Mayer Field (3,500) - Tiffin, Ohio
Radio: WHEI 88.9 (Matt Cotman, play-by-play; Mark Burris, color)
Quick Stat of the Afternoon: Senior signal caller Andrew Miller has put up some impressive numbers as of late. In each of the last two games Miller has set new personal bests, all while moving atop numerous Heidelberg and OAC records. At Capital last week, he threw for 569 yards and seven touchdowns, while putting up 587 yards of total offense. Miller topped Jim Newland’s records of passing yards (487) and total offensive yards (567), while the passing TD’s topped his own record of six that he threw for in 2008. Both his passing yards and total offensive yards top the OAC books as well. In the end Miller had 30 completions which ties Shane Fulton’s record from 1985. His seven passing TD’s improved his career total to 57, which overtook the record of 50. He entered the game tied at 50 with Fulton. For his efforts he was tabbed the OAC Offensive Player of the Week. His previous career-highs for passing yards (423) and completions (29) were set the previous week against Otterbein (Sept. 25).
In Memory: Heidelberg’s players are playing with some extra meaning for the remainder of the year in memory of assistant coach Jason Bendekovic. Coach Bendo, as he was affectionately referred to by all, passed away early Monday morning, Sept. 27, from complications from a blood clot that started in his lung. He was 37 years old and had been an assistant at Heidelberg for five years. Coach Bendo oversaw the offensive line and was the recruiting coordinator, as well as taught classes for Heidelberg’s health and physical education department. His brother, Ron, passed away five years ago from a similar condition. Ron was a coach at Ohio Northern University at the time. All players are wearing a sticker on their helmets that reads JB in honor of Jason Craig Bendekovic.
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.
The Series: Saturday marks the 89th time that these two teams will meet on the gridiron. Of its 2010 opponents, Heidelberg has squared off against the Muskies the most. The series dates back to 1914 with Muskingum owning a 55-26-6 advantage. Muskingum has won seven of the last nine meetings. A season ago, Muskingum won at Mayer Field to snap a two-game winning streak by Heidelberg. In 2008, the Berg put together a winning drive in the final minute of the game to top host Muskingum 45-41. During that contest was when senior quarterback Andrew Miller set the then new single game passing touchdown record at six.
Saturday’s Opponent: Muskingum enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 3-1 and are 2-1 in the OAC. The Muskies opened the year with an overtime win against Defiance College and followed that with a win over Marietta College. Last week the Muskies topped Wilmington College after falling to nationally ranked Ohio Northern University the week prior. Muskingum is averaging 13.2 points a game, while giving up 18.0. The offense is putting up on average 218.5 yards, while its opponents are at 233.8 yards a game. Leading the way is its passing game with 139.0 yards a game behind senior quarterback Jake Burns. Its defense enters the game ranked fourth in the nation in pass efficiency defense, 18th in total defense and 21st in pass defense.
Last Time Out: Last weekend Heidelberg’s offense exploded for 652 yards behind the arm of senior signal caller Andrew Miller, but its valiant effort fell just short of the win column at Capital University. At the final horn, the host Crusaders posted a 60-50 win. The Berg and Crusaders combined for 1,211 yards of total offense in the contest. For the second straight outing the Berg had two 100-yard receivers. The senior duo of Mike Preston and Mario Walton combined for four touchdowns, two apiece, and 336 yards. Walton had a career-high 154 yards receiving. Defensively, junior linebacker Andy Fadenholz registered a career-high 23 tackles, highlighted by 17 solo stops.
Muskies Last Outing: A week ago, Muskingum posted a 3-0 win over Wilmington College. Muskingum held the Quakers to just 92 yards of total offense, which included a negative 19 yards on the ground. Caleb Carpenter connected on a 25-yard field goal with 8:59 left in the game to post the win for Muskingum. Senior quarterback Jake Burns completed 16-of-30 passes for 174 yards. On the ground Tony Pellegrino picked up 48 yards and Antowan Logan led the receivers with four receptions and was second with 43 yards. The defense was led by the trio of Chad Bajc, Ethan Wetzel and Alex Thomas with six tackles apiece.
National Caliber: Heidelberg’s high octane offense ranks among the nations leaders. Heading into week five, Heidelberg’s passing offense (368.50) ranks third, while its total offense (495.75) stands sixth. Ranking 23rd is its passing efficiency (158.37). Individually, Heidelberg has a host of players ranked. Leading the way is Mike Preston who is second in receiving yards per game at 152.25 and Andrew Miller who is third in total offense at 371.25. Preston is tied for fifth in receptions per game, while Andy Fadenholz stands 12th in tackles per game (12.75). Rounding out those ranked in the top-20 is Preston who is tied for 19th in scoring (10.50) and Tyler Levanduski and Travis Coates who are tied for 19th in interceptions per game (0.75).
Storied Tradition: Heidelberg athletics has a storied tradition and it is large in part to all the student-athletes that have donned the red, orange and black over the years. Saturday’s contest is the hall of fame game and at halftime Heidelberg will recognize its 25th class to enter the athletic hall of fame. The class will be officially inducted Saturday evening at a banquet in the Wickham Great Hall on campus. Included in the 25th class is football alums Fred McGarvey ’56, Stan Parrish ’69 and Shaun Martin ’92, as well as women’s basketball standout Rachael Poland-Novak ’03, along with the 1998 men’s cross country team and the 1999 men’s outdoor track and field team.
On the Verge: Senior Mike Preston is putting together a solid year in his final campaign. Through four games he has 609 yards on 40 receptions, to go along with seven touchdowns. He has nearly matched his totals of 869 yards on 47 catches for eight TD’s from a season ago. He has set new career-highs this season of 15 receptions and 212 yards against Otterbein Sept. 25. For his career he has 19 receiving touchdowns, which is on the verge of the career record of 21 held by Chuck Ritzler (1982-85).
Standing His Ground: Junior linebacker Andy Fadenholz has not faded away from Heidelberg’s opponents this season. He currently leads the team, and the OAC, in total tackles with 51. Fadenholz is coming off a career-high 23 stops, including 17 solo hits, at Capital. He is in his second year in the starting line up and has nearly surpassed his total tackles of 58 from a season ago.
Mario Cart: Heidelberg’s offense has been able to ride Mario Walton’s cart for extra support through the air. In four games Walton has recorded 24 receptions for 429 yards. Included in the mix have been three 100-yard outings. He opened the year with his first 100-yard receiving game finishing with 135 yards at Alma. Walton returned against Otterbein and had eight catches for 119 yards. At Capital he hauled in eight passes for a career-best 154 yards and two scores.