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Strong week for Indiana college football teamsPosted Monday, September 15, 2008, at 3:07 PM
If you're a fan of Indiana college football, not just the Hoosiers mind you, but all college ball played in the state, well there was plenty to puff out your chest about this weekend.
I know, Purdue flamed out down the stretch to cough up a potential victory over a ranked Oregon squad, which could have been a big win for the conference.
However, there were more than enough high points for Hoosier squads to point out around the state.
We'll start with a team that has a local connection and that's the Marian Knights. A team in just its second year of existence on the gridiron, owned exactly one victory coming into this season and promptly got plowed by fifth-ranked Ohio Dominican in its season opener. But Marian rebounded last week for a 28-14 win over visiting William Penn before winning its first game over a ranked opponent on Saturday.
Marian visited Lebanon, Ill. and came away with a confidence building 28-21 win over No. 25 ranked McKendree.
The Knights local connection includes former Northview Knights, Dayne Upperman, Matt Crooks and Jered Timm.
Shifting down the road to Greencastle's DePauw Tigers, which were 52-17 winners in its season opener.
The Tigers, receiving votes just outside the top-25, scored 45 unanswered points in the second and third quarters after falling behind 10-0 to visiting Anderson.
Of note to Wabash Valley fans is that former Terre Haute South signal caller Michael Engle got some quality time in the game, completing 3-of-5 passes for 39 yards in relief of starter Spud Dick.
Former North Putnam standout, Brayden Dahlstrom, caught three passes for 17 yards and returned three kicks for a total of 62 yards in the victory.
The Cougars as well as the Wabash Valley are well represented at Franklin as well.
Trent Dahlstrom is a senior defensive back, who has two picks already in just two games for the Grizzlies.
Franklin downed Butler 31-28 on Saturday and moved up to 17th in Division III rankings this week. Also represented on the roster is senior Pat Hancewicz, formerly of Terre Haute North, Shane Diebold, another former North Putnam Cougar, Brandon Mescall, who punted for Cloverdale and Shawn Hines, who was a lineman for the Patriots.
Jumping back down to our backyard, it still appears that Indiana State is in for a long season after a 38-3 loss over the weekend, but the gap appears to be shrinking a bit. The Sycamores are just so young and inexperienced in Trent Miles' system that it will likely be another couple of years before fans might expect our share of victories. Hopefully former Northview Knight quarterback Broc Miller will still be a part of a program that is making a slow climb towards respectability.
Two Indiana squads that have much to gain from their game's this weekend actually face each other.
The Indiana Hoosiers take on Ball State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Bloomington. Perhaps most remarkably is that both teams are unbeaten and could take a big step towards another bowl appearance with a win.
Though IU's multi-talented quarterback, Kellen Lewis, might be a bit more widely known, the Cardinals have a pretty good QB of their own in Nate Davis.
In a 41-24 win against Akron this weekend, Davis completed 24-of-36 passes for 300 yards while running back MiQuale Lewis piled up 154 yards on the ground.
For the season, Davis has completed 75 percent of his passes for the 3-0 Cardinals. He's also averaging over 300 passing yards per game with nine touchdowns and just three picks. His favorite target has been Dante Love, who has averaged more than eight catches and 144 yards receiving per game.
Notre Dame showed that it might be on its way back to respectability by slipping by a sliding Michigan squad, who still seems to be fighting the switch to Rich Rodriguez' spread offense.
Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis' comments after the game were pretty priceless after he told reporters he felt like an athlete for the first time in his life after he tore both his MCL and ACL in his knee after one of his own players was blocked into him during the sideline. If you can find anyone that saw the replay of that injury who didn't cringe and think of Joe Theisman's fateful meeting with Lawrence Taylor, than I'll eat my hat. At least Weis can call up Tom Brady and the pair can cry on each others' shoulders while rehabbing the same injury.
And in our backyards, I can't help but say congrats to our Northview Knights after scoring a convincing win over Sullivan that should provide us with some much needed confidence. Lets hope that the win is the first of many for these kids who've worked pretty hard all year to get ready for the season.
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