Valparaiso, Ind. - The USD Toreros (2-1, 1-0 PFL), coming off a bye week, shook off a slow start to earn an impressive 38-6 victory over the Valparaiso Crusaders before 3,183 homecoming fans at Brown Field. For the second straight game, redshirt freshman QB Anthony Lawrence tossed four touchdowns. He overcame a rough start to finish 21-28 for 214 yards. The Torero defense held the Crusaders in check most of the game limiting them to just two field goals.
"To win one on the road, that's the big thing," USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey said. "You're expected to win at home, but you've got to win on the road if you want to be a championship team."
USD's first three possessions resulted in a punt and back-to-back interceptions. The Torero defense was tough all day and that allowed the Torero offense to finally get untracked midway through the second quarter. Lawrence connected with Brian Riley for a 15-yard touchdown with 3:40 left in the first half to give USD its first lead at 7-3. The score put the finishing touch on a 14-play, 73-yard drive. With 18 ticks before the intermission break, kicker Jack Flatau converted a 28-yard field goal for the 10-3 lead at halftime.
It was all USD in the second half as Lawrence found Joseph Jakubowsky for his first reception of the season, a 29-yard touchdown with 9:26 to go in the third period. The play was possible due to USD's 4th-and-3 conversion from the Valpo 35 that saw Lawrence connect with Brian Riley for 8-yards and a first down.
Riley hauled in his second touchdown, this time for 24 yards with 4:51 to go. USD's two scores in the fourth quarter came from Jereke Armstrong (20 yard rush, 14:25 to go) and Daniel Cooney (9-yard reception out of the tackle eligible play).
Defensively the Toreros held Valpo to 179 yards of offense (18 rush, 161 pass). Defensive end Jonathan Petersen finished with 5 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry. Linebackers Max Michaels and Nic Henson also chipped in with 5 stops. Corner Devyn Bryant had a first quarter interception and Jamal Agnew added two more pass breakups.
Offensively USD totaled 403 yards of balanced offense with 214 coming thru the air and 189 on the ground. Armstrong led the ground attack with 13 rushes for 84 yards and one score. Blake Martin (44 yards) and Dallas Kessman (42 yards) also played key roles in the ground attack and winning the time of possession battle (36:57 to 23:03). The Toreros were also an impressive 11-of-16 in third down conversions and a perfect 2-of-2 in fourth down conversions. Ten different receivers had at least one catch with Riley leading the way with 5 for 77 yards and 2 scores.
The Toreros return to Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium on Saturday, October 3, to face the Marist College Red Foxes in a 1:00 p.m. PFL contest.
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