Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Drake Travels To Dayton, Hopes To Stay Unbeaten In League

DRAKE Bulldogs (6-2/5-0 PFL)
Head Coach: Chris Creighton (Kenyon, 1991)
Career Record: 131-40 (16th season), at Drake: 36-16 (5th season), vs. Dayton: 1-3

Dayton Flyers (4-5/3-3 PFL)
Head Coach: Rick Chamberlin (Dayton, 1980)
Career Record: 105-107-1 (21st season), at Dayton: 38-16 (5th season), vs. Drake: 3-1

Date                                        Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
Kickoff                                                      Noon CDT
Site                                                         Dayton, Ohio
Stadium                        Welcome Stadium (11,000)

Radio                                                KRNT 1350 AM
Live Stats/Audio
Live Video        
Twitter Updates                               @DUBulldogs
Game Hashtag                          #DUvsUD

      First Meeting              Sept. 27, 1952 - L, 34-13
      Last Meeting             Nov. 12, 2011 - W, 37-14
      Streak                                                     Drake, 1
      Last Drake Victory                                           2011

The Game
• Drake's football team returns to action following the bye week with another critical Pioneer Football League game at Dayton.
• Saturday’s game features two of the most storied programs in PFL history as Dayton and Drake have combined to win 16 championships in the 19-year history of the league. In the last decade alone, the two have laid claim to seven titles.
• The Bulldogs aim to improve their already perfect PFL record as they enter Saturday’s contest at 5-0 in the PFL and 6-2 overall after rallying back from a 27-3 deficit to defeat Marist, 34-27 in overtime, in their last outing.
• Dayton is 4-5 on the season and 3-3 in the PFL after falling, 41-9, at San Diego last weekend. Prior to that loss, the Flyers had rattled off three straight wins.
• Drake enters the stretch run of its season with a passing offense that ranks seventh in the nation at 304.3 yards per game. Leading that charge is fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski who ranks seventh nationally in passing as well.
• Already entrenched as Drake’s all-time leader in career passing yards, Piatkowski added another jewel to his crown as his two touchdown passes against Marist set the Drake career record at 68 touchdown passes.
• He finished that game with a season-high 373 yards on 32-of-54 passing.
• Drake’s defense has forced seven turnovers in its last three games and ranks 25th nationally with 17 turnovers this season. Of those 17, 10 have resulted in points for Drake while another ended a game.
• The defense has only allowed 19.9 points per game to rank second in the PFL and 24th nationally.
• John Hugunin leads the defense with 82 tackles this season while Brandon Coleman has a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss.

A VICTORY  would ...
• Make Drake 7-2 this season and 6-0 in PFL action.
• Be Drake’s 10th straight PFL victory and 17th in its last 20 PFL games.
• Make Drake 6-23 against Dayton all-time.
• Be Chris Creighton’s 37th win at Drake and 132nd career win.
• Be the program’s 579th all-time victory.
• Make Drake 6-0 in the PFL standings for the first time since 2004.
• Be Drake’s first win at Dayton since 2006.
• Make Chris Creighton 2-3 against Dayton during his tenure at Drake.
• Be Drake’s second straight win in the series, marking the first time the Bulldogs have won consecutive meetings in the series.
A loss would ...
• Be Drake’s first PFL loss since Oct. 15, 2011.
• Snap Drake’s PFL winning streak at nine games.
• Make Dayton 5-24 all-time against Drake.
• Be Drake’s third straight loss at Welcome Stadium.
Drake Scores 31 Straight to Stay Perfect
• With less than 21 minutes left in the game against Marist, Drake’s chances of improving to 5-0 in the PFL to stay at the top of the conference standings looked dim as the Bulldogs faced a 27-3 deficit.
• However, an 82-yard scoring drive on Drake’s next possession quickly changed momentum as the Bulldogs rattled off 24 straight points to force overtime.
• Gary Scott, Jr. scored on a 2-yard touchdown run in overtime.
• Marist drove to the 1-yard line on its overtime possession, but a pair of sacks from Brandon Coleman, John Hugunin and Tyler Moorehead ended the contest.
• Moorehead’s sack marked the second time this season he made a defensive play to end a game. Against Morehead State, he intercepted a pass in the final minute as MSU was driving to preserve the Drake win.
Piatkowski adds another record
• Already Drake’s career leader in passing yards and completions, quarterback Mike Piatkowski also became Drake’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes as his two scores against Marist gave him 68 in his career.
• He is also second among active passers in the nation in career touchdown passes and fifth in PFL history.
PFL Career Passing Touchdowns Leaders
1.     116          Josh McGregor, JU       2008-11
2.     113          Josh Johnson, SD         2004-07
3.     75            Eric Rasmussen, SD      2001-03
4.     72            Ryan Alexander, DC      2005-08
5.     68            Mike Piatkowski, DU 2009-Pres.
Bulldogs pick up the pace
• In the win over Marist, Drake picked up the offensive pace by running a season high 93 plays from scrimmage.
• Even without the overtime period, Drake still ran 87 plays in the win, just the second time Drake has run 80 or more plays in a game this season.
• Prior to the Marist game, Drake had averaged 75 plays per game.
• Drake also had 516 yards of total offense in the game, its most this season and most in Chris Creighton’s five seasons at Drake.
Among the League Unbeatens
• Of the 246 Division I football programs in the nation (FBS, FCS), Drake is one of just 22 that remain unbeaten in conference play.
• In the FCS ranks alone, Drake is one of just eight programs that have navigated their conference schedule to date without a loss.
About the Losses ...
• Drake has only suffered two losses this season, both to nationally ranked opponents.
• Drake’s first loss this season came at the hands of then No. 4 Montana State by a 34-24 margin. The Bobcats checked in at No. 3 in this week’s poll with a 7-1 record and have outscored their opponents by an average of 16 points per game.
• Drake’s second loss came to then No. 22 Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind., by a 28-10 margin. ISU is currently in first place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with a 7-2 record and is ranked 14th.

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

Drake Volleyball Team Plays At UNI, Bradley

The Drake (4-19, 3-9 Missouri Valley Conference) volleyball team remains in contention for a spot in the league tournament, but must finish strong in its final six matches starting this weekend with two key road matches. The Bulldogs are behind Missouri State (7-6 MVC), which currently sits in sixth place in the standings. The top six teams qualify for the tournament, which will be held in Springfield, Mo., Nov. 22-24. Drake will travel to Northern Iowa (20-7, 11-2 MVC) and Bradley (8-16, 2-11 MVC) on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. 
The Panthers defeated the Bulldogs in four sets earlier this fall at the Knapp Center. UNI and Creighton are battling for the top spot in the MVC this season and will square off Saturday night. The Panthers rank first in the Valley in kills per set (14.52) and digs per set (17.75). Five Panthers led by senior outside hitter Megan Lehman (304) have 200 or more kills this fall.
Drake rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Bradley, 3-2, in the first contest between the two teams this season. Three of the last five meetings in Peoria between Bradley and Drake have gone to a deciding fifth-set.  Bradley seniors Madelyn Ervin and Jessica McNellis will be honored before the match in their final home contest. Ervin is number two in the MVC in service aces per set at 0.38 behind Drake’s Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) at 0.41. Drake leads the all-time series 29-25 and has won 10 out of the last 11 contests.
Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) had a match-high 12 kills and was one of four Bulldogs in double figures in kills as Drake beat Evansville, 3-0, this past Saturday night at the Knapp Center. Tramosljanin finished with a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs and leads the team with 11 double-doubles.
The 3-0 win over Evansville (25-21, 25-20, and 25-22) was the first sweep for Drake since they beat Southern Illinois, 3-0, on September 18, 2010. This season the Bulldogs have one sweep, one four-set win and two five-set wins.
Sarah Madden (Van Meter) was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Oct. 15-21. Madden has started every match at the libero position this year for the Bulldogs tallying 481 digs. In the second match against North Dakota State this season, she finished with a school record 45 digs. The 45 digs were one away from tying the MVC match record. Madden, a redshirt junior leads the conference in digs per set at 5.87 and her average ranks eighth in the country. In just her second season at Drake, she is sixth all-time in school history with 908 digs and sits just 10 away from moving into the top-five. The defensive award is the first for Madden and the first for a Drake volleyball student-athlete since Alana Wittenburg won it in 2010.
The Bulldogs are one of the top serving teams in the Missouri Valley Conference averaging 1.18 service aces per set. Drake recorded a season-high 11 aces in the Indiana State win earlier this fall. Tramosljanin has 34 aces and a 0.41 service aces per set average, with both ranking first in the MVC while her average ranks 26th in the nation. Tramosljanin had a career-high six service aces against UNI earlier this fall.
Senior outside hitter Bentley Mancini leads the Bulldogs with 213 kills, a 2.54 kills per set average and is second in points with 233.5. 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 501 kills in her collegiate career.

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

UNI 3rd, Drake 6th In Valley's Preseason Poll; Bulldogs' Ben Simons Is All-League Selection; Creighton's Doug McDermott Is Player Of Year

Drake's men's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference’s annual preseason poll. Ben Simons, the Bulldogs' standout senior, earned a spot on the preseason all-conference team.
Ben Simons

The Bulldogs finished with 184 points in the poll of the league’s coaches, media and communications personnel after finishing in a tie for third in the league last season. Creighton was the runaway favorite to win the league title with 398 of a potential 400 points and 38 of the poll’s 40 first place votes. Second place Illinois State garnered the other two first-place votes followed by Northern Iowa, Wichita State and Evansville. Drake’s sixth-place projection is the team’s highest since being tabbed fourth in the 2008-09 preseason poll.

Following Drake in the poll was Indiana State, Missouri State, Bradley and Southern Illinois.

Simons was one of nine players to earn preseason all-conference honors and just one of five named to the first team. The 6-8 forward from Cadillac, Mich., returns as Drake’s top scorer after earning second team all-league honors at the conclusion of his junior year. He averaged 16.4 points per game a season ago, the fourth most in the Valley, and led the league in three-pointers with 77. He was joined on the preseason all-conference team by the preseason Player of the Year, Doug McDermott (a Creighton standout who played high school basketball in Ames, IA), Colt Ryan (Evansville), Jackie Carmichael (Illinois State) and Jake Odum (Indiana State).

Simons and the Bulldogs begin their 2012-13 season Saturday with an exhibition game against Southwest Baptist at 7:05 p.m. in the Knapp Center. The season begins in earnest Nov. 10 when William Jewell visits the Knapp Center for an 11 a.m. tipoff.

 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll

No.         Team (First-Place Votes)              Points
1.           Creighton (38)                                   398
2.           Illinois State (2)                                 327
3.           UNI                                                    316
4.           Wichita State                                     298
5.           Evansville                                           240
6.           Drake                                                  184
7.           Indiana State                                      164
8.           Missouri State                                    122
9.           Bradley                                                 84
10.         Southern Illinois                                   66

Preseason All-Conference

Doug McDermott, Creighton (Pre-Season Player of the Year)
Colt Ryan, Evansville
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State
Jake Odum, Indiana State
Ben Simons, Drake

Honorable Mention

Gregory Echenique, Creighton
Anthony James, UNI
Carl Hall, Wichita State
Seth Tuttle, UNI

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Drake Overcomes 24-Point Deficit, Wins In Overtime, 34-27

Drake's football team overcame a 24-point deficit to defeat Marist, 34-27, in overtime Saturday at Drake Stadium. The Bulldogs’ offense struggled early before hitting its stride late in the third quarter to scored 31 unanswered points.

“I’m really fired for our team right now,” coach Chris Creighton said. “This was a football and a life lesson. You find yourself in positions where it’s hard to believe and our football team believed they were going to win. There’s deep power in that.”

That belief helped improve the Bulldogs to a perfect 5-0 in the Pioneer Football League and 6-2 overall. Marist dropped to 1-3 in the PFL and 2-5 overall with the loss.

Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill.) engineered Drake’s comeback victory as he led the Bulldogs back from a 27-3 deficit, to add another impressive performance to his career totals. The fifth-year senior rewrote the record book again, with two touchdown passes to give him 68 career touchdown tosses, passing Ira Vandever in the Drake record books. The quarterback was 32-for-54, with 373 yards, and one interception through the air, and had 28 yards scrambling.

“No one will ever know how good Mike [Piatkowski] is,” Creighton said. “You can look at stats all you want – but given the game that he called – he’s a great quarterback.”

Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) gashed the top rushing defense in the conference, finding the end zone twice – including the game-winning score – to complement his 90 yards on 19 carries. Joey Orlando (Park Ridge, Ill.) was the top passing target for Piatkowski, catching nine passes for 103 yards, one touchdown, including a key two-point conversion. Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.) also caught eight passes for 89 yards, and Grahm Butler (Brock, Neb.) added 72 receiving yards and a touchdown.

John Hugunin (Oswego, Ill.) led the Bulldogs defensively, adding 12 tackles to his team-leading total, including joining Brandon Coleman (Cary, Ill.) in sacking Marist’s quarterback in overtime. Tyler Moorehead (Mason City) sealed the victory in overtime, recording a sack on fourth down. Moorehead had six tackles in the game.

“It’s always a team effort but Tyler Moorehead is one of our leaders,” Creighton said. “I think he got in there and got that sack at the end. He’s another special player and everyone hears him loud and clear by the way that he plays.”

Facing a 24-point, 27-3, deficit late in the third quarter, Drake finally found the end zone with 3:35 remaining on the clock as Piatkowski found Butler on a 22-yard strike. The same combination connected for the two-point conversion to ignite the Bulldogs’ comeback.

With momentum in tow, the defense forced a three-and-out and the Bulldogs drove down the field to bring themselves within one possession at 27-19. Scott capped a 63-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. The ensuing two-point point was converted with Piatkowski finding a wide-open Orlando in the corner of the end zone.

Drake tied the game, 27-27, with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter, to erase the Red Foxes lead. Set up by a Mike Ratelle (Edina, Minn.) hit to separate the ball from the Marist receiver on fourth down, the Bulldogs drove 66-yards down the field with the drive being capped by Piatkowski’s record-breaking touchdown connection to Orlando from 17 yards out. Piatkowski once again converted the two-point conversion, this time finding Kevin Marshall.

After holding the Marist offense once again, Drake gave itself an opportunity to take the lead with time expiring. The offense moved the ball down to the 4-yard line, before giving Cam Bohnert (Edmond, Okla.) a 22-yard field goal try with 10 seconds remaining in regulation. The kick, however, narrowly missed to the right of the goal post, sending the game to overtime.

In overtime, the Bulldogs’ offense gained possession first and put pressure back on Marist after scoring a touchdown to give Drake their first lead in the game, 34-27. Scott rushed for his second touchdown of the day on first-and-goal from the 2-yard line to give the Blue and White the advantage. Drake’s defense sealed the comeback with a goal line stand, coming up with a pair of sacks to neutralize the Red Foxes’ scoring bid and preserve Drake’s perfect PFL record.

Marist took the early advantage with a long 74-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Reilly to Mike Rios, to put the Red Foxes up, 7-0, with 10:29 remaining in the first quarter. The pass was the longest play that the Drake defense has given up this season and also marked the first time that an opponent had scored first in a game since Morehead State had a lead on September 22.

Drake cut into Marist’s lead on the following drive, concluding with a 27-yard field goal by Bohnert, to make the score, 7-3. The long 15-play, 65-yard drive spanned almost six minutes of game clock. Bohnert’s field goal attempt was enabled by an impressive play by Piatkowski, in which he scrambled to the left sideline before finding Butler on the 12-yard line.

Bohnert missed a 32-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter as another promising Bulldogs drive stalled in the red zone. The Marist defense continued to get pressure on Piatkowski, forcing the signal caller out of his comfort zone. While Piatkowski did convert long passing plays on third-and-long multiple times on the drive, he was unable to find a receiver inside the Marist 20, setting up the field goal attempt.

Marist increased its lead with 10:01 remaining in the second quarter, ending their drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by Max Jacques, to give the Foxes a 14-3 lead. The scoring drive was once again set up by a long passing play, this time a 40-yard completion to Rios to begin the scoring drive.

Drake threatened following the Marist scoring drive in the second quarter, but came up empty from the 1-yard line. Although Piatkowski once again set the offense up in scoring position, a pair of rushes from the 1-yard were stonewalled by the Red Foxes to kill the drive on downs.

The Bulldogs’ offensive woes continued late in the half as another promising drive come up empty despite a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line. This time the Bulldogs could not execute a handoff on an end around play in which Rosa ran into Piatkowski, causing a fumble that was recovered by Marist at their own 8-yard line. The Red Foxes elected to run out the clock with 28 seconds remaining in the half, heading to the break with a 14-3 lead over the Bulldogs.

The momentum continued for Marist in the second half with a fumble recovery on the kickoff at the 16-yard line. The Red Foxes took three plays to find the end zone on a nine-yard pass to Joe Tralli, increasing the Bulldogs’ deficit, 20-3. 

Jacques continued to gash the Drake defense in the third quarter, scoring his second touchdown on the afternoon to give Marist a commanding 27-3 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter. His one-yard rush concluded a 37-yard drive that followed Jack Marston’s interception of Piatkowski.

The Bulldogs will have a full week to savor the remarkable come-from-behind victory before resuming PFL action on Nov. 3 at Dayton. Kickoff between Drake and the Flyers is set for noon, CST.

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

Drake Plays Marist, Hopes To Stay Perfect In League

Drake's  football team continues its 2012 Pioneer Football League season Saturday afternoon against Marist at Drake Stadium.
Old Main at Drake
• The Bulldogs aim to improve their already perfect PFL record as they enter Saturday’s game at 4-0 in the PFL and 5-2 overall after defeating Valparaiso, 35-21, on the road in a rainstorm last Saturday.
• Marist is 0-2 in the PFL this season and 2-4 overall after falling, 17-14, to Butler in its last outing.
• Drake begins the final half of its season with a passing offense that ranks eighth in the nation at 294.4 yards per game. Leading that charge is fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski who ranks eighth nationally in passing.
• Already entrenched as Drake’s all-time leader in career passing yards, Piatkowski needs just two more touchdown passes to become the school record holder in touchdowns thrown.
• Against Valparaiso, Piatkowski threw for 327 yards on 22-of-36 passing with a touchdown. Jacob Schmudlach hauled in 143 of those yards on seven catches.
• Drake has forced seven turnovers in its last two games and ranks eighth nationally with 17 turnovers this season. Of those 17, 10 have resulted in points for Drake while another ended a game.
• Marist features one of the top defenses in the PFL and has allowed a league-low 17.2 points per game and 128.7 rushing yards per game.
• Drake’s own defense trails just slightly at 18.9 points allowed per game and 171.4 passing yards allowed per game, the second lowest mark in the league. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ offense leads the league with 28.3 points per game.
• Linebacker John Hugunin leads the defense with 70 tackles this season, while lineman Brandon Coleman has recorded a team-high nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
A VICTORY would ...

• Make Drake 6-2 this season and 5-0 in PFL action.
• Be Drake’s ninth-straight PFL win and 16th win in its last 19 PFL games.
• Make Drake 4-0 against Marist all-time.
• Be Chris Creighton’s 36th win at Drake and 130th career win.
• Be the program’s 578th all-time victory.
• Make Drake 5-0 in the PFL standings for the second time under Creighton.
• Be Drake’s 14th win in its last 15 home games and make the team 24-4 under head coach Chris Creighton at home.
• Be the team’s 11-straight home PFL win and give the team a 17-2 home PFL record under Creighton.
A loss would ...

• Be Drake’s first PFL loss since Oct. 15, 2011.
• Snap Drake’s PFL winning streak at eight games.
• Be Marist’s first win in the series.
• Be Drake’s first PFL home loss since Nov. 14, 2009.

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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Valparaiso Can't Rain On Drake's Parade: Schmudlach Catches 7 Passes for 143 Yards, Scores One Touchdown In 35-21 Victory That Improves Pioneer League Record To 4-0

Drake's football team overcame rainy conditions and a determined Valparaiso squad Saturday to defeat the Crusaders, 35-21, in a Pioneer Football League game at Valparaiso's Brown Field.
Jacob Schmudlach (Carthage, Ill.) had a career day for the Bulldogs, leading the receiving corps with 143 yards on seven catches and a touchdown on the ground. Despite the soggy conditions, quarterback Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill.) remained accurate, completing 22 of his 36 passes for 327 yards and a touchdown. Trey Morse (Elmo, Texas) led Drake in rushing with 67 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Defensively, Drake (5-2, 4-0 PFL) held strong when needed, limiting the Crusaders’ (0-6, 0-3 PFL) scoring opportunities. Travis Merritt (Johnston, Iowa) paced the defense with 10 tackles while John Hugunin (Oswego, Ill.) added nine stops
Drake set the tone for the game on the opening kickoff as senior Mike Ratelle (Edina, Minn.) returned the kickoff 88 yards to give the Bulldogs the early 7-0 advantage. Ratelle’s touchdown return was the first for the Blue and White since the 2007 season. He also added eight tackles and a sack.
 “It was great to start the game off like that,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “This is a tough place to play and the whole kickoff return team and Mike Ratelle made a great run. That was an awesome start to the game.”
 Although Valpo was within striking distance after recovering a botched snap in the middle of the first quarter, Drake forced a turnover just three plays later with an interception by Jake Underwood (Cary, Ill.) at the Drake 3-yard line. Underwood returned the ball 14 yards and set up the Bulldogs with good field position after drawing a personal foul penalty for a late hit. Piatkowski found Schmudlach on the drive, for 31 and 16 yards, before connecting with T.J. James (Des Moines) for his first touchdown pass of the day on a screen pass from 10 yards out.
 The downpour hindered Drake’s offense early as the pace was slowed by officials replacing wet balls on every down. However, the weather conditions did impact the game again until Drake’s second turnover of the day, a dropped punt return that set up the Crusaders at the Drake 28-yard line.
 “We wanted to play with tempo and that was the No. 1 part of our game plan, to play with tempo and we couldn’t,” Creighton said. “The weather is not an excuse, but of course it impacts the game. Everyone plays in the same conditions so you’ve got to win no matter what and I thought we responded pretty well to the weather.”
 After dropping a pass in the end zone on second down, Valparaiso’s Eric Slenk redeemed himself on fourth down, hauling in a floater to give sophomore quarterback Ben Lehman his first career touchdown pass with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter.
The Drake offense picked up pace in the closing minutes of the first half with Piatkowski leading the Bulldogs on an eight-play, 80-yard drive that concluded with a one-yard touchdown run by Schmudlach to give the Bulldogs a 21-7 halftime lead.
 “I thought Mike [Piatkowski] called a great game,” Creighton said. “He just manages the game and does such a great job with that.”
 Senior Trey Morse (Elmo, Texas) was instrumental on the drive, rushing for 16-yards on four carries, and one reception for nine yards, to set up the Schmudlach touchdown.
 The Crusaders fought back on the opening drive in the second half, however, capitalizing on a penalty that nullified an interception. It looked as if John Bloss (Wheaton, Ill.) had ended Valpo’s scoring threat with an interception at the 11-yard line, but a roughing the passer penalty allowed the drive to continue. The Crusaders used their second chance to cap the 16-play, 69-yard drive with a Ryan Lehr rushing touchdown to pull the Crusaders within one score at 21-14.
 The following Drake drive saw the Bulldogs take advantage of a pass interference call on Valparaiso that extended the Bulldogs drive. After penalties set the offense back 20 yards, Drake elected to keep the offense on the field on 4th-and-22. While Piatkowski’s pass fell incomplete to Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.), the Crusaders were called for pass interference to extend the drive. Drake made the most of the second chance and extended its lead, 28-14, on Piatkowski’s 1-yard sneak with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter.
 Morse put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter, taking a pitch for 29 yards, to extend Drake’s lead, 35-14, with 3:38 remaining in the game. Valparaiso tacked on a score with 2:05 left in the contest on a 23-yard Quinn Schafer reception from Eric Slenk to account for the 35-21 final.
 The Bulldogs return to Drake Stadium next Saturday for another PFL matchup with Marist. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for communications].

Pioneer Football League Standings

San Diego2-1.667105523-3.5001661483-00-3
Morehead State0-3.000691071-5.1671641881-20-3

Drake Runner Brogan Austin Finishes 15th

 Four members of the Drake men’s cross country team competed in the NCAA Pre-National Meet Saturday at Louisville, Ky., with Brogan Austin of Boone leading the Bulldogs with a 15th place finish.
 The 8-kilometer race at Louisville’s E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park serves as a preview of next month’s NCAA Championships at the same venue and features one of the deepest and most talented fields the Bulldogs have seen to date. Drake did not compete as a team in the unseeded Black flight of the meet as the Bulldogs employed a split squad this weekend with the bulk of the team competing at Bradley on Friday.
 “Our guys weren’t thrilled with their times,” Drake coach Dan Hostager said. “But the competitive effort was there and that will help us down the line. It was good to see our guys get some national-level experience. That will serve us well in our upcoming championship meets.”
 Austin turned in time of 24:41.5 for his 15th place showing followed by Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) in 61st at 24:47.7. Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) finished in 25:40.8 to come in 96th while Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontariowas 99th in the 278-runner field at 25:41.3
 “This was a great experience,” Wells said. “It’s not every day you get to run in one of the best meets of the year against some great competition. It was a great learning experience to see what it takes to compete against the top runners in the nation.”
 The Pre-National meet is the Bulldogs’ final meet before the start of the championship season on Oct. 27 with the Missouri Valley Championships in Normal, Ill.
 Pre-National Meet
Drake Results
15. Brogan Austin, 24:41.5
61. Charlie Lapham, 25:47.7
96. Conor Wells, 25:40.8
99. Robert McCann, 25:41.3
[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for communications].

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drake's 'Primetime Preview' Is Oct. 18

Drake basketball fans can catch their first glimpse of the 2012-13 Bulldogs at ‘Primetime Preview’ on Thursday, Oct. 18  at the Knapp Center. In addition to watching both the men’s and women’s teams scrimmage, there will be a variety of other entertainment and contests with Drake students being eligible to win prizes such as an iPad, a flat-screen television  and free burritos for a semester from Qdoba.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with both the men’s and women’s team signing autographs and greeting fans on the upper concourse of the Knapp Center before action on the court starts at 7 p.m. The first 200 fans through the door will receive free chips and queso from Qdoba as well. Season ticket holders can also pick up their season tickets at this time.

At 7 p.m., the attention shifts to the Knapp Center hardwood with contests and the introduction of the women’s team and first-year head coach Jennie Barancyzk. A brief 15-minute scrimmage will follow before the men’s and women’s team square off in a 3-point shootout for fans with two members of each team competing for the 3-point title.

Following the 3-point shootout, selected Drake students will have the opportunity to compete alongside the Bulldogs in the Hot Shot contest with two teams comprised of a Drake player and a student shooting from various locations with corresponding point values on the floor to determine a winner.

Prior to the men’s team scrimmaging to close out the evening, four members of fifth-year coach Mark Phelps’ squad will get airborne in the always popular dunk contest. After the men’s 15-minute spirited scrimmage, Phelps will give his thoughts on the upcoming season and draw the winner of the evening’s grand prize, an iPad.

The women’s team will return to the Knapp Center court on Nov. 2 for an exhibition contest against Quincy while the men’s squad hosts Southwest Baptist the following evening in an exhibition.

Season tickets for the upcoming season are on sale via the Drake athletic ticket office by calling 515-271-DOGS or online at Mini-packs go on sale Oct. 15 and single-game tickets will be available starting Oct. 19.

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