Thomas Cook Jr. produced 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns to fuel a William Jewell offense that built a 20-point lead and held off Valparaiso for a 36-34 victory on Saturday.
After Valparaiso took an early 13-7 lead, Cook Jr. exploded for a 73-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter before William Jewell rattled off three more scores to build a 33-13 fourth-quarter advantage.
Valparaiso's Eric Hoffman led a furious comeback that found the Crusaders down two with less than a minute remaining, but the Cardinals recovered an onside kick attempt to preserve the win.
Hoffman set a school record for completions and passing yards, connecting on 36 of 55 passes with four touchdowns and 495 yards passing.
The loss to the Cardinals (1-1) marked the second-straight week Valparaiso (0-3) fell to a Division II team from the Great Lakes Valley Conference, after losing to Saint Joseph's last week.