Valparaiso to receive early tests in 2015

Valparaiso, IN ( - Three of Valparaiso's first four games in 2015 will be against 2014 FCS playoff qualifiers as the Crusaders hope to make strides in coach Dave Cecchini's second season.

Valpo will play an 11-game schedule which was announced Tuesday.

The Crusaders, who finished 4-8 last season - matching the combined win total of the five previous seasons - will kick off the new campaign on Sept. 3 at Eastern Kentucky, a 2014 playoff qualifier.

They will host another playoff team in Sacred Heart on Sept. 12. Then after hosting the College of Faith's start-up program on Sept. 19, the Crusaders will host defending Pioneer Football League champion and 2014 playoff squad San Diego on Sept. 26.

Valpo also will host PFL members Dayton (Oct. 17), Stetson (Oct. 24) and Morehead State (Nov. 14).

"Our players are very excited to be able to play games against teams like Eastern Kentucky and Sacred Heart. We are true competitors, and all true competitors embrace the challenge of proving themselves against the best of the best," Cecchini said.

2015 Valparaiso Football Schedule

Sept. 3, at Eastern Kentucky

Sept. 12, Sacred Heart

Sept. 19, College of Faith

Sept. 26, San Diego*

Oct. 3, at Davidson*

Oct. 10, at Drake*

Oct. 17, Dayton*

Oct. 24, Stetson*

Nov. 7, at Butler*

Nov. 14, Morehead State*

Nov. 21, at Jacksonville*

* - Pioneer Football League game