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GAME PREVIEW: Maranatha @ Wisconsin Lutheran

Maranatha (1-6)
vs.
Wisconsin Lutheran (2-5)

Game No. 8 | Saturday, November 2, 2013 | 1 p.m.
Raabe Stadium (2,500) | Milwaukee, Wis.

Live Audio | Live Stats | Directions to Raabe Stadium

MILWAUKEE – Following a heartbreaking 34-28 overtime loss at Benedictine last Saturday, the Wisconsin Lutheran College football team welcomes former conference foe Maranatha to Raabe Stadium Saturday. This is the eighth meeting between the two schools, with WLC winning the previous seven matchups.

WARRIORS ON THE WEB: Nine of 10 Warriors football games will be webcast live on wlcsports.com with the pregame show beginning 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Scott Warras (play-by-play) and Sam Siemers (color analyst) will call the action from the booth all season long. All games, which are archived back to the 2002 season, are accessible to listeners at wlcsports.com.

RUNNING DOWN A RECORD: Running back Mike Reeves has eight rushing touchdowns this season, tied for second-most in a season in school history with Matt Kehl in 2004. Reeves has three games left to try to break Kehl's record of 10 rushing touchdowns in 2005. Reeves has nine total touchdowns (one receiving) and will try to top the record of 11 held by both Kehl (2005) and receiver Josh Stodola (2012).

SERIES HISTORY: Saturday's showdown marks the eighth all-time meeting between Wisconsin Lutheran and Maranatha, with the Warriors taking the first seven meetings in the series. Prior to their first-ever meeting as conference opponents in 2008, Wisconsin Lutheran and Maranatha faced off in 2000 and 2001 as non-conference foes. WLC has shutout Maranatha in each of the last two meetings and is outscoring the Crusaders by an average of 39.6 to 7.6 in the series.

10/27/12 – WLC 48, @ Maranatha 0
10/01/11 - @ WLC 61, Maranatha 0
10/02/10 - WLC 40, @ Maranatha 7
11/14/09 - @ WLC 49, Maranatha 6
11/15/08 - WLC 35, @ Maranatha 20
11/03/01 - WLC 18, @ Maranatha 13
11/04/00 - @ WLC 26, Maranatha 7

LAST MEETING: The Warriors cruised to a 48-0 victory over the Crusaders last October 27. WLC outgained Maranatha 550 yards to 57. Donavin Tucker piled up 82 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown on six carries and added a receiving touchdown. Caleb Wolf made four grabs for 75 yards. Drew Dyrssen entered the game as a backup quarterback and was 5-for-8 for 45 yards. Jestin Heimbruch made an interception and recovered a fumble as the Warriors forced six turnovers.

ROAMING THE SIDELINES: Wisconsin Lutheran is guided by first-year head coach Ben Murphy, the second head coach in WLC football history. Murphy takes over for Dr. Dennis Miller, who coached the program for its first 13 years before his retirement following the 2012 season. Miller compiled a 47-82 record in 13 seasons at WLC. Murphy spent the previous five seasons as the Warriors defensive coordinator. The Warriors defense ranked in the top three in the NACC in all five of Murphy's seasons as coordinator, including ranking first in the conference in 2012 and 2009. The WLC defense led NCAA Division III in pass defense a season ago and ranked in the top 10 in total defense, pass efficiency defense, and scoring defense. Murphy was a four-year starter (2001-2004) on the defensive line for WLC and was a two-time All-MIAA selection. Prior to coaching the Warriors, Murphy was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Division II Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.

ACROSS THE FIELD: Andy Petersen is in his third season as head coach of the Crusaders football program. Petersen, who served as the associate head coach in 2010 before being named head coach in 2011, owns a 4-23 record as Maranatha's head coach.

2012 WARRIORS FLASHBACK: The Warriors had their best season in school history, going 7-3 a season ago. Each Warriors win was by 10 points or more as they had two shutout wins. WLC had a balanced attack that averaged 26.6 points per game and 357 yards of total offense per game (176 rushing, 181 passing). The defense surrendered just 13 points per game and 232 yards per contest (109 rushing, 123 passing). Wisconsin Lutheran has finished 5-2 in conference play each of the last two seasons, finishing third in the NACC both times.

Sept. 1

at Ripon

W, 31-0

Sept. 8

Olivet

W, 38-14

Sept. 15

Adrian

L, 31-23

Sept. 29

Lakeland*

W, 27-17

Oct. 6

at Concordia Chicago*

L, 21-9

Oct. 13

at Aurora*

W, 28-14

Oct. 20

Benedictine*

W, 14-2

Oct. 27

at Maranatha*

W, 48-0

Nov. 3

Rockford*

W, 34-14

Nov. 10

at Concordia Wisconsin*

L, 17-14

2012 CRUSADERS FLASHBACK: Maranatha was 0-10 last season and 0-7 in NACC play as they finished in last place in the eight-team conference.

Sep. 1 

Martin Luther 

L, 36-12

Sept. 8

at Trinity Bible

L, 31-20

Sept. 15

at Macalester

L, 49-6

Sept. 29

Aurora*

L, 55-14

Oct. 6

at Concordia Wisconsin*

L, 55-8

Oct. 13

Lakeland*

L, 32-7

Oct. 20

at Rockford*

L, 34-14

Oct. 27

Wisconsin Lutheran*

L, 48-0

Nov. 3

at Benedictine*

L, 34-6

Nov. 10

Concordia Chicago*

L, 62-26

WISCONSIN LUTHERAN UPDATE: The Warriors saw a 20-0 halftime lead disappear in a stunning 34-28 overtime loss at Benedictine last Saturday. Mike Reeves ran in a 26-yard touchdown and Drew Dyrssen fired touchdown passes to Eli Campbell and Teontae Morgan in the first half. Mistakes plagued the Warriors in the second half, as a fumbled punt return led to a BenU touchdown and the Eagles blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-14 in the third quarter. A bad snap on offense by WLC was recovered by Benedictine in the end zone as the Eagles took the lead in the fourth quarter. Reeves answered with a go-ahead touchdown run before Benedictine tied it on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Kyle Schultz executed a sneak into the end zone to give the Eagles the decisive points in overtime as the Eagles stopped the Warriors on the final possession.

Dyrssen finished 24-for-41 with 260 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Reeves piled up 151 yards on 26 carries with two scores. Mitch Skarban led the Warriors with 79 yards on six catches and Campbell made five grabs for 65 yards and a touchdown. Jestin Heimbruch led the Warriors defense with 11 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack, and a pass breakup. 

Dyrssen has completed 49 percent of his passes for 1,458 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Reeves has rushed for 531 yards (4.9 per carry) and eight touchdowns. Skarban is the Warriors leading receiver with 28 catches for 463 yards and two touchdowns. Heimbruch has anchored the WLC defense with 56 tackles, nine for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.  

WLC has averaged 24.7 points per game on 381 yards per game offensively (234 passing, 147 rushing). Defensively, WLC has allowed 26 points per game on 397 yards per game (236 passing, 161 rushing).

Sept. 7

Ripon

L, 31-24

Sept. 14

at Olivet

L, 14-10

Sept. 21

at Hope

L, 37-7

Oct. 5

at Lakeland*

L, 40-34 (OT)

Oct. 12

Concordia Chicago*

W, 49-13

Oct. 19

Aurora*

W, 21-13

Oct. 26

at Benedictine*

L, 34-28 (OT)

Nov. 2

Maranatha

1 p.m.

Nov. 9

at Rockford*

12 p.m.

Nov. 16

Concordia Wisconsin*

1 p.m.

SCOUTING MARANATHA: The Crusaders are coming off of a 34-13 loss at home against Rockford last Saturday. Quarterback Brandon McCormick was 13-for-28 with 177 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan De Lay led Maranatha with five grabs for 89 yards and caught both touchdown passes. Clint Saxon gained 141 yards on 21 carries. Ethan Kennon led the Crusaders defense with 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble.  

McCormick has completed 54 percent of his passes for 1,396 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Saxon has 293 rushing yards (4.2 per carry) and a touchdown while Josiah Brendemuehl has 183 yards (3.9 per carry) and three touchdowns. De Lay has made 38 catches for 544 yards and five touchdowns. Kennon leads the defense with 104 tackles.

The Crusaders are averaging 23.4 points per game on 329 yards (225 passing, 104 rushing) while giving up 52.1 points per game on 485 yards (247 rushing, 148 passing).

Sept. 7

at Martin Luther

W, 56-54

Sept. 14

Trinity

L, 38-20

Sept. 21

Macalester

L, 30-6

Oct. 5

at Aurora

L, 84-41

Oct. 12

Concordia Wisconsin

L, 70-14

Oct. 19

at Lakeland

L, 55-14

Oct. 26

Rockford

L, 34-13

Nov. 2

at Wisconsin Lutheran

1 p.m.

Nov. 9

Benedictine

12 p.m.

Nov. 16

at Concordia Chicago

12 p.m.

NACC LEADERS: Wisconsin Lutheran is second in the NACC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 26 points per game  … They are third in the conference in total defense at 396.6 yards per game … Tied for the NACC lead with 18 sacks … Mike Reeves ranks fourth in the conference with 531 rushing yards and is tied for third with eight rushing touchdowns… Jestin Heimbruch is third in the league with 56 tackles … Luke Sebald is tied for the NACC lead with 4.5 sacks.

IN THE POLLS: Wisconsin Lutheran garnered three first-place votes in the 2013 NACC Preseason Poll and was picked to finish second by the league's head coaches and sports information directors with 85 poll points. Concordia Wisconsin gained 90 points and 10 first-place votes as the Falcons were predicted to win the league.

2013 NACC PRESEASON POLL:
1. Concordia Wisconsin (10), 90
2. Wisconsin Lutheran (3), 85
3. Aurora (1), 66
4. Benedictine, 53
5. Concordia Chicago, 49
6. Lakeland, 31
7. Rockford, 18

NEXT WEEK: Wisconsin Lutheran will play a NACC game at Rockford (1-6, 0-3 NACC) next Saturday at 1 p.m. Maranatha hosts Benedictine (5-2, 3-1 NACC) at Noon. Rockford hosts first-place Concordia Wisconsin (5-2, 3-0 NACC) Saturday at Noon.

LAST WEEK'S NACC RESULTS:
Rockford 34, Maranatha 13
Aurora 47, Concordia Chicago 33
Benedictine 34, Wisconsin Lutheran 28 (OT)
Concordia Wisconsin 45, Lakeland 28 

THIS WEEK'S NACC GAMES:
Concordia Wisconsin @ Rockford, 12 p.m.
Benedictine @ Concordia Chicago, 12 p.m.
Maranatha @ Wisconsin Lutheran, 1 p.m.
Aurora @ Lakeland, 1 p.m. 

NEXT WEEK'S NACC GAMES:
Wisconsin Lutheran @ Rockford, 12 p.m.
Concordia Chicago @ Lakeland, 12 p.m.
Aurora @ Concordia Wisconsin, 12 p.m.
Benedictine @ Maranatha, 12 p.m. 

2013 STANDINGS

NACC

OVERALL

Concordia Wisconsin

3-0

5-2

Benedictine

3-1

5-2

Lakeland

2-1

4-3

Wisconsin Lutheran

2-2

2-5

Aurora

1-2

2-5

Concordia Chicago

1-3

1-6

Rockford

0-3

1-6

 

Wisconsin lutheran college

8800 West Bluemound Road

Milwaukee, WI 53226

414.443.8800