The Buena Vista football team will kick-off both its 2017 season as well as the Grant Mollring era on Thursday night when it hosts Mayville State (N.D.) inside of J. Leslie Rollins Stadium.
Who: Mayville State (0-0) vs. Buena Vista (0-0)
When: Thursday, August 31 * 6pm
Where: J. Leslie Rollins Stadium & Peterson Field * Storm Lake, Iowa
Other Info: The game is part of a BVU Community Night event and there will be FREE admission to everyone for the contest.
TV: BVTV Channel 3
Radio: 97.5FM KBVU
Live Webstream: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/bvu/
Live Audio stream: http://kbvufm.radio.net/
Live Stats: http://www.bvuathletics.com/sports/fball/2017-18/boxscores/20170831_36ld.xml
Inside the Series: Thursdsay marks only the second meeting all-time between the two teams. The Comets built a 28-10 halftime lead a year ago in Mayville, N.D., before holding off the Beavers, in the season-opener for both teams, 42-33.
About Mayville State: The Comets will take the field for the first time this season, and the game will also be the first at the helm for new head coach Sean Thom. The team is coming off a 4-6 season a year ago in which they went 2-4 in the North Star. The 2017 campaign will feature several new faces due to the loss of many key players to graduation. Among those will be sophomore quarterback Creighton Pfau, who will see his first career action under center. The Comets, who averaged more than 23.0ppg a year ago, did a large part of their offensive damage a year ago threw the air, ranking second in the North Sta conference at nearly 235 yards per contest. They were last in the league at 114.0 rushing yards per contest. The backfield will also be inexperienced, as junior Desmond Earles is the leading returner with just 56 yards on 28 carries in 2016. Pfau will have a pair of veteran seniors to use as his go-to receivers in the early going. Jacob Lawrence ranked third on the team a year ago with 19 catches for 219 yards and one touchdown while Chris Pope was right behind at 17 catches for 202 yards and one score.
Defensively, the team will be more experienced despite losing its top six tacklers from 2016. Senior linebacker Blaine Miller is the unit's leading returning tackler after ranking seventh on the squad last season with 38 stops. Senior defensive end Douglas Koeppin was right behind with 34 tackles. The two also combined for five tackles for a loss. Redshirt junior linebacker Preston Hamlette was ninth in tackles a year ago and fourth on the team with 4.0 tacklers for loss. Senior defensive back Jason Holmes was second on the team in interceptions (2), returning one for a touchdown.
The kicking game will be inexperienced with freshman Jonathan Rodriguez making his collegiate debut. The Comets only attempted two field goals all of last year while converting 25-of-28 PAT's. They will also have a new puunter this season, following a season in which they averaged just under 31.0 yards per attempt.
Mayville State's last winning season came back in 2013 when they finished 7-4. This marks their first-ever trip to Storm Lake.
About BVU: The Beavers begin the Grant Mollring era with a large mix of veterans and newcomers. Playing their first home night game since defeating Waldorf, 14-10, in week three back in 2015, the Beavers are coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2016 where it finished 3-5 in the Iowa Conference. With a veteran group back on defense, it will look to improve on its 33.0ppg allowed. It returns six of its top-eight tacklers from last season, led by junior linebacker Tyler Prescott's 75 which was second. Senior defensive backs Nick Amundson (69) and Griffin Reding (56) were right behind with Amundson leading the way with a trio of interceptions. Senior linebacker Brady Illg finished with 52 stops and was among the team leaders with 3.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and three breakups. The Beavers will also be a force up front with seniors Mason Frost and Jake Staudt, along with junior Quamaree Harris and sophomore Gary Weaver. Staudt had a team-leading eight tackles for a loss with Frost next at 4.5. The two combined for over 90 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Weaver had 6.5 tackles for a loss, including three sacks as a freshman a year ago.
Junior quarterback Cole Miller will look to lead the team under center again this season after a posting nearly 1,500 yards passing and 16 touchdowns in his first year as a starter last season. He completed better than 60 percent of his attempts and set a school record with 33 completions against Loras. He'll have several familiar and experienced receivers to throw the ball to, led by senior TJ Lint, who was second on the team with 46 catches for 646 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Charlie Flickinger hauled in 25 passes for 372 yards and six scores. Senior Tyler Oberreuter also caught a pair of touchdowns for a passing unit that ranked fifth in the league. Miller will have some talented new faces to hand the ball off this season after the departure of Cody Mowery, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 2016. Despite who runs the ball, they will have an experienced offensive line to run behind, led by senior right guard Joe Thraen and right tackle Mason Smith. Also back are senior Tyler Witzke and Colton Preston.
Much like Mayville State, the kicking game will be inexperienced out of the gate for the Beavers. After losing four-year all-conference placekicker and punter, Tyler Stolen, BVU will turn to freshman Isac Rubio-Ramirez to do the kicking.
KBVU sports director, Tanner Hoops, recently sat down with Coach Mollring to discuss the upcoming season. That interview is linked below.