Posted: Oct 11, 2018
ADRIAN, Mich. -- The Siena Heights football team travels to Fort Wayne, Indiana to face the defending NAIA National Champion and 13th-ranked St. Francis (Ind.) Cougars on Saturday, October 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m., EDT.
The Saints enter the game with a 5-0 overall record are ranked 20th in the latest NAIA Football Coaches' Poll. Siena began the 2018 campaign with back-to-back road contests for the first time in program history. This is also the first time that the Saints football team has started a season 5-0. SHU began the year with a 21-7 win at Missouri Baptist and a 16-7 win at Olivet Nazarene. The Saints then won their home opener 40-0 over Robert Morris (Ill.) before another road win (38-27) over Saint Francis (Ill.). Siena Heights toppled Taylor 40-13 last week to improve to 2-0 in the MSFA Mideast League.
The Cougars fell to 13th in the latest coaches' poll after dropping a 7-3 decision to Concordia (Mich.) this past week. St. Francis's 27-game winning streak that dated back to October 1, 2016, was snapped the week prior when #2 Marian (Ind.) defeated the Cougars 38-27. The last time the USF (Ind.) lost two games in a row was in 2014 when they lost three in a row to Grand View, Siena Heights, and Saint Xavier. St. Francis (Ind.) began the season with a 42-9 win over Robert Morris (Ill.). The Cougars then defeated St. Francis (Ill.) 49-19, St. Ambrose 60-14, and Saint Xavier 27-19.
These two teams have met annually since the Saints joined the MSFA in 2012. In that time, USF (Ind.) has won five of those six meetings. The lone SHU win happened in 2014 when the visiting Saints won 27-21. This will be the fourth time that these teams will matchup in Fort Wayne. The Saints are 1-2 when facing the Cougars on the road. Siena is currently 3-0 on the road this year; St. Francis (Ind.) is 2-1 at home in 2018. Last season, the Cougars rolled to a 36-9 win over Siena Heights in O'Laughlin Stadium. SFU has outscored the Saints 189-107 in the all-time series.
Siena is led on offensively by running duo D'aires Davis and Jared Jordan. Davis has accumulated 644 yards on 126 carries. Jordan has 333 yards on 60 carries and has scored eight of the Saints 12 rushing touchdowns. Tyler Knecht is 62-100 passing for 730 yards and five touchdowns. Damon Wright Jr. leads the Saints through the air with 17 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns. DaWan Smith II has hauled in 11 catches for 115 yards.
Nick Stalworth leads the defense with 35 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss. His one interception return for a 45-yard touchdown took place last week in the blowout win over Taylor and was a major part in him being named the player of the game by WLEN radio. Logan Smith has also been a factor on defense with 31 tackles. Griffen Sobol has registered 27 tackles, three for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions. Malik Edwards leads the team with seven sacks and seven tackles for loss. Trenton Morrow joins Sobol as the leaders with two interceptions.
Brady Tanguay sits with five field goals made out of eight attempts (75%). His long for the season is 43 yards. He is 17-20 in extra points (85%). Caleb Meister has 24 punts for 901 yards with a long of 51 yards. He has pinned six punts inside the 20.
PJ Dean leads the Cougar ground attack with 421 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Justin Green is also used as a runner with 41 carries for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Matt Crable has completed 104 passes out of his 159 attempts for 1291 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rocky James leads the receiving corps with 35 catches for 388 yards and four touchdowns. Dan Ricksy has tallied 26 receptions for 441 yards and three touchdowns. Will Chrisman finishes out the leading receiver trio with 11 grabs for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Saint Francis (Ind.) is led on defense by Eric Dunten with 77 tackles, nine for loss, and three sacks. Piercen has 53 tackles, one for loss. Marcus Stepp and Jalen Moss each have 40 tackles. Stepp has six tackles for loss and three sacks; Moss has 1.5 tackles for loss. James Jamicich and Matt Swartz lead the Cougars with four sacks. Wilmer Cole leads the team with two interceptions.
Gavin Gardner is 2/4 in field goals with a long of 35 yards. Joe Knepper has been forced to punt 24 times for 960 total yards with a long of 54.