Make your own free website on

....from the Canton Repository, Thursday November 26, 1998...
Walsh coach resigns NORTH CANTON -- Walsh University football defensive coordinator Mike Woodford has resigned, "to pursue other opportunities." Woodford had been a member of the Walsh coaching staff since the program began four years ago. He also served as director of the Cavalier Athletic Club. A news release from the university said a replacement should be hired sometime before Jan. 1.

...from the Canton Repository, Sunday January 10, 1999...
Walsh head football coach Jim Dennison said he expects to name a new defensive coordinator by Jan. 18. Mike Woodford resigned following the season. Many expect former GlenOak High coach Fred Thomas to join the Walsh staff. "We've got it down to two or three people," Dennison said.

Malone and Walsh may have a new opponent on their football schedule for the 2000 season. Tiffin University is leaving the Mid-States Football Association to become an NCAA Division II independent and St. Francis (Ill.) may be voted into the MSFA.

The Walsh football team graduated 23 seniors, but will return plenty of experience for 1999. Dennison said senior Chris Pullen, a backup to Matt Jenson the last two seasons, is the starting quarterback going into spring drills. The running backs, sophomores Dan Herbert and Chad Wise, both started at least three games in 1998. "We're bringing back 75 players," Dennision said, "and these guys are not rookies."

...from the Canton Repository, Tuesday January 19, 1999...

Six Walsh football players named to all-academic team
Repository sports staff report
FINDLAY -- Six Walsh University players have been named to the Mid-States Football Association's 1998 All-Academic Team.
Phil Marquart, a senior offensive tackle from Green High School, had the second-highest grade-point average of any player in the 14-team conference. His 3.92 GPA in finance trailed only Bob Richter of St. Ambrose (3.94 GPA in mass communication).
Not far behind Marquart were Ron Carlson, a senior defensive back from Green (3.89, finance/Spanish), and Jon Court, a junior offensive lineman from Galion (3.88, secondary education/social studies).
Also making the honor squad from Walsh were senior defensive back David Grimm of Tuscarawas Central Catholic (3.50, secondary education/mathematics), senior quarterback Matt Jenson from Barberton (3.35, sociology/criminal justice) and senior tight end Josh Wehring (3.28, biology/pre-physical therapy).

...from the Canton Repository, Sunday January 24, 1999...

......Walsh's Wood is All-American....
Repository sports staff report
....Wood, a 6-3, 255-pound senior from North Canton, was also first-team all-MSFA as well as his team's defensive MVP. He came back from reconstructive knee surgery in the off-season to lead the Cavaliers in unassisted tackles (74). Wood, who started four years for the Cavs after transferring from Kent State, is Walsh's career leader in tackles (285) and sacks (19). He was second-team all-conference as a sophomore and junior.

...from the Canton Repository, Friday January 29, 1999...

Walsh names Thomas as defensive coordinator
Repository sports staff report
NORTH CANTON -- Former GlenOak High School head football coach Fred Thomas has been hired as defensive coordinator at Walsh University. Thomas, who left GlenOak following this past season, replaces Mike Woodford at Walsh. Woodford resigned in December. Thomas coached at GlenOak from 1992-98, earning Federal League Coach of the Year honors after the 1994 season. He also served as head coach at Alliance (1989-91) and Girard (1986-88). He was Stark County Division I Coach of the Year in 1991 at Alliance and was the Mahoning Valley Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1987 at Girard. Thomas' college coaching experience includes serving as defensive coordinator at Youngstown State from 1983-86.

Cavalier head coach Jim Dennison also added Dean Walendzak to his staff. Walendzak will coach the secondary and will serve as the defensive special teams coordinator. Walendzak is the former assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Tiffin University, where he spent the last two years. He also coached at Clarion University (1994-96), Kansas (1993-94) and Bowling Green (1992-93).

...from the Canton Repository, Monday, April 12, 1999...

College football
Running backs Dan Herbert and Chad Wise combined for 107 yards rushing and two touchdowns Saturday at Fawcett Stadium during Walsh University's first intrasquad game of football spring practice. Herbert, a sophomore from Wadsworth, ran for 55 yards and a touchdown and Wise, a sophomore from Lake, 52 yards and another TD. Nick Kovach caught three passes for 41 yards, while quarterbacks Jim Keagy and Chris Pullen each completed 3 of 10 passes. The Cavaliers willl scrimmage again Thursday at 4 p.m. at Canton Central Catholic High School.

...from the Canton Repository, Sunday April 18,1999...

College football
Walsh closed out spring practices with an intrasquad game at Fawcett Stadium. The Maroon team shut out the Gold 12-0. Dan Herbert rushed for 72 yards on 21 carries, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Chris Pullen scored the other Maroon touchdown on a 1-yard rush. Pullen completed 2-of-9 passes and ran the ball five times for 28 yards. The Gold team was led by Chad Wise, a sophomore from Lake, who rushed for 33 yards and Timken graduate Lamont Evans who caught two 18-yard passes.


...from the Canton Repository, May 10, 1999...

Three area football players among those committing to Walsh
Repository sports staff report
Walsh University has commitments from 30 recruits who have signed NAIA national letters of intent to play for Cavaliers head coach Jim Dennison. The list includes 27 high school graduates and three transfers who will suit up for Walsh this fall in its fifth season of intercollegiate football.
"We brought in 11 captains from the high school teams," Dennison said "I'm real happy because the majority of our recruits come from Ohio."
Local players who have committed to playing for Walsh, include Lake High School wide receiver Aaron Baker, Fairless offensive lineman Rob Bowers and Chris Grisak a linebacker from Jackson.
"We also brought in three transfers from NCAA Division I institutions," said Dennison. "A quarterback from Youngstown State in Jim Keagy, wide receiver Jarrod Ferrell from the University of Toledo and strong safety Kevin Vaughn from the University of Akron. All three transfers competed in spring ball and should contribute heavily in this year's successes."
The Cavaliers were 6-5 last year for their fourth consecutive winning season. Walsh competes in the Mid-East League of the Mid-State Football Association. They open their season Sept. 5 at Union (Ky.) College.
1999 Walsh Offensive Recruits
Aaron Baker, wide receiver, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, Lake High School; Nick Barile, TB, 5-10, 175, Lakewood St. Edward; Mike Biddlestone, FB/LB, 6-2, 217, Niles McKinley; Rob Bowers, OL, 6-3, 280, Fairless; Charles Cunningham, OL, 6-2, 267, Akron Buchtel; Jarrod Ferrell, WR, 5-10, 161, Nordonia (transfer from University of Toledo); Mike Hemming, QB/DB, 6-2, 170, River View; Jim Keagy, QB, 6-3, 205, Girard (transfer from Youngstown State); Andre Lessears, WR, 6-1, 180, Akron Buchtel; Matt Letera, OL, 6-3, 235, Stow-Munroe Falls; Sean Miner, TB, 5-8, 180, Norwayne; Craig Ramhofer, QB, 6-1, 185, Charlotte (Punta Gorda, Fla.); Shawn Rappach, PK, 5-5, 135, Niles McKinley; Tim Smith, FB, 6-1, 200, Mineral Ridge; Tim Sturgiss, OL, 6-2, 250, Lowellville; Irvin White, TB/DB/KR, 5-7, 160, Bedford; Mike Williams, FB, 6-1, 220, Barberton; Jarred Zapolnik, OL/DL, 6-2, 215, Steubenville.
1999 Walsh Defensive Recruits
Andy Berkowitz, DL, 6-3, 230, Barberton; Carmen Farina, OLB/DE, 6-2, 250, Youngstown Chaney; Tom Franklin, DL, 6-3, 250, Center (Aliquippa, Pa.); Chris Grisak, OLB, 6-4, 215, Jackson; David Jenkins, DB/WR, 6-0, 185, Warren JFK; Joe Lowther, DL, 6-3, 300, Wadsworth; Matt Miller, DB, 5-11, 175, Field; Mark Sheredy, OLB/TE, 6-3, 240, Wickliffe; Mike Sheredy, LB, 5-11, 215, Wickliffe; George Theodoris, DB, 6-3, 175, Ft. Myers (Fla.); Chad Vanderborne, DB, 6-3, 180, Indian Valley; Kevin Vaughn, SS, 6-0, 200, Akron Ellet (transfer from University of Akron).

...from THE CANTON REPOSITORY..July 15, 1999.....

Gilbert joins Findlay staff
FINDLAY -- Greg Gilbert, who has been an offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for Walsh's football program since 1994, will join the University of Findlay staff as an offensive line coach.
Gilbert coached the defensive line at Findlay from 1988-94. In 1992, when the Oilers won the NAIA Division II national championship, the defensive unit was ranked in the top 10 nationally in four categories. A 1986 University of Akron graduate, Gilbert also served as assistant athletic director at Walsh.


september 4, 1999

Walsh at Union, Ky.

SITE: Burch-Nau Field, Barbourville, Ky., 1:30 p.m.


1998 RECORDS: Walsh 6-5; Union 0-10

LAST MEETING: Walsh won 40-6 last season and leads the all-time series 2-0.

WHAT TO WATCH: Walsh returns only seven starters. Still, head coach Jim Dennison expects the Cavaliers to have more speed and skill than any team he has had. Transfer Demetrius Harris, who started as a true freshman at the University of Pittsburgh and spent the last two years at Youngstown State, is a bonafide, big-time tailback. The Cavaliers also return tailbacks Dan Herbert and Chad Wise (combined 543 yards rushing and six touchdowns in 1998) and wide receiver-returner Ron Winphrie. Chris Pullen takes over at quarterback for Walsh. He was four-year starter's Matt Jenson backup last season. New head coach Brian Hill begins the task of rebuilding a Union team that is 3-27 over the last three years. The Bulldogs return 11 starters this season. Quarterback Stanley Niece threw for 1,324 yards and completed 54 percent of his passes last year. But Niece threw only one touchdown pass and 11 interceptions.

Walsh's Pullen puts in victory vs. Union

From staff and wire reports

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. -- Chris Pullen threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for three other scores as Walsh University opened its 1999 football season with a 40-17 pounding of Union College on Saturday.

Pullen completed 8 of 12 passes for 121 yards, including scoring aerials of 29 yards to Ron Winphrie and 12 yards to Adam Maurer.

The quarterback had touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 1 yard as the Cavaliers rolled up 21 points in the second quarter en route to a 27-3 halftime lead.

Union took the early lead in the contest with a 30-yard first-quarter field goal before Pullen took over.

The Cavaliers rolled up 302 yards rushing as Dan Herbert got 117 of that total on just 12 carries. Demetriius Harris added 80 yards in 21 attempts, and Ben Spillar tacked on 69 more in eight attempts.

Pullen carried eight times for 30 yards.

Union quarterback Stanley Niece completed 25 of 44 passes for 233 yards and a pair of third-quarter touchdowns.

at Burch/Nau Stadium

Walsh University 6 21 7 6 -- 40

Union College 3 0 14 0 -- 17

u--FG Philpot 30

W--Pullen 1 run (kick failed)

W--Maurer12 pass from Pullen (Johnston kick)

W--Winphrie 29 pass from Pullen (Johnston kick)

W--Pullen 2 run (Johnston kick)

U--Hawkins 45 pass from Niece (Philpot kick)

U--Hawkins 2 pass from Niece (Philpot kick)

W--1 run Pullen (Johnston kick)

W--3 run Herbert (blocked kick)

Team statistics

Rushing: Walsh 52-302, Union 26-70. Passing: Walsh 9-13-1-121, Union 25-46-1-233. First downs: Walsh 21, Union 14. Fumbles-lost: Walsh 2-2, Union 1-0.

Records: Walsh 1-0; Union 0-1.



ATT: 1,015
UNION..Hawkins 45 pass from Niece (Philpot kick) UNION..Hawkins 2 pass from Niece (Philpot kick) WALSH..PULLEN 1 RUN (JOHNSTON KICK)

RECORDS:UNION 0-10 (1998) ; WALSH 6-5 (1998)

first downs1421
return yards00
time of possession00








"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper


september 18, 1999

...from the Canton Repository, September 17, 1999...

Walsh at West Liberty State

SITE: Wheeling Island Stadium, Wheeling, W.Va., 7 p.m.

TICKETS: On sale at the gate.


RECORDS: Walsh 1-0; West Liberty State 2-0

LAST WEEK: Walsh, which defeated Union, Ky. 40-17 in its season opener on Sept. 4, was idle. West Liberty edged Virginia-Wise 13-7.

LAST MEETING: Walsh won 38-30 last season in the only other meeting between the two teams.

WHAT TO WATCH: West Liberty, an NCAA Division II school, has given up only 70.5 rushing yards and 204.5 total yards per game this season. Hilltopper opponents are only 1 of 14 on third-down conversions. West Liberty senior fullback rushed for 119 yards against Virginia-Wise. Walsh finished with 302 rushing yards and 423 total yards in its season opener against Union. In his first collegiate start, Cavaliers senior quarterback Chris Pullen completed 8 of 12 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for three scores. Sophomore tailback Dan Herbert gained 117 yards on 12 carries and scored one touchdown. Defensively, junior outside linebacker Mark Shelly recorded 19 tackles (9 solo).

...from the Canton Repository, September 19, 1999...

Pullen's play leads Walsh to road win

Repository sports staff report

WHEELING, W.Va. -- Quarterback Chris Pullen passed for 113 yards and one touchdown, and also ran for two scores to lead Walsh University to its second straight victory, a 21-6 conquest of Division II foe West Liberty State on Saturday.

Pullen scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 6 yards. He also threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Adam Maurer.

The Cavaliers rolled up 332 total yards, including 212 rushing. Ben Spillar led Walsh with 96 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Walsh 0 7 7 7 -- 21

West Liberty 6 0 0 0 -- 6

First Quarter

W.Lib--Bolin 11 run (kick blocked), 10:01

Second Quarter

Wal--Pullen 1 run (Johnston kick), 14:14

Third Quarter

Wal--Maurer 14 pass from Pullen (Johnston kick), 8:20

Fourth Quarter

Wal--Pullen 6 run (Johnston kick), 1:25


 Wal W.Lib

First downs 15 15

Rushes-yards 54-212 37-114

Passing 212 114

Comp-Att-Int 5-12-2 9-33-4

Return Yards 164 112

Punts-Avg. 10-38.5 8-31.8

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-2

Penalties-Yards 7-45 7-60

Time of Possession 33:00 27:00


RUSHING--Walsh, Spillar 11-96, Demitrius 24-64, Herbert 12-40, Pullen 7-9. West Liberty, Miller 16-72, Bolin 4-40, Jackson 7-33, Corey 1-5, Shipley 1-2.

PASSING--Walsh, Pullen 5-12-2-113. West Liberty, Bolin 6-25-3-64, Corey 3-12-1-62.

RECEIVING--Walsh, Kovach 1-47, Wise 1-42, Maurer 1-14, Spillar 1-7, Winphrie 1-3. West Liberty, Briggs 3-61, Corey 2-27, Vitek 2-27, Hardwick 1-9, Jackson 1-2.

...from the Canton Repository, Wednesday Sept 22, 1999...

Patience paying off for Walsh's Pullen

By MIKE POPOVICH Repository sports writer

Walsh University senior quarterback Chris Pullen waited patiently for his turn.

Pullen was a backup to graduated four-year starter Matt Jenson for three seasons. He learned the Cavaliers' system and even took snaps in all 10 Walsh games in 1997. He also was the team's holder on all extra-point and field-goal attempts.

Pullen showed the leadership of a team player. And while battling Youngstown State transfer Jim Keagy for the starting quarterback job during the spring and preseason, Pullen showed signs of a true competitor.

"Chris showed some mental toughness," head coach Jim Dennison said. "He refused to be beat."

Pullen has helped lead the young Cavaliers to a 2-0 start. In last week's 21-6 victory over NCAA Division II West Liberty State, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder threw one touchdown pass and also ran for two scores to earn offensive player of the week honors in the Mid-States Football Association's Mideast League.

Pullen has been involved in all eight Walsh touchdowns this season. He has five rushing TDs, three passing scores and is tied for the MSFA lead in scoring.

"Chris gives us a dimension we have not had before, the ability to have our quarterback run the football," Dennison said. "He runs some option and also scrambles a little bit. I am real happy with him."

The Cavalier defense will have to contain a very good option quarterback in Saturday's home opener against Trinity International at Fawcett Stadium.

Senior Jason Nelson rushed for 157 yards and scored one touchdown in Trinity's 27-24 win over 18th-ranked Tiffin last week. He leads the MSFA in rushing (146.0 yards per game) and total offense (233.0 per game).

"They are a scary team," Dennison said of Trinity. "Tiffin is a good team, and they did beat them."


Sept. 20, 1999



OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Chris Pullen, Walsh, Ohio

5-11, 200, Senior, Quarterback, Akron, Ohio

5 of 13 passing, 120 yards, 2 INTs, 1 TD of 14 yards

Carried 7 times for 9 yards and TD runs of 1 & 6 yards

As Walsh scored a touchdown in each of the final three

Quarters to hand NCAA Division II West Liberty State,

W.Va. its first loss, 21-6. Pullen set up 2 TDs with 42

And 47-yard completions



ATT: 2,500


first downs1515
return yards112164
time of possession27:0033:00








"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper


september 25, 1999

...from the Canton Repository, Friday September 24, 1999...

Trinity International at Walsh

SITE: Fawcett Stadium, Canton, 1 p.m.

TICKETS: $4 adults, $2 senior citizens, free for Walsh students with a valid ID. All Apples Supermarkets also have special coupons good for two tickets for $1.


RECORDS: Trinity International 1-1; Walsh 2-0.

LAST WEEK: Trinity International 27, Tiffin 24; Walsh 21, West Liberty State 6.

LAST MEETING: First meeting between the schools.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Walsh defense has given up only two touchdowns in two games. Both have come on the first possession of the games. The Cavaliers forced six turnovers -- four interceptions, two fumble recoveries -- in their win over West Liberty State. Freshman defensive back Kevin Vaughn had one of the interceptions and finished with a team-high 13 tackles. Walsh senior quarterback Chris Pullen has rushed for five touchdowns and passed for three TDs this season. Pullen ran for two touchdowns and passed for a score against West Liberty State, and was named offensive player of the week in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League. Trinity International senior quarterback Jason Nelson leads the MSFA in total offense at 233 yards per game. He rushed for 157 yards and threw for 73 last week against Tiffin

...from the Canton Repository, Sunday, September 26, 1999...
Walsh rebuilds its way to 3-0 start


RUNNING WILD. Walsh University tailback Demetrius Harris (25) drags along Trinity International linebacker Mark Sperling during the first quarter at Fawcett Stadium. Harris ran for 100 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff for 82 yards. Repository / Joy Newcomb

By ANDY CALL Repository sports writer

CANTON -- Next fall will mark Jim Dennison's 40th season as a football coach. In that span, however, it is apparent Walsh University's head coach never has learned how one is supposed to go about having a "rebuilding year."

The youthful Cavaliers, who might have been expected to struggle early this season, instead are 3-0 following Saturday's 24-21 non-league victory over Trinity International (Ill.) at Fawcett Stadium.

"Surprised? No. Happy? Yes," Dennison said. "I was a little concerned because this game came between a big win last week (at West Liberty) and a big game next week (vs. Malone). But this team has been behind in every game, and every game they have come back and won. I like this team."

The Cavs are likely to move up from their No. 23 spot in the NAIA national rankings. Trinity (1-2) had knocked off then-18th- ranked Tiffin one week earlier.

Trojans senior Jason Nelson, a nifty triple-option quarterback with feet like Fred Astaire, came into the game leading the Mid-States Football Association in total offense. Nelson, every bit as good as advertised, ran for 160 yards on 15 carries, including an 83-yard touchdown, and threw for another TD. Two players who often carried the burden of containing Nelson were outside linebacker Bryan Register and defensive end Robert Allen, both seniors.

"Nelson," Register said, "is a pain in the neck. Every play, we had to call out who we had, and everybody had to stick with the player they were assigned to. Overall, I think we executed pretty well."

"We wanted to make (Nelson) pitch it more than run it -- that's how much respect we have for him," Allen said.

Register and Allen had help from several sources, however.

-- The New Guy I. Place-kicker Jeff Johnston, a sophomore transfer from Heidelberg, set a school record with a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter.

-- The New Guy II. Tailback Demetrius Harris, a senior transfer from Pitt by way of Youngstown State, rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff 82 yards for another TD, 2 yards short of the school record.

-- The Mack Truck. Sophomore defensive back Mack Mitchell intercepted a pass and smothered a field-goal attempt.

-- The Good Hands People. Freshman defensive back David Jenkins recovered Trinity's onside kick attempt after the Trojans had scored with 57 seconds remaining to pull within 24-21. Walsh used four plays to run out the clock.

-- The Stoppers. Freshman defensive back Kevin Vaughn and senior linebacker Eddie Pryor combined for 22 tackles.

Many of Saturday's key players for Walsh are new to the team, while others are adjusting to new roles following the graduation last year of 11 seniors, most of them four-year starters.

"We're nastier," Allen said. "We're not just going to sit back and let teams come to us. That's our motto -- 'be nasty.' "

"I told everybody before the season, 'Wait until you see who shows up to play.' " Register said. "Well, we've showed up to play."

Harris showed up at some very opportune moments, including with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter. The Trojans, following a blocked punt recovery, had just scored to take a 13-10 lead.

Harris caught the kickoff on his 18, bobbed and weaved through a pack of defenders in the middle of the field, then cut to the left sideline and outsprinted everyone for an 82-yard TD.

"Our coaches say to just follow the wedge, and I got some great blocking up front," Harris said. "I saw a crease and just took off."

Harris also clinched the verdict with a 21-yard run on third-and-one and 30 seconds remaining.

The Cavs now turn their attention to crosstown rival Malone, ranked No. 8 in the NAIA, and Saturday's 1:30 p.m. Dick Gallagher Trophy game at Fawcett Stadium.

"There's not too much I can say about Malone and Walsh except that we'll be ready and I'm sure they will be ready, too," Allen said.

"We know we're the vast underdog against Malone," Dennison said. "But we'll worry about that tomorrow.



WALSH.....Harris 3 run (Johnston kick),2:23 TRINITY...Nelson 83 run (Savage kick), 1:59
WALSH.....Johnston 46 FG, 3:20
TRINITY...Diaz 5 run, 4:27 WALSH.....Harris 82 kickoff ruturn (Johnston kick), 4:12
WALSH.....Pullen 1 run (Johnston kick), 13:00 TRINITY...Corbin 8 pass from Nelson (Nelson run), :27


first downs00
return yards00
time of possession00







Winphriedid not play

"box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper

WALSH 15...MALONE 0...

October 2, 1999

....from the Canton Repository, Saturday October 2, 1999....

Repository sports writer

NORTH CANTON — The Walsh University football team knows it is not a prohibitive favorite in this afternoon’s Dick Gallagher Trophy game against Malone College at Fawcett Stadium.

A rash of injuries has sidelined several key Malone players, including three starters on offense. But the Cavaliers know the Pioneer defense has been solid throughout the season. Opponents are averaging just 8.7 points per game against Malone.

“We know this defense is probably the best defense that we’ll face,’’ Walsh head coach Jim Dennison said. “They’re very good.’’

Malone’s defense will be a big challenge for a Walsh offense that has seven new starters. So far, the 3-0 Cavs have passed every test.

Senior quarterback Chris Pullen scored his sixth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run in last week’s 24-21 victory over Trinity International. He ranks second in the Mid-States Football Association and tied for fifth in the NAIA in scoring.

The Cavs also feature the trio of senior Demetrius Harris and sophomore Dan Herbert at tailback, and senior Ben Spillar at fullback. Harris, a transfer from Pittsburgh and Youngstown State, leads the team in rushing with 262 yards and one touchdown. He also aided in the win over Trinity with an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the third quarter that gave Walsh the lead for good.

“Demetrius has been real good, and I think he can be even a lot better,’’ Dennison said. “But Dan Herbert also is a very good tailback, so we can interchange those guys. And Ben Spillar has been doing a very good job at fullback. They have been able to complement each other.

“We don’t have to go to just one back, to Demetrius as an example. We have other weapons we can use. That saves him a little bit for some other things he does pretty well.’’

Senior quarterback Brian Magrell is one of the injured Malone players the Cavs’ defense will not face today. Although Magrell threw for 2,612 yards (237.5 yards per game) and 23 touchdowns while completing 60.2 percent of his passes last fall, he had a long afternoon during Malone’s 28-21 win over Walsh. The Cavs held Magrell to just nine completions for 74 yards and intercepted him once.

Today, the Cavs face true freshman Paul Muklewicz, a quarterback they have not had a chance to scout.

“We deal in controllables and uncontrollables,’’ Dennison said. “Uncontrollables are the other team’s size, speed, skill and injuries. We have to get ready to play the team they put out there.

“We know their coaches and their philosophies, and they’re not going to change their philosophy.’’

The Pioneers (2-1) have won three of the four meetings between the two teams. Historically, the team with the fewest turnovers and the best kicking game has won.

“Last year, we lost the game on a blocked field goal for a touchdown and two punt returns that set up touchdowns,’’ Dennison said. “The kicking game in a game like this is very important.’’

....from the Canton Repository, Wednesday September 29, 1999....

Malone's long list of injured includes its starting QB

By ANDY CALL Repository sports writer

CANTON -- Steve Saulnier, perhaps more than any other coach in college football this week, is appreciating the value of laughter as the best medicine.

"Right now, they wouldn't let us on to Noah's ark" the Malone College head football coach said. "We don't have two of anything."

The Pioneers (2-1) will be minus a boatload of injured key players, including starting quarterback Brian Magrell, when Malone faces crosstown rival Walsh University (3-0) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Fawcett Stadium in the fifth annual Gallagher Trophy game.

"Adversity in a family can make it weaker or stronger, depending on how you react," Saulnier said. "Our goal this week is to win, but it is also to see this team come together like a family."

The Malone family will have plenty of newly adopted members thrust into key roles Saturday.

Quarterback Paul Muklewicz, a true freshman from Woodhaven, Mich., will be the most visible. He will start in place of Magrell, who suffered possible broken bones in his foot Saturday in an off-the-field accident.

According to Saulnier, Magrell's car was blocked into its spot at one of the college parking lots. When Magrell attempted to move the concrete barrier in front of the car, Saulnier said, he dropped the barrier onto his foot. Magrell, a former starter at the University of Akron (1994-95), was a second-team all-conference QB in 1998 after passing for 2,612 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Saulnier likes what he has seen of Muklewicz to this point.

"No. 1, he is very smart," Saulnier said of Muklewicz, who is at Malone on an academic scholarship. "No. 2, he comes from a passing offense in high school. No. 3, he has good size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and can see downfield. He was our quarterback of the future, but I guess the future is now."

The backups will also be true freshmen -- Louisville High product Steve Manko and East Canton grad Bryan Kandel. Justin Sopko, a starter in 1997 and Magrell's backup last fall, did not return to school this fall.

Saulnier said the normally wide-open Pioneers would not retreat into a ball-control offense despite the change in QBs.

"(Offensive coordinator) Roger Foote would never stand for that," Saulnier said. "He's got too much WAC in him."

Foote is a former assistant at the University of New Mexico in the pass-happy Western Athletic Conference.

The other casualties:

 Starting defensive tackle Matt Wolford, who tore ligaments in his ankle in the first game.

 Starting wide receiver Shane Hostetler, who suffered a ruptured spleen in the season opener.

 Starting tight end Seth Brown, who tore ligaments in his knee during practice last week.

Although Malone does not name official team captains, Saulnier gave credit to linebackers Christian Silveira and Jamie Blickensderfer, defensive back Christian Schneider and offensive linemen Frank Kennedy, Jerry Todorovich and Andrew Andruzis for taking on leadership roles during a difficult time for the program. Prior to the rash of injuries, the Pioneers were also dealing with former head coach Mike Gravier being asked to resign a week before the season opener.

"We not only lost good players, we lost leaders," Saulnier said. "But the people who have emerged as leaders have done a fine job."

The Pioneers may go into Saturday's game as the underdogs, but that was also the case a year ago. Malone surprised a senior-laden Walsh team 28-21 last Oct. 24 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

"I believe all this can make us stronger, if we handle it correctly," Saulnier said. "I know this much -- our kids will play hard in spite of it."

....from the Canton Repository, Sunday October 3, 1999....

Repository sports writer

CANTON — It was pure Jim Dennison football.

The type of punishing football his University of Akron teams played throughout the 1970s and into the 80s when he became the Zips’ all-time winningest coach.

The same type of hard-nosed football his Walsh University Cavaliers now enjoy as they are off to a 4-0 start.

Using two of Dennison’s staples — a good running game and a solid defense — the Cavaliers beat archrival Malone College 15-0 for their latest win Saturday afternoon in front of 3,700 at Fawcett Stadium.

“This was a big one for us,” said Dennison, who has coached the Walsh football program for all five years of its existence. “They were the sixth-ranked team and they’re our big rival. And if you had said we’d been 4-0 after four games, no one would’ve believed you. We are a truly young team. We lost our first class of seniors last year and we have only 15 seniors this year. This is just a big win for us right now.”

The Cavaliers, ranked 19th, beat Malone by simply controlling the ball with their ground game in the second half. During the final 30 minutes, they had the ball for 25:07 and they gained 196 of their 248 total rushing yards.

“Our guys want to do that,” Dennison said of the running game. “The hogs up front, they love it.”

One of those “hogs” is senior center Jon Court.

“At Walsh, you know you’re going to run the ball,” said the 240-pound Court. “We’ll run it outside and we’ll run it inside. We’ll just run it all over the place. And we have a quality line where we know everyone is going to get the job done.”

Court helped pave the way for big days by both Walsh tailbacks Saturday. Senior Demetrius Harris rushed for 165 yards on 33 carries and scored the game’s only touchdown, while sophomore Dan Herbert rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries.

“They make us look good,” Court said. “Demetrius and Herbie, they run the ball harder than any other backs I’ve seen in NAIA.”

Of course, Harris is not your typical NAIA tailback. The former all-state performer at Brunswick started his college career at Pittsburgh, where he had a couple of 100-yard performances for the Panthers. He eventually transferred to Youngstown State before coming to Walsh prior to this season.

“He’s a good back and a good kid,” Dennison said. “He’s done a nice job of fitting in with the team.”

Harris rushed for 142 of his yards on 25 second-half carries after Walsh went back to the basics.

The Cavaliers opened up in a no-huddle offense and tried some different things in leading 6-0 at the half. Sophomore Jeff Johnston provided the points with field goals of 32 and 40 yards.

And who could blame Dennison for trying some different things, considering the type of defense they went against. Malone entered allowing less than three yards per rush and 8.7 points per game.

“We got back to our basics in the second half,” Dennison said. “The things we do well. The sprint draw. The isolations. The things we’ve done hundreds of years.”

Walsh seized control of the game with two lengthy drives in the third quarter.

The first, a nine-play, 82-yard drive, ended in a 19-yard touchdown run by Harris. The second, a 17-play, 65-yard march, resulted in another 32-yard field goal by Johnston with 54 seconds left in the third.

The first drive took 4:57. The second consumed 7:50.

Walsh maintained control the rest of the way, but could not put any more points on the board against a proud Malone defense. Pioneer senior linebacker Christian Silviera made a game-high 16 tackles.

“Their defense is one of the best in the country,” Dennison said.

But Malone’s defense did not get enough help from an offense minus three key starters.

“As good as our defense is playing, you can’t expect them to be on the field all day and continue to stop the other team,” said Malone head coach Steve Saulnier. “And despite being on the field that much, they still allowed them to cross the goal line just once. I’m so proud of their effort.”

The Pioneers were outgained 315 to 131 with freshman quarterback Paul Muklewicz starting his first college game in place of injured senior starter Brian Magrell. Muklewicz was 11-for-32 for 141 yards with three interceptions.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Paul,” Saulnier said. “He’s a talented young quarterback that one day will be a great veteran quarterback.”

Walsh looks to go 5-0 for the first time in the program’s brief history when it hosts 12th-ranked Tri-State next week.

“This is one of the hardest working football teams I’ve ever had,” Dennison said.

“We’ve got a great work ethic and a very positive attitude,” Court said. “I’m not overly surprised by the start, but I am very happy.”


SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS. Prior to the game, Walsh’s Court and Malone’s Leif Erickson each were recognized as recipients of the annual Dick Gallagher Memorial Scholarship Award. Erickson is a junior starting safety from Louisville. Court is a native of Galion.

TROPHY PICK UP. Jim Dennison will receive the Dick Gallagher Memorial Trophy, which annually goes to the winning team in this series, at the Oct. 11 meeting of the Hall of Fame Luncheon Club at the Four Winds Restaurant.

....from the Akron Beacon Journal, Sunday October 3, 1999....

Walsh's win is big news, in small way

  • 15-0 victory over Malone is not OSU, but it's not bad either

    This is not the kind of college football you see on ESPN. It's football between Division I and Division III, somewhere between Ohio State and Hiram.

    It's where the schools give football scholarships, but not a lot.

    It's where you find kids who are just a step slow, a few inches too short or 20 pounds too light for major college football.

    It's also where you find a few kids who played Division I ball and then moved down -- for one reason or another. And it's where you find young men with good grades who just want to play football for a few more years before heading into the real world or work, mortgages and watching games from the comfort of their favorite sofa.

    It's Malone vs. Walsh, two Canton-area private colleges in what was billed as perhaps the best NAIA college game in the country yesterday, as Malone entered the game ranked sixth in the NAIA poll and Walsh was at No. 19.

    It's where Brian Magrell was supposed to play. Magrell went to Green High, then started his career at Akron and moved to Kent -- before landing as Malone's quarterback last season.

    Magrell threw 23 TD passes, ran for five more scores and completed 60 percent of his throws last season. But Magrell dropped a cement block on his foot earlier in the week, and he's out for a while after surgery.

    Meanwhile, Walsh took the field with Chris Pullen at quarterback. The kid from Ellet is a much different story than Magrell. He came to Walsh four years ago determined to be a quarterback, which was a very big dream since he has neither the power arm nor ideal height that coaches always want.

    Walsh's Jim Dennison even suggested a switch to the defensive secondary. Pullen said he would wait his turn. And for three years, he waited. And waited.

    As his senior year approached and it appeared he'd start, a quarterback named Jim Keagy, 6-foot-3 and strong-armed -- transferred in from Youngstown State. He was supposed to beat out the 5-11 Pullen.

    ``But Chris is one of those gutsy Ellet kids turned out by Joe Yost,'' said Dennison. ``He just outworked everyone.''

    So Dennison sticks with Pullen, who runs the ball far better than he throws it. Unlike Magrell, who is a gifted athlete, Pullen has to squeeze every ounce out of his limited ability -- and he does.

    That's also true in the classroom, where Pullen is an A-minus student in elementary education.

    Ah, yes, NAIA football.

    It's where you find Dan Herbert, who is only 5-9, 159 pounds, and only looks like he should be handing a lineman a cup of water.

    So what if he gained nearly 2,000 yards in his senior season at Wadsworth, and has that kind of scared spider sort of shifty speed. Dennison's son, Greg, is the coach at Wadsworth. He sent Herbert to his dad, and it turned out to be a great Father's Day gift.

    Yes, Walsh started Demitrius Harris at tailback. His previous stops were Pitt and Youngstown State. And Harris was good enough to rush for about 500 yards in each of those last two seasons for those schools, but left because of ``academic problems,'' according to the Walsh media guide.

    The Walsh people say Harris has been a good citizen on the field and in the classroom. He scored on a strong 19-yard run in the third quarter, finished the day with 168 yards in 33 carries, showing the form that inspired ABC to name him ``Player of the Game'' in a 1997 Pitt-Texas game.

    Little Dan Herbert also ran the ball hard (68 yards, 15 carries) and well even if ABC will never carry any of his games. Nor will the country hear that Herbert is a B-plus student in business, or that he's averaging 6 yards per carry this season.

    NAIA is where you find Kevin Vaughn, another Ellet kid who started his career at Akron. He is now Walsh's leading tackler.

    It's where you see Brian Mauerer, a tight end from Copley who is Walsh's top receiver. And Bryan Register, the defensive lineman from Buchtel who blocked a punt yesterday. And Lake's Darren Dutton, who made life miserable for Malone's running game, which was an incredible 10 yards rushing in 21 carries.

    The only highlights on offense for Malone were by return man Chris Horvath, the senior defensive back from Tuslaw who was only one move away from returning couple of kicks for touchdowns.

    NAIA is a good place for area kids to continue their careers, especially at Walsh where Dennison recruits his old haunts with more vigor than any 61-year-old coach should.

    Yes, Jim Dennison is Walsh's coach, the same Jim Dennison who coached for 13 years (1973-85) at Akron and had only two losing seasons.

    It's the same Jim Dennison who spent 10 years in a suit and tie while enduring endless budget meetings as a member of Akron's athletic administration.

    It's also the same Dennison who came back to football to give birth to Walsh's football program in 1995, and whose team is now 4-0 following yesterday's 15-0 victory over Malone. That has Dennison smiling as his team lost 23 seniors from a year ago and nearly half of the team consists of new faces.

    ``To me, this game is just like being at Akron when we'd play Kent,'' he said. ``Only, now it's Malone and Walsh. A big game is a big game, and winning this is big for us. This is as good a group of hard-working kids as I've ever had. We haven't had one dog day at practice yet.''

    Meanwhile, Malone (2-2) is in a bit of turmoil. Magrell was one of three starters who was injured. Head coach Mike Gravier was let go right before the season, allegedly for striking a player during a practice.

    Ah, yes, NAIA.

    It's where Malone gives out about 25 football scholarships, Walsh hands out about 15. That's compared to 85 scholarships used by schools such as Ohio State or Akron.

    NAIA schools chop up those scholarships into 1/2 and 1/4 grants, trying to combine it with other financial-aid packages to build its team. This takes some creative thinking, especially since Walsh and Malone are private schools.

    For a student staying on campus, it costs about $17,000 for both schools. But these schools find a way to attract offensive lineman who are between 270 and 300 pounds. They have tough linebackers -- such as Malone's Christian Silveria and Major Latimer -- who can probably play at Kent or Akron.

    All afternoon, shoulder pads popped as the players just pounded on each other. It was a game for fans who like their football colored black and blue, with a little blood dripping from the nose.

    This game was played at Canton's 20,000-seat Fawcett Stadium, which swallowed up this nice crowd of about 3,700. Both teams had 2,200 for their other home games this season. Adult tickets going for $4.

    As yesterday's game showed, there are worse ways to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

    WALSH 15 , MALONE 0


    WALSH.....Johnston 32 FG :40
    WALSH.....Johnston 40 FG, 1:00
    WALSH.....Harris 19 run (run failed), 9:54 WALSH.....Johnston 32 FG, :54


    first downs918
    return yards15645
    time of possession21:3238:28








    "box scores" compiled from information contained in the "Canton Repository" newspaper