Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
MARSHALL, Mo. – William Penn head football coach Todd Hafner is already the program’s winningest skipper, but on Saturday he checked off another milestone as the Statesmen dispatched Missouri Valley, 41-14, in a Heart of America Athletic Conference North-South Crossover game.
Hafner won his 100th game as a collegiate head coach (100-72-1 all-time) by guiding the Statesmen (2-3-1) to a defeat of the Vikings (3-3) on MVC’s Homecoming. The visitors outgained 358-272 with all 358 yards coming on the ground.
WPU picked up its proverbial lunchbox and hard hat and went to work right away, taking the opening kickoff and driving 66 yards on six plays. Signal-caller Alex Crehan (Grad., Troy, Ill., Master’s of Business Leadership) plunged across the goal line from three yards away to give the navy and gold the early lead.
The hosts had very little success in the opening half, being limited to just 54 yards of total offense. On the flip side, the Statesmen seemed to be uncontainable.
After an interception by Donovan Tucker (Sr., College Park, Ga., Information Technology) gave it the pigskin for its second possession, William Penn had its lone bad drive of the half and punted it right back. From there, everything came up roses for WPU with four consecutive touchdowns.
The first of the quartet came on the first play of the second period as Ben Sherman (Jr., Troy, Pa., Wellness and Recreation) hit paydirt on a three-yard rush. Sherman’s number was called 18 times and he rushed for 68 yards in the win.
Another defensive stop kept the momentum with WPU and the offense then built the lead to 21-0 as a 12-play, 68-yard possession, which lasted nearly nine minutes, was capped by Crehan again finding the endzone on a one-yard keeper. The senior quarterback picked up 70 yards Saturday. He also attempted three passes, but unfortunately did not complete any of them.
The 21-0 halftime edge grew to 28-0 on Crehan’s 20-yard scamper with 10:01 left in the third quarter. The squad was far from done as Tommy Imbu (So., Edmond, Okla., Business Management) got into the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run for a 34-0 edge. The score was set up by a 60-yard rush by Archer Charles (So., Guntersville, Ala., Business Management). Imbu tallied 40 yards on the ground.
Missouri Valley eventually started to warm up, managing a pair of quick strikes to cut the lead to 34-14 early in the fourth quarter, but WPU closed it out with another long possession.
Charles, who paced the Statesmen with 136 yard on only seven carries, finally got to enjoy the fruits of his labors with an eight-yard touchdown to cap the scoring.
WPU utilized just five ball carriers as Alex Jung (So., Fullerton, Calif., Exercise Science) contributed 44 rushing yards as well.
Defensively, several individuals played well in the dominating performance, but none better than Resean Coleman (Sr., River Rouge, Mich., Exercise Science). The senior stormed the backfield on numerous occasions, recording 3.5 sacks and forcing three fumbles. Jaidin Fletcher (Sr., Upland, Calif., Information Technology), who tied Jonathan Thomas (Sr., Americus, Ga., Sports Management) for the team lead in tackles with eight and had half of a sack, recovered one of the fumbles. Dan Mindermann (Jr., Indianola, Iowa, Digital Communication) posted the other recovery.
Next Up: William Penn is idle next week, returning to action on Oct. 19 by hosting Graceland in Heart North Division action at 2:30 p.m. The game is also Homecoming.