Billy VandeMerkt logged 404 yards passing and four touchdown passes, leading St. Joseph's to a 34-31 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday.
St. Joseph's (1-0) edged Valparaiso (0-2) with late-game scoring for the second consecutive year in the 66th contest between the two teams.
St. Joseph's Gavin Voss converted a field goal with less than five minutes left in the game to break a tie and cap a 16-point quarter for the Pumas.
VandeMerkt helped spark the fourth-quarter offense, completing two of his four touchdown passes early in the quarter. A 76-yard touchdown pass to Alphonso Hines gave the Pumas a 31-23 lead.
Valparaiso responded with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Eric Hoffman to Tanner Kuramata. A successful 2-point conversion tied the game at 31-31 before Voss' field goal broke the tie for good.
Hoffman had 291 yards passing and three touchdowns to lead the Crusaders.