William Penn Football Game Notes: Week Nine: Peru State‏

William Penn University Athletics

Oskaloosa–To keep its playoff hopes alive, the Penn football team needs to start a three-game winning streak Saturday as it hosts Peru State (Neb.) in non-conference action.

#15 nationally-ranked Penn (7-1) hosts the Bobcats (3-5) in Oskaloosa Community Stadium at 1 p.m.

STATESMEN ON THE RADIO/TV: Every WPU football game can be heard live on KBOE 740 AM and also accessed on the World Wide Web at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wpu.portal#

Mahaska Communication Group (MCG) will also provide television coverage for all home games on its cable network.

SERIES HISTORY: Penn is 0-1 all-time in its series with Peru State, falling in last year’s meeting 20-12.

The Statesmen roared out to a 12-0 lead after the first quarter, but gave up 20 unanswered in the loss.

Penn committed four turnovers to just two for the Bobcats and the final mistake resulted in Peru State’s last score midway through the fourth quarter.

Ryan Van Dalen rushed for 129 yards, while Corey Ketchum (Jr., El Dorado Springs, Mo., El Dorado Springs HS) had 63 yards on two carries, including the day’s first score, a 66-yard scamper.

2009     Peru State         20-12

SEEKING DOUBLE DIGITS: Although the dream of a perfect season has been thwarted, Penn can still get to double figures in victories if they win out.

It would be just the second time in school history that the program has met that mark, also doing so in 1975 when Penn finished the regular season 10-0 and made its lone playoff appearance.

PENN RANKED IN NAIA & VSN POLLS: The Statesmen’s loss to McKendree somewhat damaged their postseason hopes.  Penn fell four positions to #15.

The Statesmen fell nine spots to #19 in Victory Sports Network’s unofficial poll.

DOING WHAT THEY DO WELL: Penn is ranked high statistically in the NAIA with a potent running attack and an equally strong run defense.

Penn tops the NAIA in total rushing yards (3,109) and rushing yards per game (388.6).

The Statesmen’s 334 total points (eighth) and 41.8 average (tenth) are strong amongst the division, while their tally of 476.1 total yards per game is sixth.

Miscellaneously, the Statesmen are tops in the NAIA with just two sacks allowed (0.3 per game).

Individually, Taylor Parsons (Fr., The Woodlands, Texas, College Park HS) and his 90 points (15 rushing TDs) put him third on the NAIA’s list.  His 11.3 point average is sixth.

WPU/PSC IN PRESEASON POLLS: Penn was picked to finish fourth out of eight teams in the MSFA’s Midwest League, while Peru State does not have a preseason poll as an independent program.

COACHES: Todd Hafner is in his seventh year as head football coach at Penn, entering the campaign with a 33-34 career record.

Hafner led his 2009 squad to a 7-5 record, including a 5-2 Midwest League mark. The team has now had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1975 and 1976.

The 2008 Midwest League Coach of the Year also guided Penn to the program’s first winning season in 29 years in 2005 when the team was 6-5.  Over his six years, Hafner has produced 74 all-conference players and nine All-Americans.

Prior to his career at 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.

Terry Clark is in his ninth season as head football coach at Peru State, owning a 35-50 record entering this campaign.

A member of the 1990 NAIA National Championship team, Clark returned to Peru State in 2000 to serve as the defensive coordinator.

He then spent the 2001 campaign as defensive coordinator at Dakota State (S.D.) before coming back to PSC in 2002 to become the head coach.

Clark also has collegiate coaching experience at Mary (N.D.) and prep experience at Auburn HS in 1991.

Clark earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and social and behavioral science from Mary in 1996 and completed his master’s degree in education from Peru State in 2006.

THE STATESMEN LAST WEEK: Penn fell for the first time in nearly a year in a 24-14 setback to then-#16 McKendree.

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

Parsons passed for a season-high 180 yards and a TD, while P.J. Perry rushed for 69 yards and a score.

Bernard Luster (Sr., Corinth, Miss., Northeast Mississippi CC) caught seven passes for 126 yards, including hauling in a 72-yard score on just the second play of the game.

After the Parson-Luster score, McKendree went on to score all 24 of its points unanswered before Penn cut the lead to ten late in the third.  Neither team scored from that juncture.

Penn’s last loss came at the hands of Peru State last Halloween.

PERU STATE LAST WEEK: The Bobcats held off NCAA Division II Lincoln for a 41-33 win.

Nate Moore led Peru State with 109 yards and two scores on just 12 rushes.  TJ Bickford added another 76 yards.

Jake Mertens led the defense with 12 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and one forced fumble.

Peru State owned a 408-278 advantage in total yards.

STATESMEN TOP PLAYERS: Parsons leads the Penn offense with 723 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns (143 carries), while Shawn Davis (Fr., Hamersville, Ohio, Western Brown HS) has 101 runs for 695 ground yards and nine scores.

Five other players are also over the century mark in rushing.

With such a potent running attack, the passing game has taken a back seat with Parsons completing 39-of-77 passes for 700 yards and five TDs.

Luster has quietly had a nice season with team highs in receptions (22), receiving yards (385), and touchdowns (3).

Defensively, Javaras Thomas (Sr., Miami, Fla., Miami Beach HS) heads Penn with 40 stops. The trio of Thomas, Jacob Batterson (Fr., Eddyville, Eddyville-Blakesburg HS), and Rushawn Stewart (Jr., Houston, Texas, Eisenhower HS) all have two interceptions each, while Reggie Franco (Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah, Skyline HS) has 4.5 sacks.  Damon Harrison (Jr., Lake Charles, La., Lake Charles Boston HS) leads all players with seven tackles for loss.

Marcus Kerrigan (Fr., Cary, Ill., Cary-Grove HS) headlines the kicking effort as he is 28-for-33 in extra points and 3-for-5 in field goals.  Penn is utilizing two punters, Kerrigan and Jason Johnson (Fr., Geneseo, Ill., Geneseo HS).  Johnson has punted 17 times for a 40.0 yard average, while Kerrigan has kicked ten times for a clip of 36.5 yards.

Andrew Harris (Sr., Horn Lake, Miss., Northwest Mississippi CC) tops the kickoff return group with a 19.8 yard average on 11 attempts, while DeMarco Sanders (Jr., Horn Lake, Miss., Horn Lake HS) owns a 12.6 yard mark on five punt returns.  Sanders actually has the best kick return average (23.0) but on just seven attempts.

PERU STATE TOP PLAYERS: The Bobcats bring a balanced attack to the field, highlighted by 1,490 passing yards by quarterback Curtis Thompson.  He has completed 108-of-212 passes for 13 touchdowns.

Joel Woodhead is tops in the rushing game with 371 yards, while Moore has added 346 yards and a team-best four scores.  Two others are also over 100 yards this fall.

Quentin Edelman has had a monster 2010 campaign with 35 receptions for 599 yards and seven TDs.  Lance Steffen (20 rec., 298, five TDs) and Cole Gottula (18 rec., 352 yards, one TD) have been strong in the passing game as well.

Mertens heads the defensive side of the ball with 62 tackles, 11.5 stops for loss, and four sacks.  Ted Rigby and Fred Whitted Jr. have both intercepted three passes.

Levi Cockle has has done well in the kicking game, going 18-of-22 in extra points and a perfect five-of-five in field goals.  Parker Sexton has been busy punting, kicking the ball 47 times for an average of 31.8 yards.

Zach Gewinner has taken ten kickoffs back for an average of 18.2 yards, while Edelman has five punt returns for an average of 11.4 yards.


On McKendree Game:

“It was one of those games that we felt we had a great chance to win, but when you turn the ball over you limit your opportunities.  In the end, we just didn’t give ourselves enough opportunities to win.”

On Peru State:

“We found out last year what Peru State is all about.  They bring a lot of emotion and toughness from start to finish and are well-coached.  If we don’t match their intensity, we will have a tough time like last year.”

On Week After First Loss:

“In general, we had a good week of practice.  We have a lot to play for and with a large group of upperclassmen, they have high goals and want to do something this year.  They have led us with a high intensity this week.”

Story by Wade Steinlage

Posted by on Oct 28 2010. Filed under Sports and Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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