In a game that had two weather delays in the first half, both lasting an hour, Valpo football blew out the Marist Red Foxes 49-15. Players and spectators for both teams had to deal with the severe weather conditions as rain, strong winds and lightning surrounded the Valpo area on Saturday. Brown Field had to be evacuated twice because of lighting in the area.
Despite issues with the weather, Valpo pushed through and won the game.
“It was as satisfying of a victory that I’ve had in my tenure as a football coach [for Valpo],” said Dave Cecchini, head coach. “It was just an incredible performance against a team who’s very talented.”
The two delays and evacuations made it hard for players to stay loose throughout the day, and the slippery ball made it difficult for both teams’ offenses. On top of that, the game lasted about six hours due to the lengthy weather delays, even though halftime was shortened to three minutes instead of the normal 20 minutes. Cecchini noted that his players had their pads on at 11 a.m., and the game ended around 7 p.m.
“It was tough to come back [into the locker room] during the delays and try to stay warm, keep your arm loose,” said Jimmy Seewald, quarterback. “Once we got back out there, it was back to work.”
Seewald threw three touchdown passes for Valpo, including a 70-yard pass to wide receiver Parker Fox, putting Valpo on the board in the first quarter. Running backs Cody Boxrucker and Jarrett Morgan each rushed into the end zone for Valpo touchdowns.
Not only were the conditions tough for the offense, but special teams as well.
Regarding the issues with the weather, punter Alex Ng focused on making the best of the situation.
“Coach always talks about that it’s 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent what you respond to,” Ng said. “We just tried to do our part and control what we could control.”
There were a couple of times during the second half when the ball was soaking wet that Ng had to take a high snap and punt before the Marist defense could get to him. Yet, the coaches prepared the team through wet ball drills during practices.
“During practice we would just use the water fountains and get the balls wet so we’re prepared for games [with rain],” Ng said.
The Valpo defense also had a good game with five interceptions, including one from defensive back Dilan Scargle. Scargle also had a fumble recovery in the end zone, which gave Valpo a touchdown.
“On the fumble recovery, I was in the right place at the right time, scooped it up and scored,” Scargle said. “And on the pick, I was again at the right place at the right time and caught the ball.”
On the pick off, Scargle said he almost made the mistake of sliding with 11 minutes left instead of running after he made the catch.
Despite the extra challenges due to the rain, Valpo was able to adapt to the situation and turned the game into a success.
The Crusaders will have their bye week before returning to the field at home against Morehead State on Saturday, Oct. 28 for Family Weekend. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Brown Field.