USD Toreros play key PFL contest at Drake Saturday

USDTOREROSDOTCOM Sam Hoekstra ranks 10th in FCS in punt returns
Sam Hoekstra ranks 10th in FCS in punt returns

Oct. 2, 2012

USDvsDrake Get Acrobat Reader

GAME #5: The USD Toreros (2-2; 1-0 PFL) head to Des Moines, Iowa for a key Pioneer Football League contest against Drake (3-2; 2-0) on Saturday, October 6th. Game time from Drake Stadium/Johnny Bright Field (14,577 seating capacity) is 10:30 a.m. Pacific.

The Last Meeting
Drake University24
San Diego31
October 15, 2011
San Diego, CA
Toreros hold off Drake 31-24 to stay unbeaten in PFL
(San Diego, CA) - In a game of unbeaten PFL teams, the host USD Toreros (4-0 PFL; 6-1) held off the visiting Drake Bulldogs (3-1 PFL; 5-2) 31-24 in front of 2,529 fans at Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium. With their fourth straight victory the Toreros stay atop the PFL standings with Jacksonville (4-0 PFL; 5-2). The JU Dolphins dealt Morehead State a 50-14 defeat today.

SERIES RECORD: This is the 20th meeting between USD and Drake with the Toreros owning a slight 10-9 advantage... The Toreros won last year's meeting in San Diego by the score of 31-24 that ended a Drake 2-game winning streak in the series... Sam Hoekstra helped seal the win with a brilliant 85-yard punt return in the 4th quarter that gave the Toreros a 31-17 advantage with 7:42 to go... The Bulldogs won the last meeting played in Des Moines back in 2010 by the score of 38-17.

WEBCAST: Saturday's contest will be webcast live with Jack Cronin calling the action. His pre-game call begins at 10:20 a.m. (PST).

A LOOK AHEAD: San Diego returns to Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium on Saturday, October 13th, for a 2:00 p.m. PFL contest against Campbell University.

PFL STANDINGS & SCHEDULE FOR OCT. 6TH: Jacksonville (2-0 PFL; 4-1), Drake (2-0; 3-2), Butler (2-0; 3-2), San Diego (1-0; 2-2), Marist (1-1; 2-3), Morehead State (0-1; 1-3), Valparaiso (0-1; 0-4), Davidson (0-1; 0-4), Dayton (0-2; 1-4), Campbell (0-2; 1-4). OTHER PFL GAMES: Dayton at Davidson, Jacksonville at Morehead State, Butler at Valparaiso.

TORERO TIDBITS: USD heads to Drake with a 1-0 PFL record and 2-2 overall mark... Its lone two losses have come to teams currently ranked in The Sports Network FCS Top-25 College Football Poll - #20 Cal Poly (4-0 record) and #25 Harvard (3-0 record)... The Toreros rank 13th among all FCS team in passing offense (277.75 yards per game)... Four different Toreros rank in the Top-25 individually - junior wide receiver Sam Hoekstra (#10 in punt returns; 14.60 yards per return), senior safety Drew Harris (t-#19 in interceptions; .50 per contest), sophomore wide receiver Brandon White (#22 in receptions per game, 6.50); and senior kicker Ernie Collins (t-#24 in field goals, 1.25 per contest)... Among PFL teams, San Diego ranks first in field goals (5-5), punting (38.5 net yards per punt), time of possession (33:04), turnover margin (+0.50 per game) and red zone offense (12-for-12)... Toreros leading PFL statistical categories include Ernie Collins (t-1st in scoring, 7.0 points per game; t-1st in field goals made per game, 1.35; t-1st in PAT kicking percentage, 92.9%), Sam Hoekstra in punt returns (14.6), and Drew Harris in interceptions (0.50 per game).

COLLINS RECOGNIZED FOR KICKING AND COMMUNITY SERVICE: Senior kicker Ernie Collins (San Ramon, CA) was recognized by the Fred Mitchell Award for his excellence on the field and in the community during the month of September. During this past month 31 kickers were recognized from among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. The 2012 recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award will be announced in mid-December based on performance on the field and in the community. During the month of September Collins led the Toreros with 28 points. He was a perfect 5-for-5 in field goals including a personal-best 51-yarder (ties 2nd longest in Torero history) against Western New Mexico. He also added two 48-yarders and has converted 13-of-14 PAT kicks. He is a volunteer for the Austism Tree Project Foundation; participates in Toreros Linking the Community events, including the Donate-a-Dollar and Toy Drive program which helped support 30 local families by collecting hundreds of unwrapped gifts and more than $2,500.

SCOUTING THE DRAKE BULLDOGS: The Drake Bulldogs are off to a 2-0 PFL start following last Saturday;s 35-7 road win over Campbell... They opened up PFL play two weeks ago with a 28-25 home win over Morehead State... In the win over Campbell, Drake was paced by senior QB Mike Piatkowski who completed 23-of-38 passes for 258 yards and 1 TD... His main target was senior WR Nick Rosa who hauled in 7 receptions for 92 yards and 1TD... Sophomore RB Gary Scott paced the ground game with 77 yards and 1 TD on 14 carries... The Bulldog defense was paced by junior LB Nick Underwood (10 tackles, 2 breakups)... Prior to PFL play the Bulldogs opened up the season with a 28-8 home win over Grand View before dropping back-to-back games to #4 Montana State (34-24) and #22 Indiana State (27-10)... Through 5 games Drake is being paced by Piatkowski (133-216 for 1,437 yards and 8 TDs), Scott (348 yards rushing on 78 attempts with 3 TDs), senior WR Joey Orlando (26 receptions for 276 yards and 1 TD), senior TE Kevin Marshall (25 catches for 210 yards) and senior WR Nick Rosa (20 receptions for 300 yards and 4 TDs)... Defensively the Bulldogs are led by sophomore LB John Hugunin (53 tackles), junior LB Travis Merritt (52 stops) and sophomore DB Bob Quilico (35 tackles)... Head Coach Chris Creighton is in his 5th season at the helm of the Drake program... He owns a record of 32-16... Now in his 16th season overall as a head coach, his career mark is 127-40.

GAME 4 (SEPT. 22ND) - USD EARNS 51-14 WIN OVER VALPO: The USD football team opened up PFL play with a convincing 51-14 win over the Valparaiso Crusaders to extend the Toreros home win streak to nine. The game was never in question as the Toreros opened up the contest by scoring 37 unanswered points. Junior running back Kenn James got to the Toreros offense in a groove early, running for 50 yards on the opening drive, which James ended with an 11-yard TD run. After forcing the Crusaders into a three-and-out, junior QB Mason Mills led the Toreros on a six-play 90-yard drive. Mills was able to scramble into the end zone from five yards out to put the Toreros up 13-0. Mills TD run was set up by a 43 yard reception by junior WR Sam Hoekstra. Freshman RB Darrion Hancock played a huge role on the Toreros next scoring drive, rushing for 35 yards on five carries, which set up a Lawrence Larivee 7-yard TD reception. The Toreros quickly got the ball back after junior DL Weston Yahn forced a fumble that senior LB Zach Dunaj recovered on the Valparaiso 14 yard line. Four plays later Hancock ran it in from 1-yard out to extend the USD lead to 27-0. After another Crusader three and out, the Toreros offense struck quickly on a 4-play, 69- yard drive. This time Mills found sophomore WR Brandon White in the end zone on an 18 yard pass putting the Toreros up 34-0. Ernie Collins connected on a 48 yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving the Toreros a 37-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime. Mills, who only played one series in the 2nd half, finished an effective 17-for-20 for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. His favorite weapon of the day was Hoesktra, who hauled in five catches for 133 yards and a TD. James had his first big game of the 2012 season rushing for 128 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Hancock chipped in with 66 yards on 11 carries. The Toreros outrushed Valparaiso 260-30. Zach Dunaj led the USD defense with six tackles, two forced fumbles, and an interception. Junior defensive end Steve Gargiulo chipped in with two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Safety Matt Miller also had an interception.