The Drake football teams opens the season at home tonight against Grand View. The Bulldogs have high hopes after earning a share of the Pioneer Football League title a year ago and coach Chris Creighton says his team is ready for a game.
He says the preseason camp was good, but long. Grand View opened the season ranked 15th in the NAIA and opened last Saturday with a 26-6 victory over Graceland.
“They probably feel good about the fact that they’ve got the game down and had a nice win,” Creighton says. Creighton says several questions will be answered tonight, including a defense that has a new coordinator and a new look.
“It doesn’t feel new right now, but the reality of it is we haven’t played a down yet,” Creighton says. He says they have some people to replace in the kicking game and that will be another question going in. Drake avoided the upset in last year’s meeting.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the waning seconds before edging the Vikings 28-21 in overtime. Grand View coach Mike Woodley says last year’s game should give the Vikings the confidence that they can compete with Drake, and he says whether that’s the case this year will be seen tonight.
Woodley says the key for the Vikings will be to slow down Drake senior quarterback Michael Piatkowski who threw for more than 2,900 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. “Probably their only concern will be replacing their offensive line from a year ago…but with the program going the way it is, guys are just going to step in and step up. They are the defending conference champions of a great league, so they know how to win and how to get it done,” Woodley says.
It is a seven o’clock kickoff in Drake Stadium.