Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald
After the snowstorm of last week’s game, the Drake Bulldogs will take on the Jacksonville Dolphins at Drake Stadium at 1 p.m. this Saturday.
After the snowstorm gave the team several extra travel hours after last week’s 23-13 win at Marist, the Bulldogs are ready for the short commute to play on their home field.
“It’s a relief to be at home for these next two games after having to push the bus around a little bit and be on there for eight hours,” senior linebacker Tyler Moorehead said. “It’s a relief to be at home and have our last two big games at home.”
Moorehead was named the Pioneer Football League co-Defensive Player of the Week after three sacks against Marist last Saturday.
“(It’s) definitely a great honor,” Moorehead said. “I have to give a lot of credit to our whole defense and also the offense, too. The offense kept us off the field and our defense was just playing great together, flying around, making plays.”
The Bulldogs are gearing up to take on the Dolphins, who are undefeated in the PFL, in hopes of attaining the PFL championship. Not only that, but on Oct. 9, 2010, the Bulldogs and the Dolphins were fighting for the championship as the co-leaders of the PFL. Drake struggled during the first half of that game and lost by a slim margin of five points.
“They beat us in ’10 last year, 39-34, and then we beat them in ’09, 45-38, and they beat us the year before that, and really those are the only two wins that they’ve ever had against Drake,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “They’ve actually never won at Drake Stadium, but their program is much better now than it was. It is two of the top teams playing at the end of the year. It’s fun.”
As Jacksonville continues to win, the Bulldogs are also showing constant superiority on the field. Even in cruel conditions, Drake manages to excel. Senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski is only one example of the continuing excellence of this Bulldog team.
Piatkowski is ranked 20th in the Division I Football Championships Subdivision in total offense. He continues to move up the Drake career passing chart and set the NCAA FCS single-game completion percentage record by completing 30 of 33 tosses during Drake’s win against Campbell.
“I don’t really look at my stats so often,” Piatkowski said. “As long as we win, that’s all I really care about. I mean, it’s a big game, but we try to approach it like every other week. Try not to get too nervous, stay calm out there.”
Moorehead is looking forward to taking on one of the best teams in the league and knows the game will be a challenge.
“There’s always a lot of pressure to go out there and do your best,” he said. “This game on Saturday is a huge game, a great opportunity. (We’re) looking forward to it though, and hopefully things will just work out well.”
Creighton agrees with Moorehead’s assessment of the upcoming game.
“They’re a really good team,” he said. “They were picked to win it, and they’ve proved thus far that they’re the team to beat. We’re just excited to have the chance to play them because we feel as though we’re playing pretty well right now, (and we) like our chances.”