megan Frield took second place.

Jacque Nowers (Coxswain), Katie Serbin, Alex Lueck, Stephanie Boylan  and Leah Robinson won the club novice fours race in time of 21:45.40.

“It felt pretty good to be back on the water and we have done this race every year and it is great its held on our home course and we know it like the back of our hand,” Pierkarczyk commented. “I think it was a good intro for the new people on the team and everyone performed really well.”

The Drake rowing team will compete Saturday at the Head of the Mississippi in Minneapolis, Minn.

Drake Results
Women’s Club 2x
Maggie Benhart/Brittany Michael, 2nd (20:40.07)
Jessica Nightser/ Bailey Berg, 4th (21:23.72)
Emily Householter/Monica Worsley, 7th (22:15.64)
Kelsey Leahy/ Sarah Laughlin, 9th (23:11.85)

Women’s Collegiate 2x
Andrea Piekarczyk/Brianna Leinon, 1st (22:41.48)
Wenel Jais-Cross/Megan Friel, 2nd (22:53.70)
Kristi Vann/Justine Choe, 3rd (25:02.73)

Women’s Club Novice 4+
A. Coxswain: Jacque Nowers
Katie Serbin, Alex Lueck, Stephanie Boylan, Leah Robison, 1st (21:45.40)

B. Coxswain: Hannah Hennessy
Bri Varela, Ali Armstrong, Ashley Beall, Katie Panther, 4th (25:51.49)

Women’s Club 1x
Brittany Michael, 4th (23:37.19)

Women’s Collegiate Novice 8+
Coxswain: Kiana Takaki
Katie Serbin, Kelsey Leahy, Alex Lueck, Leah Robison, Shelby Hill-Killerlain, Ali Armstrong, Stephanie Boylan, Bri Varela, 3rd (21:21.99)

[This story was written for Ron Maly by John Meyer of Drake's sports information staff].

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bulldogs Ranked 14th In Men's Poll

What's Ahead: The Drake men's cross country team, after placing third at the Oz Memorial earlier this month, returns to the Lee Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. to compete at the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday. The 8,000-meter race, described as rolling hills and grassy terrain, begins at 12:20 pm.

Last Time Out: In a dominating team performance the Bulldogs swept the top-four spots at the Grand View Invitational  last Friday).

Senior Mike Rodriguez (Chanhassen, Minn.) won the 8,000-meter event in 26:12. He was followed closely by junior Ryan Flynn (Bettendorf), in 26:16, junior Guy Eckman (Iowa City), in 26:25, and sophomore Tyler Nelson (Lone Tree, Colo.), 26:48. The Bulldogs won the team event with 17 points, two above the lowest possible score.

A Year Ago: In a field of 220; Brogan Austin (Boone) finished in 57th-place to lead the Drake contingent at the Roy Griak Invitational in the ,men's Gold Division The Bulldogs earned a 22nd-place finish against some of the top teams in the nation.

Omet Kak (Des Moines) was 97th in 25.37.50. The graduated tandem of Colin Hagan (26:04.70) and Ben Jaskowiak (26:23.20) were next across the line for the Bulldogs in 135th and 156th places respectively.

Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) was timed in 26:29.10. Conor Wells (Des Moines) and Tyler Nelson (Lonewood, Colo.) ran their first collegiate 8,000-meter races in times of 26:34.8 and 26:40.70 respectively. North Carolina State won the team title while Lawi Lalang of Arizona claimed the individual title in 23:15.50, 29 seconds faster than Ryan Hill of North Carolina State.

USTFCCCA Rankings: In the third week of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, Drake is ranked 14th in the Midwest Regional Poll. The Bulldogs began the year ranked 12th before a three-week lull in the schedule. The team hopes to shoot up the rankings with an impressive showing at the Roy Griak Invitational. Drake is one of three Iowa teams ranked in the regional poll. Iowa State claimed the fifth spot and Iowa is ninth. The Bulldogs are also one of three Missouri Valley schools in the rankings. Southern Illinois is ranked 10th, Wichita State is ranked right ahead of Drake at 13th.

Next Up: The Bulldogs will journey to central Illinois to compete against Missouri ValleyConference schools in the Bradley Cross Country Classic on Oct. 12.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Trygve Jensen of Drake's sports information staff].

Drake Women's Cross Country Runners Head To Minnesota

What's Ahead: The Drake women's cross country squad will head north to compete at the Roy Griak Invitational in Falcon Heights, Minn. on Saturday.. The Women's Gold Division race, run on the 6,000-meter course at Lee Bolstad Golf Course, will begin at 1:10 p.m.

Last Time Out: Freshman Celeste Arteaga (Rock Island, Ill.) claimed her first title in a Bulldog uniform at the Grand View Invitational. Arteaga stormed her way to finish in a time of 19:08 on the 5-kilometer course.
Junior Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) came in just behind the winner in 19:12 and freshman Emma Huston (Des Moines) closed out the top-three with a time of 19:26. Drake earned a total score of 17, two above the lowest possible score of 15. Aside from the top-three, freshmen Cassie Aerts (David City, Neb.) finished fifth in 19:48 and Emma Johnson (Mora, Minn.) was sixth in 19:50.

A Year Ago: A young Bulldog contingent finished in 26th-place in the Women's Gold Division at the Roy Griak Invitational. The field of 272 runners from across the nation included seven teams ranked in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Poll.

Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) led the charge for Drake, netting a 158th-place finish in 23:29. The trio of Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.), Krista Maguire (Wausau, Wis.) and Melissa Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) finished in 165th, 167th, and 172nd places respectively. Fulton came in at 23:39, while Maguire finished in 23:42 and Parks in 24:08.

Next Up: The Bulldogs will head to Illinois to compete in the Bradley Cross Country Classic. The meet looks to be a good precursor to the Missouri Valley Conference meet Oct. 27.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Trygve Jensen of Drake's sports information staff].

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Drake's Football Team Will Find Out If There's Any Real Fight In the Fighting Camels Of Campbell

Fighting Camel
• Drake's football team returns to the road this weekend to face Campbell in both teams’ second Pioneer Football League game of the season.
• The Bulldogs opened up PFL play last Saturday with a 28-25 victory over Morehead State to improve to 2-2 on the season with both losses coming to nationally ranked opponents.
• That win saw fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski become Drake’s all-time leading passer as he now has 8,106 career yards. He added three touchdown strikes against MSU to move closer to the school record in that category as well with 61 career TD passes.
• Campbell is 1-3 on the season after falling, 35-14, last Saturday in the PFL opener to Butler. The Fighting Camels own a victory over UVA-Wise and have been beaten by Shorter and nationally ranked Old Dominon.
• The Camels enter the game ranked second in the PFL in rushing at 169.3 yards per game. However the squad’s defense has allowed 465.8 yards and 34 points per game this season.
• Drake’s offense is currently ranked fourth in the PFL and is led by Piatkowski who ranks 14th nationally in total offense with 284.3 yards per game with a pair of 300-yard games under his belt already this season.
• Against Morehead State, the Bulldogs’ rushing attack got in gear as Gary Scott, Jr. ran for 119 yards on 28 carries. It was his second 100-yard game of the season and his career.
• Saturday’s game will feature two of the PFL’s most effective defenses in terms of getting to the quarterback. Drake leads the PFL and is sixth in the nation in sacks with 14 this season while Campbell has racked up 11 sacks.
• Drake leads the all-time series with the Camels by a 4-0 margin and won the only meeting between the two in Buies Creek, N.C., 14-12, on October 16, 2010.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for athletic communications].

Drake's Volleyball Team Hits the Road

Bulldogs Travel To Evansville and Southern Illinois This Weekend

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE                
Fri., Sept. 28   at Evansville                               7:00 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 29  at Southern Illinois                      3:00 p.m.

The Drake (1-12, 0-3) volleyball team will play Missouri Valley Conference road matches this weekend against Evansville (5-11, 1-3) and Southern Illinois (11-3, 2-2). The Bulldogs are seeking their first conference win of 2012.
The Purple Aces are led by sophomore outside hitter Ashley Ring as she sits atop the MVC in kills with 218 and 3.82 kills per set and she also has 168 digs with a 2.95 per set average. Mike Swan is in his 10th season as Evansville’s head coach and he owns a 120-173 overall record. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 22-16 with wins in both matches in 2011. 
The Salukis are coached by first-year head coach Justin Ingram who was previously the head coach at Arkansas State. Ingram has the Salukis off to a strong start this season at 11-3 overall with wins over Illinois State and Memphis. SIU is second in the conference with 14.21 kills per set average and they have a trio of players that rank in the top-10 of the conference in kills. Laura Thole (3.77) is second, Alysia Mayes is fourth (3.71) and Jessica Whitehead (3.52) is fifth. The Salukis lead the all-time series 19-32 and the two teams split last season.
The Bulldogs split a pair of matches in Omaha, Neb. last weekend. The Bulldogs defeated Nebraska Omaha in a five-set thriller, 3-2, Friday night in a non-conference match for their first win of the season. Four Bulldogs recorded double-digit kills in the win led by Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) and Amanda Plate (Mount Vernon, Iowa). The next night the Creighton Bluejays defeated Drake, 3-0.
Senior Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) is second in the Valley in service aces average. The senior outside hitter is averaging 0.34 per set and has 15 aces overall this season. Tramosjanin has started every match this campaign. Sarah Madden (Van Meter, Iowa) has 12 aces and 0.27 per set average which ranks ninth in the Valley. Drake has 54 aces as a team and is tied for fifth in the MVC with a 1.23 average per set.

Madden and Tramosljanin have provided a strong defensive presence in the back row this year for the Bulldogs. Madden has 218 digs and is averaging 4.95 per set which is third in the conference. Tramosljanin has 160 digs and is averaging 3.64 per set. Madden has started every match in the libero position for the Bulldogs and she was named to the all-tournament team at the New Mexico State tournament.
Freshmen Katie Dulek (Lenexa, Kan.) and Cassie Effken (Lincoln, Neb.) have started every match at the middle blocker positions in their first season for the Blue and White. Effken leads the Bulldogs in total blocks (50), block assists (39), block solos (11) and points (122.5) and she is second in kills (90). She was named to the all-tournament team at the Bulldogs first tournament of 2012 (Green Bay). Effken is sixth in the MVC with a 1.14 blocks per set average. Dulek is second on the team in block assists (35) and fifth in kills (51) and she earned all-tournament honors at the InnTowner Invitational. She had a career-high eight kills with just one error against Creighton and received player of the week considerations from the Valley for her efforts.

Sophomore Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) has started every match this fall at the setter position for the Bulldogs. She has dished out 205 assists for an average of 4.66 per set in addition she has 68 digs. Meyer had her career-high in assists with 28 in the win over UNO. Freshman Rebecca Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) has seen action in all 13 matches at the setter position as well. She has dished out 173 assists for an average of 4.11 per set in addition she has 44 digs.
Senior outside hitter Bentley Mancini leads the Bulldogs with 103 kills and 2.34 kills per set. Mancini, a left-handed hitter has started every match for the Blue and White this year. The Minnesota native is a senior captain and has 393 kills in her collegiate career.
Sophomore Amanda Platte had an outstanding performance in the win over UNO. The outside hitter finished with a career-high 12 kills and eight digs and she added four block assists.  She is fourth on the team with 76 kills. Platte has started seven matches and Erin Roggenburg (Ankeny, Iowa) has started six matches this fall at the outside hitter position opposite Mancini.
11 of the 12 student-athletes on this season’s roster have seen match action. Drake has one of the youngest rosters in the nation with two seniors, one redshirt junior, three sophomores and six freshmen.
Drake’s next home match will be Friday, Oct. 5 when they host the Bradley Braves at 7 p.m. The UNI Panthers will travel to the Knapp Center the next night and that match will also begin at 7 p.m.

This season the Bulldogs will have a leadership council with Bentley Mancini as the designated senior class member, Sarah Madden as the designated junior class member, Halli Meyer as the sophomore class member and Cassie Effken will represent the freshman class.

Second-year head coach Tony Sunga will have a young but talented team in 2012. Drake welcomes six newcomers to the program and they join six returning players. The Bulldogs will face a strong schedule this season with seven opponents that qualified for the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Senior Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) will lead the Bulldogs attack this fall. The Minnesota native enters her senior year with significant experience from the previous two seasons with 15 starts and 236 kills in 2011. Amanda Platte (Mount Vernon, Iowa) came on late in 2011 and the sophomore will have an increased role for the Blue and White. Sophomore Erin Roggenburg (Ankeny, Iowa) and Shelby Daum (Battle Creek, Neb.) will provide depth at the position. Senior Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) will once again provide help between the front and back rows.

Emily Heffernen and Michelle Reidy graduated from a year ago and their presence in the middle will be missed, but a young and talented group of five is ready to fill their void. Freshmen Katie Dulek (Lenexa, Kan.) and Cassie Effken (Lincoln, Neb.) have stood out early and each will see significant time this season. Freshmen Katie Allen (Mokena, Ill.) will provide depth in the middle and on the outside.

Sophomore Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) steps into the setter role after the graduation of Caitlin Johnson. Meyer saw time in 14 matches her freshman season and was elected to the team’s leadership council for 2012. Freshman Rebecca Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) will backup Meyer. She also comes from a successful high school program that captured two Arkansas state titles.
Tramoslijanin and junior Sarah Madden (Van Meter, Iowa) both enter their second season at Drake and will anchor the back row. Scarlett Howerter (Lincoln, Neb.) teamed with Effken her senior year of high school in Nebraska and will provide depth in the back row and will occasionally

Drake head coach Tony Sunga is in his second season leading the program. Sunga is a 1988 Drake graduate, who previously served as a Drake assistant coach under former coach Amy Faber Knowles from 2005-07. Sunga was hired from Wyoming, where he was an assistant coach for three seasons.

Sunga is assisted by Erin Hirsch and Rob Batzler. Hirsch is in her sixth season as an assistant coach and she played at the University of Northern Iowa. Batzler is in his first season as an assistant coach after he served as a volunteer coach in 2011.

Drake was picked to finish tenth in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll conducted by league coaches. Northern Iowa captured all 10 first-place votes to top the voting with 100 points. The Bulldogs finished eighth in 2011.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by John Meyer of Drake's sports information staff].

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Record-Setting Piatkowski Leads Drake To 28-25 Victory Over Morehead State

In a battle of two top-10 passing offenses, Drake's  football team outdueled Morehead State on a record-setting Saturday afternoon at Drake Stadium.

Led by fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill.), the Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0 PFL) fought off a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to top the Eagles, 28-25. Piatkowski set the school record for career passing yards in the second quarter with a ­­five-yard completion to senior Joey Orlando (Park Ridge, Ill.). Piatkowski needed just 31 yards coming in to the game to surpass Ira Vandever’s record of 7,868 yards set in 2002. The reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Year finished the game with 29-for-41 passing, for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He now stands alone at 8,106 career passing yards.

“I try not to think about it [the record],” Piatkowski said after the game. “At the end of the season, I’ll probably think about it, but we got a win today and that’s all that matters. It was a team effort and the crowd was a big part of that.”

Orlando was Piatkowski’s top target on the day, with eight receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) led the ground game with 119 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.

Defensively, the Bulldogs shut down the sixth-ranked passing offense of the Eagles. Despite only recording one sack on the afternoon, the Bulldogs held the Eagles to a season low 172 pass yards. Sophomore John Hugunin (Oswego, Ill.) led the defense with 16 tackles and one sack. Junior Travis Merritt (Johnston, Iowa) added 14 additional tackles to the defensive total.

Drake used an eight-play, 74-yard drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter to regain momentum lost in the third quarter. The drive concluded with a Piatkowski touchdown pass to sophomore J.T. Teague (Carrollton, Texas) to bring the Bulldogs within three points with 13 minutes remaining in the game.

After the Drake defense came up strong on the following MSU possession, sophomore Drew Ormseth (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) set the offense up with great field position following his 36-yard punt return. Piatkowski then gave the Blue and White its first lead of the game, 21-17, with 9:51 remaining in the game, by finding senior Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.) in the end zone.

Drake all but sealed the victory with four minutes remaining in the game, converting on 4th-and-2 from the 14-yard line. Scott took an option pitch into the end zone to give Drake a two-score lead. With the run, Drake’s leading rusher recorded the second 100-yard game of his career.

“We kind of had to have a wake-up call there late,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “I don’t know that we played any differently in the fourth quarter outside of there being some passion and imposing our will.”

Although Morehead State countered with a six-play, 62-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown, they could not recover the onside kick, allowing Drake to bleed the clock to 1:28. Despite sustaining a drive to midfield, Lewis was picked by fifth-year senior Tyler Moorehead (Mason City, Iowa) with 36 seconds remaining on the clock to put an end to any chance at a comeback.

Morehead State deviated from its typical passing offense early, instead opting for the rushing game on the opening drive. That strategy worked, as the Eagles pounded their way down the field before turning to the aerial attack on a 26-yard pass play from senior Zach Lewis to Donte Sawyer to cap an 11-play, 81-yard drive.

It would take the Bulldogs until late in the second quarter to respond to the Eagles’ score when Piatkowski connected with Orlando for nine yards immediately following a fumble recovery by fifth-year senior Anthony Gianaras (Mundelein, Ill). 

Despite fielding two top-ten passing offenses, the defenses shined in the first half. At the break both teams were off their offensive pace as Drake had 135 yards through the air, with the majority coming in the second quarter, while Morehead State had only 54 through the half. Instead, both teams utilized the running game to create a 7-7 tie at the half.

However, Morehead State took control of the momentum in the third quarter by taking a 17-7 advantage by the end of the quarter. Morehead State linebacker Jordan Hendrix took advantage of a rare Piatkowski mistake with an interception to set up the Eagles’ offense in prime position. Hendrix returned his interception 25-yards before lateralling the ball to John Coleman who added seven-yards to the return total. MSU executed two plays later on a 27-yard rush by Brandon Bornhauser out of the Wildcat offense to set up the finall fourth quarter sequence.

The Bulldogs continue PFL next weekend when they travel to Buies Creek, N.C., to face Campbell University. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CDT.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for athletic communications].

Friday, September 21, 2012

Drake's Zach Bosch Honored for Community Work

Zach Bosch, a senior offensive lineman on Drake's football team, has been named to the 2012 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team for his involvement in the community off the field.

“It’s great to be recognized, but when I started getting involved in the community, I never thought about something like this,” Bosch said. “It’s just what we do at Drake. Growing up, I was always taught to give back to people. For me, community service is the most simple and the easiest way to give back to others.”

A native of Tuscola, Ill., Bosch was recognized for the impact his tireless volunteer work has had on the Des Moines community. The AFCA Good Works team recognizes 22 student-athletes, 11 from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and 11 combined from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA classifications which consists of more than 5,000 student-athletes. One of the sport’s premier service honors, the AFCA Good Works Team shines a spotlight on the positive, off-the-field impact that a select group of student-athletes has on their communities. 

“This is in my opinion, one of the biggest and most significant awards a college football player can receive,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “It is an phenomenal achievement and he is very deserving. It is not something where he did just one thing for his resume. He literally went to the VA and started a program where our guys are visiting  and building relationships with our veterans and spending quality time with them. That is the most significant service he has done, but he has been a part of all of our service projects. I’m so proud of him and the AFCA for honoring him for what I believe is a richly earned award.”

Bosch has participated in nearly every service project the Drake football team has participated in, but his biggest accomplishment in the Des Moines community has been involvement with the Veterans Affairs Hospital. He began a program where he and his teammates regularly visit ill veterans at the facility – many of whom rarely have other visitors – to provide comfort, support and camaraderie to those that have served this nation.

“My grandfather served in the Air Force, as did his brothers, and I grew up in a very proud family,” Bosch said. “Two of my cousins joined the Air Force and one served in Afghanistan, so I have tremendous respect for our military. I know that without their service and sacrifice, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to play football and get an education. So I try to do anything I can for our veterans and men and women of the armed forces.”

Bosch’s other community service work includes

  • Boys & Girls Clubs--Drake's players have established a consistent program of visits to the local Boys & Girls Club branches, and implemented both a reading program to improve literacy rates and a mentor program for youth.
  • Des Moines Public Schools Reading Program-Zach and his teammates have developed and maintained a program in which players visit several Des Moines Public Schools elementary schools every Friday during the season to read to children. The program is designed to develop consistency and familiarity with the visits to encourage students to embrace reading and improve their skills through the time spent together with books.
  • Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall - Zach helped to make sure the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall exhibit is properly disassembled and packed to assist with the success of the program, and share it with more people.
  • Thanksgiving Meal—For military families with husbands and fathers serving overseas. Volunteering time and talents for this important local program.
  • Meals From the Heartland-Bulldogs players join other Drake student-athletes to help package food items each year in January to aid hunger relief around the world. Together they spend one day measuring and packing pre-packaged food allotments that will feed those in need.
  • Blank Children's Hospital--Visits with children at Des Moines' local children's hospital to provide companionship and encouragement to children suffering from a variety of illnesses.
This is the second straight season in which a Drake football student-athlete has earned the prestigious honor as Stoy Hall was one of 22 honorees in 2011.

Bosch is now eligible to become a Good Works Team Captain which is based on online voting. To vote, visit and search “Good Works.”  Fans can learn more about this year’s team members and their charitable accomplishments by viewing player profiles on the website. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a special youth football clinic leading up to the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for athletic communications].

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ron Maly Says He's Never Met a Parade He Hasn't Liked. And That Certainly Goes for the 2012 Valley High School Homecoming Parade Held Near the Stadium In W.est D.M.

Ron Maly told you at the top of the page that he's never met a parade he didn't like. Well, Ron and many others attended the Valley High School homecoming parade late Thursday afternoon in West Des Moines, and everyone found that the band members from Valley, Stilwell Junior High and Indian Hills Junior High didn't miss a beat and the marchers didn't miss a step. A great time was had by all, as you can tell by these photos taken by Ron. Valley's sophomores got the weekend off to a great start by rolling past Indianola, 45-13, Thursday night at Indianola.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bulldogs Open Their Pioneer Football League Schedule Saturday At Drake Stadium In a 1 p.m. Game Against Morehead State

Drake opens its Pioneer Football League schedule Saturday at home against Morehead State.

The kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Here are the facts, as listed by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for athletic communications:

• The Bulldogs are 5-1 in PFL openers since 2006 and have won three-straight conference openers.

• Drake is coming off back-to-back losses to ranked opponents, falling at home to No. 4 Montana State and on the road last weekend to No. 22 Indiana State to stand at 1-2 this season.

• Saturday could be a record-setting day for Drake quarterback Mike Piatkowski. The senior needs just 31 yards to become Drake’s all-time leader in career passing yards. He currently has 7,838 career yards and has thrown for 300 or more yards in back-to-back games.

• The passing game promises to be on full display as Drake enters the game ranked 10th nationally in passing offense at 303.7 yards per game while MSU is ranked sixth at 349.3 yards per contest.

• Individually, MSU quarterback Zach Lewis has thrown for 8,203 career yards, the fourth-most in PFL history.

• Morehead State is 1-2 on the season as well with a season-opening win over Southern Virginia and losses to Eastern Kentucky and St. Francis (Pa.).

• In its most recent outing, MSU held a 23-14 halftime lead before St. Francis scored 43 unanswered second-half points and ran for 457 yards.

• Drake’s defense continues to disrupt opponents’ backfields and ranks third nationally in both sacks and tackles for loss with 4.3 and 9.7 per game. The defense leads the PFL in both categories as well.

• Drake leads the all-time series between the two programs by a 5-2 margin and is a sterling 3-0 at Drake Stadium. The Bulldogs have won two straight over MSU. Head coach Chris Creighton is 2-0 against MSU at Drake.

Indiana State's Shahir Bell Runs for Whopping 349 Yards In 27-10 Victory Over Drake

Drake's football team fell, 27-10, to No. 22 Indiana State in its final non-conference test of the season Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
Ty Patton

The Sycamores’ vaunted rushing offense proved to be the difference, rushing  for 368 yards with Payton Award finalist Shakir Bell racking up a school-record 349. The Bulldogs were paced again by senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski’s (Wheaton, Ill.) with 329 yards on 31-of-53 passing with a touchdown strike to Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla).

Drake's defense, which came into the game leading the nation in sacks and tackles for loss, was led by Bob Quilico’s (Schaumburg, Ill.) 11 tackles with the defense getting six tackles for loss and an interception from Drew Ormseth (Lake in the Hills, Ill).

“That back [Indiana State’s Bell], is special and we knew it,” Drake coach Chris Creighton said. “Those guys played hard and are a great football team. We’re all about being our best and part of being your best is knowing how to win on game-day. We go into the Pioneer Football League now and we’ve got to find a way to do that.”

The two teams entered halftime knotted at 10-10, but ISU firmly put the momentum in its favor in the third quarter by scoring quickly on its first two possessions with touchdown runs of 60 and 48 yards from Bell. Those touchdowns put the Sycamores up, 24-10, less than 5 minutes into the second half.

However, the Bulldogs continued to battle and got inside the ISU 5-yard line on its next two drives. Unfortunately for Drake, neither of those red zone trips resulted in points, but rather a missed field goal and an inspired ISU goal-line stand. A 35-yard ISU field goal with less than 4 minutes to play gave the Sycamores the final 17-point cushion.

“We didn’t execute and when you’re playing a really good team, you’ve got to execute,” Creighton said. “We left a lot out there offensively with opportunities to score. Whenever we executed, we moved the ball down the field.”

Drake executed early by scoring on its first drive courtesy of a 21-yard field goal from Spencer Lee (Johnston) that capped an 11-play, 76 yard drive. The Bulldogs held that advantage until midway through the second quarter when ISU got on the board with 22-yard touchdown pass from Mike Perish to Demory Lawshe.

Drake answered that score with one of its own on its next drive as a 41-yard pitch and catch from Piatkowski to Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.), put the Bulldogs inside the ISU 10-yard line to set up a 7-yard Piatkowski to Rosa touchdown.

An ISU field goal as time expired at the half sent the teams into the locker room tied.

Drake, coming off of back-to-back games against nationally ranked opponents, returns home next weekend to begin the defense of its 2011 Pioneer Football League championships. The Bulldogs host Morehead State on Saturday, at 1 p.m. inside Drake Stadium.

Last season, Drake defeated MSU, 41-26, on the road after holding a slim 16-13 margin at halftime.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for athletic communications].

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Drake's 2012-2013 Basketball Schedule, Sent By Mark Phelps On Twitter

Mark Phelps@CoachMarkPhelps
We're excited to get started! RT : Drake men's basketball to face a very challenging schedule in 2012-13

Sat, Nov 03  SOUTHWEST BAPTIST (Exhibition.) DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Nov 17  at Detroit at Detroit, Mich.   6 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
Anaheim Classic
  Thu, Nov 22  vs. California at Anaheim, Calif.   10:30 p.m.
  Fri, Nov 23  vs. Rice/Georgia Tech at Anaheim, Calif.   8:30 p.m.
  Sun, Nov 25  vs. TBA at Anaheim, Calif.   TBA
Mountain West-MVC Challenge
  Sat, Dec 01  at Nevada at Reno, Nev.   TBA
Anaheim Classic
  Wed, Dec 05  ST. MARY'S DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
  Sat, Dec 08  IPFW DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
Big Four Classic
  Sat, Dec 15  vs. Iowa State at Des Moines   TBA
KRNT 1350 AM
KRNT 1350 AM
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Dec 29  at Bradley * at Peoria, Ill.   7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Jan 02  WICHITA STATE * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Jan 05  MISSOURI STATE * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Tue, Jan 08  at Creighton * at Omaha, Neb.   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Jan 12  at Illinois State * at Normal, Ill.   7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Jan 16  EVANSVILLE * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sun, Jan 20  at UNI * at Cedar Falls, Iowa   2/7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Jan 23  CREIGHTON * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sun, Jan 27  at Missouri State * at Springfield, Mo.   2/7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Jan 30  at Southern Illinois * at Carbondale, Ill.   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Feb 02  INDIANA STATE * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Feb 06  ILLINOIS STATE * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sun, Feb 10  at Evansville * at Evansville, Ind.   2/7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Feb 13  at Wichita State * at Wichita, Kan.   7 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Feb 16  UNI * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Feb 20  BRADLEY * DRAKE KNAPP CENTER   7:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
Sears BracketBusters
  Fri, Feb 22 -
 Sun, Feb 24
KRNT 1350 AM
  Wed, Feb 27  at Indiana State * at Terre Haute, Ind.   6:05 p.m.
KRNT 1350 AM
KRNT 1350 AM
MVC Tournament
  Thu, Mar 07  TBA at St. Louis, Mo.   TBA
KRNT 1350 AM
  Fri, Mar 08  TBA at St. Louis, Mo.   TBA
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sat, Mar 09  TBA at St. Louis, Mo.   TBA
KRNT 1350 AM
  Sun, Mar 10  TBA at St. Louis, Mo.   TBA
KRNT 1350 AM
* Conference Games

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

After Just 2 Weeks Of the Football Season, Big Ten 'Panic' Vote Is Between Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State and Nebraska

We're just two weeks into the 2012 season, but there's some angst building around the Big Ten, especially after last Saturday's nightmarish results.

Is it too soon to panic? Probably. The entire Big Ten season remains, and teams have plenty of time to turn things around. Still, there are very real concerns in several Big Ten locales that must be addressed in a hurry.

Today's poll question asks: Which Big Ten team should panic the most after the first two games?

Which Big Ten team should be panicking most after two weeks?

Iowa: The Hawkeyes are fortunate not to be 0-2 after scoring a grand total of one offensive touchdown through the first two games. The offense has stalled under new coordinator Greg Davis, and senior quarterback James Vandenberg hasn't performed anywhere near expectations so far. With little depth at running back and receiver, Iowa desperately needs playmakers to emerge around Vandenberg. After dropping its second consecutive game to Iowa State, Iowa can't afford to stumble Saturday against FCS Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. 
Wisconsin: Coach Bret Bielema dumped offensive line coach Mike Markuson after only two games, a day after the Badgers turned in their most feeble offensive performance in years. Bielema said Monday that "panic is for the outside world," but his decision with Markuson shows not all is well in Badger Country. After record-setting offensive performances in 2010 and 2011, Wisconsin is trying to re-establish its core identity on offense. The Badgers barely survived against Northern Iowa and were nearly shut out at Oregon State. They hardly look like the team pegged as the consensus Leaders division favorite before the season.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are the only winless team in the Big Ten, so they might seem like the obvious choice. But you can argue Penn State has looked better than some of the other teams here, especially when factoring in some decent competition (Ohio, Virginia). If the Lions could finish drives or make field goals, they could very well be 2-0. But confidence could be an issue after last week's heartbreaking loss, and you have to wonder how much more disappointment this team can take, especially after what happened in the offseason.

Nebraska: Things looked promising for Nebraska after the opener, but Bo Pelini and his players left the Rose Bowl "embarrassed" following last Saturday's loss to UCLA. A veteran Husker defense has to be questioning itself after surrendering more than 650 yards to the Bruins and missing a flurry of tackles. Every loss sparks panic in this football-crazed state, and folks are wondering whether Nebraska will ever show the type of consistency it needs under Pelini, especially away from Lincoln.