First Place Drake Travels to Butler Saturday in Key PFL Road Game

first_imgStory Links Live Stats Scouting ButlerButler is coming off a hard-breaking 30-27 loss at Stetson in its PFL opener. The Hatters kicked a game-winning 27-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. It was a back-and-forth game with four ties and neither team led by more than seven points. Drake has won three-straight over Butler in the series that started in 1932 with the teams playing again the next year. The matchup of the Bulldogs then took a 60-year break until the formation of the PFL in 1993 and the teams have met every year since. Drake Game Notes INDIANAPOLIS – The Drake University football team continues Pioneer Football League play Saturday at Butler. Drake (2-3, 2-0 PFL) and Butler (1-4, 0-1 PFL) will kick off at 12 p.m. CDT. The PFL contest will be broadcast on YouTube, on the radio dial at 1350 ESPN Des Moines and online via TuneIn. TuneIn YouTube TV Butler Game notes Scouting DrakeDrake begins a new era in 2019 under the leadership of first-year head coach Todd Stepsis. Stepsis, who is the 27th head coach in Drake football history in its 126 seasons. Stepsis takes the reins of the Bulldogs’ program after serving as the program’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons under previous head coach Rick Fox. As the defensive coordinator, Stepsis, built the Drake defense into one of the nation’s top units and coached a total of 42 all-conference selections including the program’s all-time leading tackler, John Hugunin and the most recent Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, Nathan Clayberg. The Bulldogs’ defense turned in an outstanding performance, limiting the Crusaders to 66 yards passing and 65 yards rushing. Collin Seymour (Peosta, Iowa) and Will Warner (Pella, Iowa) each intercepted a pass, and Drake’s defensive line got home for three sacks. Of Valpo’s 13 drives, seven ended in three-and-outs and two culminated in turnovers with Valpo’s only points coming from a pair of field goals. RewindDrake is coming off a dominant 35-6 home victory over Valparaiso, winning its 16th consecutive over the Crusaders to stay in sole possession of first place in the PFL standings. Quarterback Ian Corwin (Tulsa, Okla.), who last week was named the FCS Stats National Freshman of the Week, continued his strong form by completing 13-of-20 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs, Drew Lauer (St. Peters, Mo.) and Caden Meis (Parker, Colo.) spearheaded Drake’s rushing attack, combining for 167 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns. The Bulldogs scored all 35 of their points in a span of 20 minutes and 24 seconds between the second and third quarters. With Saturday’s result, Drake has outscored its opponents 76-23 through two PFL games. Following Saturday’s road game, Drake will enjoy its final bye week before Morehead State visits Drake Stadium Oct. 26. Drake is picked to finish third in the 2019 Pioneer Football League Coaches Preseason Poll as it returns eight All-PFL performers. Four of those PFL selections return on defense in defensive linemen, Gavin Dineen and Erin Morgan, linebacker Zac Rujawitz and safety Will Warner. The quartet were part of last season’s unit that ranked in the top 15 in nearly every defensive statistical category. Warner had an outstanding junior season that was capped by being named Drake’s first first-team All-American since Eric Saubert in 2015 and the Bulldogs’ first Associated Press first-team All-American since 1982. Individually, Warner was second in the nation in interceptions with eight to also tie the Drake program record. He also led the nation in interception return yardage at 223 total yards. Outside of his interceptions, Warner was second on the team in solo tackles with 41 and successfully defended a total of 12 passes. Dinnen was a 2018 All-PFL First Team selection who recorded 3.0 sacks and 38 tackles. Morgan was selected to the 2018 All-PFL Second Team after he tallied 3.5 sacks, 8.0 tackles for loss and 21 tackles at defensive end. Rujawitz started all 11 games and is the top returning tackler with 54, including 22 solo stops. On the other side of the football, Drake will have a new quarterback under center in true freshman Ian Corwin. Corwin comes to Drake after a decorated prep career for Jenks High School in Tulsa, Okla. At Jenks, Corwin broke 15 school records, went 29-8 in three seasons as the starter and helped Jenks finish as state runners-up in 2018. Corwin will play behind an experienced offensive line and will have help from the Bulldogs’ top three leading rushers and receivers from last season. Corwin’s top three receiving targets, Devin Cates, Steven Doran and Mitch McFarlane combined for 1,865 receiving yards and 21 receiving touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ top three returning rushers, Braeden Hartwig, Drew Lauer and Cross Robinson ran for 935 combined yards and seven touchdowns. Also, back is senior punter Ross Kennedy. Kennedy was an All-PFL honorable mention selection last season. He recorded 52 punts for an average of 37.3 yards, including a season-long 57-yarder against Montana. Kennedy placed 17 punts inside the 20-yard line and didn’t kick a touchback all year. He finished the season No. 93 among FCS punters with his average of 37.3 yards per punt. Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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