Bearcats will look to bounce back against Truman State

Special to the News-DemocratOctober 19, 2013 

The McKendree Bearcats will gets back to action Saturday when they visit Truman State University for a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Stokes Field in Kirksville, Mo.

McKendree is 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in GLVC play. The Bearcats are coming off a 45-7 home loss last Saturday to the University of Indianapolis, which is ranked No. 21 in the latest AFCA poll.

Quarterback Isaac Fisher threw for 110 yards in the contest, connecting with Cameron James on a 22-yard touchdown strike for the Bearcats' lone score against the Greyhounds.

Fisher has thrown for 930 yards through the Bearcats' first five games. That total ranks fourth on the team's single-season list, and is just 103 yards behind the yardage that Fisher racked up in his freshman season in 2012 (1,033 yards).

In addition, Fisher ranks second in program history in pass attempts (305) and completions (177), and needs just 14 passing yards to move past Billy Gray for second place on the career yardage list. Gray threw for 1,876 yards in his four seasons at McKendree.

Dewayne Gatti is also quickly climbing up the Bearcats' record book in receptions. He enters Saturday's game with 33 catches, which is just six shy of the single-season record of 39 receptions. That mark was established just last year by Pat Doty, who had 39 catches. With his 33 receptions, Gatti ranks eighth on the team's all-time list. He also has 404 receiving yards, good for ninth on the career list and 10th on the single-season chart.

Defensively, Alec Gerdes leads McKendree with 45 tackles, and ranks third in the GLVC in tackles per game at 8.8 per outing. Gerdes had a team-high nine tackles last week against Indianapolis. Harrison Skokos and Javar Murphyalso sit among the top 20 in the league in tackles per game. Lucky Baar continues to pace the GLVC in forced fumbles and fumble recoveries.

In its first year as members of the GLVC, Truman State is 4-2 overall and tied for first in the league with a 2-0 record. The Bulldogs have won their last two outings, including a 45-7 triumph last Saturday at William Jewell College.

Truman State limited the Cardinals to just 123 yards of total offense and scored on five of its first seven possessions on its way to a 2-0 mark in league play.

Conrad Schottel completed 18-of-26 pass attempts for 225 yards with three touchdowns. Schottel connected with Chico Orlando on a pair of TD strkies, while Jared Haferbier caught a team-high five passes on the day.

Matthew Bell led a balanced defensive effort for the Bulldogs with six tackles, while Ryan Johnson, Nick Reichert and Connor Nagel each added five stops.

Saturday's game will mark just the second meeting between the two programs. Back in 2011 at Leemon Field, McKendree raced to a 10-0 lead before Truman State rallied to post a 25-10 win.

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