Hope Football Games Notes
NCAA Playoff Game at Mount Union
Saturday, November 18, 2006
- Hope is appearing in the NCAA playoffs for the fourth time in school history. This year's team lost its first three games, but rallied to win the next seven to gain their fifth MIAA crown in 12 seasons under coach Dean Kreps. Two of the three teams to defeat Hope this season, Central, Iowa (10-0) and Wheaton, Ill. (9-1), are also competing in the playoffs.
- The Flying Dutchmen are seeking their first-ever NCAA playoff win. In 1986 Hope lost in the first round to eventual national champion Augustana, 34-10. Fourteen years later (2000) on a snow-covered Holland Municipal Stadium field, Hope lost to Hanover, Ind. 20-3. In 2003, in a game with 1,057 yards of total offense, host Wheaton defeated Hope, 55-45.
- Dean Kreps has joined an elite group of MIAA coaches to win five more MIAA football championships during their career. He is just the sixth coach in the 109-year history of America's oldest collegiate conference to accomplish the fete, winning five titles during his 12-year tenure. The others are Ray Smith of Hope (9 titles over 25 seasons from 1970-94); Pete Schmidt of Albion (9 titles over 14 seasons from 1983-96); Frank "Muddy" Waters of Hillsdale (6 titles over 6 seasons from 1954-60); Royal Campbell of Alma (6 titles over 6 seasons from 1921-35); and Morley Fraser of Albion (5 titles over 15 seasons from 1954-68).
- Junior tailback David Book (Three Rivers, Mich.) ranks second among Hope's alltime rushers. He rushed for over 1,000 yards for a second consecutive season to raise his career total to 2,782 yards. The alltime Hope record is 4,362 yards by Brandon Graham from 1995-97. This season Booko rushed for 1,033 yards on 232 carries, scoring 17 touchdowns.
- Ten Hope players received All-MIAA honors, led by junior Matt Rugenstein (Grand Rapids, Mich.) who was voted the league's defensive MVP. Rugenstein is among the nation's DIII leaders in sacks (#7 at 11.5) and tackles for a loss (#13 at 19.5). Hope's All-MIAA first team honorees include Rugenstein, junior tailback David Booko, junior offensive tackle Jake Droppers (Portage, Mich.), sophomore offensive tackle Eric Ladomersky (Grandville, Mich.), junior tight end Kevin VandenBosch (Grandville, Mich.), and senior linebacker Zach Huizing (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and junior return specialist Joe Goeb (Grand Rapids, Mich.). All-MIAA second team honorees include senior center Joe Hensel (North Branch, Mich.), junior wide receiver Doug Van Eerden (Grand Rapids, Mich.); and senior defensive end Matt Erb (Middleville, Mich.).
- No Hope opponent rushed for more than 200 yards against the Dutchmen this season. Mount Union averaged 289.9 yards on the ground this season. Hope limited two opponents to negative yards rushing (Kalamazoo -2 and Olivet -24). Hope opponents averaged 97.9 yards a game rushing, just 2.7 yards per play. Mount Union averaged 6.9 yards per rushing play.
- Mount Union did not trail in a contest in 2006. Hope trailed at some point in five of its 10 games. The biggest comeback was from a 30-10 halftime deficit at Alma. (Hope rallied to win 49-43 in overtime.) Hope did not allow a first quarter touchdown over its last six games.
- Avoiding turnovers will be key for the Dutchmen. This season Hope lost the football on turnovers 23 times compared to their opponents' 16. MountUnion gained the football from opponent turnovers 27 times and lost it just 11 times.
Flying Dutchmen Shortakes: The father of Hope's All-MIAA offensive tackle Jake Droppers (Portage, Mich.) was also an All-MIAA football player as a defensive lineman (1978)... Junior Joey Goeb has received All-MIAA honors in both football and baseball. He was the league's All-MIAA second team honoree at shortstop last year and now the first team return specialist in football...All 22 of Hope's projected starters graduated from Michigan high schools.