posted October 29, 2003

Air Attack Looms as Dutchmen Host Warriors

Two teams that have nationally ranked passing attacks meet Saturday (Nov. 1) as Hope (5-2) hosts Wisconsin Lutheran (3-4) for a Parents Day game at Holland Municipal Municipal Stadium.

Kickoff will be 1 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on WHTC-AM (1450) and WFUR-FM (102.9). The WHTC broadcast will also be available on the internet at www.hope.edu/athletics.

  • This will be the final regular season home game for 14 seniors -- Matt Beaver of Gladwin (Gladwin HS), Dan Bloemers of Caledonia (Caledonia HS), Phil Butler of Howard City (Tri-County HS), T.J. Carr of Port Huron (Port Huron Nothern HS), Brandon Doherty of Westland (John Glenn HS), Jeff Eldersveld of East Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS), Brian Fielhauer of Byron (Byron HS), Tony Frucci of Plainwell (Plainwell HS), Travis Jager of Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo Christian HS), Scott Jeschke of Gobles (Gobles HS), Jon Pobuda of Lawrence (Lawrence HS), Bill Rozema of Holland (Holland HS), Joel Teft of Grand Rapids (South Christian HS), and Jeff Walburn of Gobles (Gobles HS).
  • Wisconsin Lutheran comes into the game ranked seventh nationally among NCAA Division III teams in passing offense, averaging 304 yards per game. The Flying Dutchmen are right behind ranked ninth at 295 yards per game.
  • The Flying Dutchmen will be bidding for their fifth consecutive victory against a team that posted its first-ever MIAA conference win last Saturday. The Warriors of Wisconsin Lutheran became a football-member of the MIAA in 2002.
  • This is a rivalry that started in 2000. Hope owns a 3-0 advantage in the series, including a 41-27 victory in Milwaukee last year.
  • Last Saturday against Alma, Lutheran quarterback Seth Fitzsimmons completed 24-of-37 passes for 434 yards and five touchdowns. For the season he has thrown 299 passes, completing 176 (59%) for 2,075 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has been intercepted only six times. By comparison, Hope quarterback Phil Butler has completed 136-of- 255 passes (55%) for 2,068 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has been intercepted 11 times.
  • Each team features outstanding receivers. For Hope, Jeff Eldersveld has caught 45 passes for 657 yards and three touchdowns while teammate Joe Verschueren has 45 receptions for 701 yards and seven TDs. For Wisconsin Lutheran, wide receiver Paul Nelson has 55 catches for 758 yards and five TDs while All-MIAA tight end Nate Hahm has 36 receptions for 430 yards and one TD.
  • Hope tailback Dan Bloemers is on the brink of becoming the sixth Hope player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He has gained 873 yards and scored 12 touchdowns through seven games. The record is 1,525 yards by Brandon Graham in 1996. Graham is now Bloemers' coach. Last Saturday. Bloemers gained a career-best 244 yards to become just the seventh player in Hope history to rush for more than 200 yards in a game.

Stat Watch: Wisconsin Lutheran has outscored its opponents 54-7 in the third quarter. / The Warriors have recovered 14 opponent fumbles. / Wisconsin Lutheran kicker Steve Adams in 6-for-6 on field goals with a long of 42. / Hope kicker Nate Barnett is 3-for-5 on field goals with a long of 33. / Wisconsin Lutheran receiver Paul Nelson is also the team's punter, averaging 33.0 a kick. / Hope punter Seth Kovarik is averaging 32.4 yards per punt.

The Flying Dutchmen will play their final two regular season games on the road, travelling to Olivet (Nov. 8) and Albion (Nov. 15).