Football Game Notes: Week Five: McKendree

William Penn University Athletics

Oskaloosa–Revenge and the retention of a perfect record are all the motivation the William Penn football program needs as it enters this Saturday’s matchup with McKendree.

#5 William Penn (4-0, 2-0 MWL) hosts McKendree (0-2) in Lacey Complex Stadium at 1 p.m. Since McKendree is in transition to NCAA Division II, the contest is non-conference and does not figure into the Midwest League standings.

STATESMEN BROADCASTING: Every William Penn football game can be followed through several different mediums.

Radio (all games): Heard live on KBOE 740 AM or 104.9 FM
Internet (home games): Viewed and heard live at
TV (home games): Viewed and heard live on Mahaska Communication Group’s local channel
Internet (away games): Heard live at

SERIES HISTORY: William Penn is 1-9 all-time in its series with McKendree, with its lone win coming in 2008 (17-14).

The Statesmen fell 24-14 last fall for its only setback of 2010.

William Penn outgained the Bearcats 462-322, but could not overcome four turnovers, including three in McKendree territory.

Taylor Parsons (So., The Woodlands, Texas, College Park HS) passed for a season-high 180 yards and a TD, while P.J. Perry (Sr., Orlando, Fla., East Ridge HS) rushed for 69 yards and a score.

Bernard Luster caught seven passes for 126 yards, including hauling in a 72-yard score on just the second play of the game.

The Bearcats then scored 24 unanswered to pull away.

2001–McKendree, 27-7
2002–McKendree, 10-0
2003–McKendree, 42-23
2004–McKendree, 30-23
2005–McKendree, 12-6
2006–McKendree, 42-7
2007–McKendree, 37-0
2008–William Penn, 17-14
2009–McKendree, 24-14
2010–McKendree, 24-14

WILLIAM PENN PROFILE: Todd Hafner is in his eighth year as head football coach at William Penn, entering the campaign with a 43-35 career record.

Hafner guided William Penn to its fifth league crown in 2010 and its first since 1976. The team finished 10-1, tying the school record for wins, and also broke NAIA single-season marks for total rushing yards and yards per attempt. Numerous other school marks were set in 2010.

The 2008 and 2010 Midwest League Coach of the Year, Hafner was also the recipient of the VSN NAIA Coach of the Year and the NFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year honors. As skipper, he has produced 98 all-conference players and 12 All-Americans.

Prior to his career at William Penn, Hafner had coaching stops at Carl Junction HS, Southwest Baptist University, Emporia State University, and Pittsburg State University (student coach).

Hafner graduated from Pittsburg State in 1994 with a degree in mathematics.

Last week, William Penn remained perfect with a 68-10 victory over Waldorf in MWL play.

Parsons accounted for 88 rushing yards and two scores and also completed five-of-nine passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He was named MWL Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.

Shawn Davis (So., Hamersville, Ohio, Western Brown HS) outgained Parsons with 92 yards, while seven other players reached double figures in rushing yards as well.

The Statesmen outgained the Warriors 565-125.

For the year, William Penn averages 481.5 yards per game, including 415.8 rushing and 65.8 passing.

Davis leads the Statesmen offense with 396 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Parsons has an additional 317 yards and seven scores.

Four other individuals have also eclipsed the century mark in rushing.

Due to the powerful running attack, Parsons has not been asked to throw the pigskin much. The sophomore is 13-of-30 for 241 yards and four TDs.

Parsons has spread the ball around to six different receivers with Chris Crawford (Jr., Muskegon, Mich., Grand Valley State) and Derek McIntyre (Sr., Eddyville, Iowa Central CC) each having four receptions, while DeMarco Sanders (Sr., Horn Lake, Miss., Horn Lake HS) leads the corps with 73 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Statesmen are giving up an average of 184.5 yards, including 115.0 passing and 69.5 rushing.

Rushawn Stewart (Sr., Houston, Texas, Eisenhower HS) is the top tackler for the navy and gold with 30 stops. Travis Provo (So., Leesville, La., Leesville HS) has recorded three sacks and Andrew Reed (So., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS) and Joseph Frye (Fr., Detroit, Mich., Highland Park HS) have two interceptions apiece.

Marcus Kerrigan (So., Cary, Ill., Cary-Grove HS) is nearly perfect at 25-for-26 in extra points and 3-for-6 in field goals. The team utilizes two punters, Kerrigan and Jason Johnson (So., Geneseo, Ill., Geneseo HS). Johnson has punted three times for a 41.0 yard average, while Kerrigan has kicked seven times for a clip of 35.6 yards.

Sanders is topping the kick return game with three returns for a 23.7 average. The team has not returned many punts either with Crawford taking six back for a clip of 17.0 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown.

William Penn is picked to win the Midwest League, the first time it has been chosen as the favorite since joining the MSFA in 2002.

MCKENDREE PROFILE: Carl Poelker is in his 16th season as head football coach at McKendree, owning a 112-46 record entering this fall.

He is 200-85-1 overall in 29 years of coaching at the college level. Poelker has led McKendree to seven Midwest League titles and nine playoff appearances. In their 13 years as a member of the MSFA, the Bearcats have the best winning percentage of any Midwest League team.

Poelker came to McKendree from Millikin where he was the head coach for 14 years. He graduated from Millikin in 1968.

The Bearcats stayed winless in a 33-7 loss to #2 St. Francis (Ind.) last Saturday.

McKendree was held to just 218 yards and committed three turnovers (all interceptions) in the loss.

Chris Montgomery tallied 57 yards on the ground.

For the year, the McKendree offense is tallying 338.5 yards per game, including 178.0 passing and 160.5 rushing.

Quarterback Austin Fisher leads the Bearcats through the air, completing 33-of-68 passes for 343 yards and three TDs.

Myron Hicks has been one of his top targets with eight receptions for 82 yards and a score, while Jacob Strausbaugh has six grabs for 63 yards and two scores.

Defensively, McKendree gives up 340.5 yards per contest, including 212.5 passing and 128.0 rushing.

Brandon Nigro has tallied 28 tackles and two sacks, while Cameron Ford has one-and-a-half sacks. Jason Rejfek and Michael Romshek both have intercepted a pass.

Josh Pruitt is perfect in the kicking game, making all four extra points and both field goals. He is also the team’s punter, kicking 12 times for an average of 40.9 yards.

Richard Bailey is the team’s primary returner, taking five kickoffs back for an average of 16.8 yards and three punts for a clip of 21.3 yards.

COACH HAFNER SAYS: On Waldorf Game: “I thought our kids played well last Saturday. There are some areas that we need to address, especially in the special teams area, but we will take care of that this week. We played hard and our young players came in the game and really executed well.”

On McKendree: “This will be the biggest test we have faced to date. They will come in and play extremely hard and be well coached. Although this is not a conference game, the atmosphere on the field will be similar to that of a conference championship game. We look forward to having a nice crowd and to playing at a very high level.”

WILLIAM PENN RATED IN NAIA & VSN POLLS: The Statesmen continue to be one of the nation’s hottest teams. William Penn is #5 in the NAIA’s first ranking and #8 in VSN’s preseason poll.

STATESMEN HIGH IN NAIA STAT RANKINGS: William Penn ranks very high in numerous NAIA statistical categories.

The navy and gold are the best in the nation in total rushing yards (1,663) and rushing yards per game (415.8). With four games under its belt, the squad is also first in total points (190) and total offense (1,926), fifth in scoring per game (47.5), and sixth in total yards per game (481.5).

Defensively, the Statesmen are ranked third in points allowed per game (7.5) and sacks (11). William Penn is fourth in total yards allowed per game (184.5), including being seventh in passing yards per game (115.0) and tenth in rushing yards per game (69.5).

Individually, Kerrigan is second in scoring (kicking) with 34 points, while Davis is third in rushing (396) and Parsons is third in scoring (42). Provo ranks seventh with three sacks and Crawford is seventh with a 17.0 punt return average. Frye and Reed are tenth in total interceptions (2).



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