Saturday, Sept. 4 at 1:00 p.m.
Bahlke Field (4,500) - Alma, Mich.
'Berg Cental: Game Notes
Top Story: The Heidelberg University football team is set to embark on its 114th year on the gridiron when it travels to Alma, Mich. for a non-conference game with Alma College. Kick off against the Scots of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) is slated for 1:00 p.m. Heidelberg closed out the 2009 season winners of three of its last four outings to stand at 4-6 for the year. This year the Berg returns 41 letter winners, including 16 starters. Leading the way is 10 returning offensive starters highlighted by All-Ohio Athletic Conference selections from a season ago, Mike Preston, Nate Kater and Andrew Miller. Following its road trip north, Heidelberg faces its bye week before opening up OAC play, and its home portion of its schedule, Sept. 18 with Baldwin-Wallace College.
Quick Stat of the Afternoon: Dating back to the program’s first season in 1892, Heidelberg owns a record of 57-51-6 all-time in season openers. Under the tutelage of fourth-year head coach Mike Hallett, the Berg is 3-0 in season openers. In Hallet’s inaugural campaign, Heidelberg topped Oberlin College 37-26 to snap a 36-game losing streak. Over the last two seasons, Heidelberg swept a home and away series with Westminster College. Heidelberg topped the visiting Titans 62-27 in 2008. Heidelberg scored on six of its first seven possessions en route to tying for ninth in points scored in a single game. A season ago, Heidelberg traveled to New Wilmington, Pa. and topped the host Titans 42-26. In its season opening win in 2009, Heidelberg’s offense, defense and special team’s all found the end zone. In its 113-year history, the last time Heidelberg won four straight season openers was from 1985-1989 when they won five consecutive.
Fresh Faces: When Heidelberg and Alma take the field on Saturday they will be meeting for the first time in the history of both programs. However, head coaches Mike Hallett and Jim Cole will face each other for the second time. Alma, with Cole at the helm, faced Thomas More College in 1999 when Hallett was in his first year as the offensive coordinator with the Saints. The Scots posted a 35-7 victory.
Saturday’s Opponent: Alma’s 5-5 campaign in 2009 extended its non-losing record streak to 13 years. It has captured 25 MIAA championships in the history of the program and owns a 498-397-31 record. After opening the year dropping three of its first five games, the Scots turned the table and posted a victory in three of its final five game games. The Scots are under the guidance of 20th-year head coach Jim Cole, who is a 1974 Alma graduate. Returning to the line up are All-MIAA picks Andrew Schaar and Conrad Bovee.
Stay Connected: For the latest information on the Heidelberg football team visit the Heidelberg athletics web site at www.heidelberg.edu/athletics. Also stay connected on facebook at Heidelberg University, twitter at bergathletics and on You Tube at Heidelberg1850.
Head Coach Mike Hallett: Entering his fourth year at the helm of the Heidelberg University football team is Mike Hallett. In 2009, under Hallett’s guidance, the Berg closed out the year winners of three of its last four outings to stand at 4-6 on the year. Along the way the Berg returned to campus for the first time in 64 years en route to securing a D3football.com All-American in Matt Grieves, along with four all-region selections, eight All-OAC performers and a host of academic honorees. Of its eight all-league nods, four were named to the first team, marking the most first team picks since 1991. In three seasons Hallett boasts an overall record of 12-18, which includes three straight seasons that saw the most wins since the 1999 campaign. In just three years, Hallett has coached 23 All-OAC performers, including seven first team recipients. Not to be outdone, nine have picked up Academic All-OAC accolades and five have earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District nods.
Last Time Out: Heidelberg closed out its 2009 campaign with a hard fought 31-28 setback to Muskingum University at Mayer Field. Then junior signal caller Andrew Miller completed 13-of-24 passes for three touchdowns to lead the Berg. Miller’s main threat was fellow classmate Mike Preston. Preston hauled in seven passes for a career-best 192 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Heidelberg held a slim 435-418 advantage in total offense. Muskingum held a 17-7 lead at halftime and withstood a late ’Berg attack to hold on for the win. Defensively, Matt Grieves finished with 11 tackles followed by Sam Driscoll and Andy Fadenholz with 10 and nine, respectively.
Scots Last Outing: In its 2009 season finale, Alma suffered a 60-10 loss to host Albion College. Alma connected for a 20-yard field goal in the first quarter, but went on to be outscored 53-0 over the next two quarters en route to the setback. Mac. McGrady threw for 214 yards (22-for-44) with two interceptions, while Tyler Wise had 60 receiving yards and Jon Reed had 36 yards on the ground. Alma recorded 331 yards of total offense, while giving up 573. Bart Blystone led the defense with seven tackles.
Oh Captain, My Captain: Providing a leadership role for the Berg in 2010 will be senior captains Andrew Miller, Mike Preston, Nate Kater and Vaughn Klein. Miller, Preston and Kater will look to lead the offense this season, while Klein is the veteran leader on the defensive side of the ball. Serving as a captain for the second straight year is Miller. The captains are voted on by members of the team.
Preseason Mentionables: Heidelberg racked up some media attention during the preseason this year. Leading things off was senior Mike Preston landing on the OhioCollegeFootball.com Wide Receiver Watch List followed by classmate Andrew Miller earning a spot on the quarterback watch list for the OCF. Senior offensive guard Nate Kater was tabbed a preseason All-American by D3football.com, while fellow lineman Derrick Arbogast was selected for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which represents the areas of giving back and volunteerism.
“Kater”-ing for the Berg: Helping to serve up on offensive explosion for Heidelberg over the course of the last three years has been senior offensive guard Nate Kater. Kater is entering his fourth season as a starter on the offensive line and has landed a spot on the D3football.com Preseason All-American list. A season ago, Kater was named to the D3football.com All-North Region Third Team, along with earning a spot on the OhioCollegeFootball.com Second Team. His all-region honors joined his nod on the All-Ohio Athletic Conference First Team. Kater has started every game he has played in over his three-year career and has been an integral part in quarterback Andrew Miller setting a new single season passing touchdown mark in back-to-back seasons, as well as clearing the way for a handful of all-league running backs. In 2009, Kater help guide the Berg offense to produce four games with multiple 100-yard rushers, along with a 100-yard receiver in five outings.
“Miller” Time: Senior signal caller Andrew Miller will look to continue to make a statement as the leader of the Berg offense. The 2010 season marks his third getting the call under center and he has not disappointed. In each of the last two years he has set a new single season passing touchdowns mark. The previous record was 19 set on three occasions. Miller threw for 20 as a sophomore and returned a season ago to connect with his receivers on 22 occasions. In 2008 he also set the single game TD passing mark at six at Muskingum University. For his career he has 42 passing TD’s and is nearing the record of 50 set by Shane Fulton from 1983-1986. Fulton and James Ruth previously held the single season, and game records, broken by Miller.