What: Berry College (1-3) at Washington (Mo.) University (2-2)
When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m. (CDT)/2 p.m. (EDT)
Where: St. Louis, Mo., Francis Field (3,300)
Berry Radio/Web Audio: WLAQ AM 1410, Ben Poplin play-by-play. Pre-game show begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Berry Roster: http://www.berryvikings.com/sports/fball/2013-14/roster
Wash U Preview: http://bearsports.wustl.edu/Sports/Content/Pages/fb10-1-13.aspx
Read Todd DeFeo's Weekly Report HERE.
Berry-Wash U.: Today's game is the last non-conference game for the Vikings. Washington University, however, joins the Southern Athletic Association next year. The Bears and the University of Chicago will become SAA football-only members in 2014.
Media Watch: Berry football had a big weekend in the local and national media. The video highlight of Anthony Batey's 100-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown was a finalist for the D3football.com play-of-the-week. (See Batey video HERE.) Addtionally, the CBS Sports affiliate in Atlanta did a feature on the football startup at Berry. Click HERE for Larry Smith's video package. Lastly, Mitchell Blanchard earned Berry's first football award after being named SAA Special Teams Player of the Week.
A Game of Firsts: The Rhodes-Berry football game had a lot of excitement for the Vikings and many firsts. Here's a listing of some of the firsts:
-Campbell Harrison scored Berry's first points against varsity competition in the opening half. His 32-yard field goal made the score Rhodes 7, Berry 4.
-Mitchell Blanchard continued his impressive play against the Lynx. Already excelling with his punting this year, BC Coach Tony Kunczewski had enough confidence in the freshman to call his number on a fake punt in a fourth down and 14 situation.
"It was a planned run." Kunczewski said. "Rhodes U was bunching their players to the right side, so we knew there would be room to the left."
There was plenty of room for Blanchard to get the first down, and then he continued 47 yards for the Vike's first-ever TD against a varsity team. Blanchard had to field a high snap, but looked nothing like a punter on his scamper.
Blanchard did well in his "day job," too. He punted eight times for 290 yards and a 36.2 average--not bad considering he had his first miscue/shank of nine yards. He had a long punt of 51 yards in the game.
Last note on Blanchard: he leads the team in rushing with a 47-yard-per carry average.
-Anthony Batey tallied Berry's first defensive touchdown with his NCAA-record tying 100-yard score. Batey recovered the ball about six yards deep in the Viking end zone. Unlike the NFL, however, he only gets credit for 100 yards on the field. Batey got a key block from Bradley Brown in the end zone. At that point, Batey decided to make a run for it, rather than accept a touchback and accept the ball at the 20-yard line. He then received a nice block from Malcholm Graham at the five-yard line, another from Matt Farinella at the 20, and a pancake block by Preston Stewart at the 40. It was a convoy of white jerseys thereafter.
It's Taken Three: The quarterback competition has been one of the most competitive on the team this year. Adam Sandin, Sandon Mims and Dale Jackson have shared the load. There's a bit of a change this as Jackson will get the start against the Bears. "The competition has been so close, but Dale has the best improvisational skills, and that can help us," said Kunczewski.
Vikes Get to the Points: Entering last week's game, Rhodes was allowing just 13 points-per-game. Berry's 24 points was the most by any Lynx opponent.