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Local colleges

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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Saint Francis’ Jalen Campbell, looking to block for David Yoder, has excelled at running back.

College football preview: Marian at Saint Francis


Records: No. 6 Cougars (7-2, 4-1 MSFA Mideast League); Knights (6-4, 4-1)

When: Noon Saturday

Where: Bishop John M. D’Arcy Stadium

Radio: 1450 AM

3 matchups to watch

Marian RB Tevin Lake vs. Saint Francis down seven: The No. 3 rusher in the conference, Lake has been a particular thorn in the Cougars’ paws for a while now, averaging 155 yards in three meetings and scoring eight touchdowns. In two games last year, he rushed for 327 yards and six touchdowns, and he comes to this latest renewal with 1,128 yards and averaging 5 yards per carry. The Cougars are giving up 147.1 rushing yards per game, but in two straight victories, they held Concordia and Taylor to a combined 120 yards.

Saint Francis RB Jalen Campbell and Co. vs. Marian down seven: It’s a newfound gem against an old reliable here. Since moving over from defense three weeks ago Campbell has had consecutive games of 90 and 97 yards, and averaged 5 yards per carry – and this week he’ll be bolstered by a healthy Jason Nicodemus and Aaron Harris. The Cougars will likely need all three to dent a Marian run defense that’s giving up just 126.4 yards per game, fifth best in the MSFA MEL.

Saint Francis DB Kory Stamps vs. Marian QB Joey Hecklinski: Stamps had two interceptions and the Cougars had three total in the 20-12 win over Taylor last week, and that’s not good news for Hecklinski, a fifth-year senior. Though he has thrown for 1,870 yards and eight touchdowns this season, he has shown a recent tendency to throw to the wrong-color jersey on occasion, with five picks in his last five games.

In a game that figures to turn on who makes the fewest mistakes, that could be key for Saint Francis.

– Ben Smith, The Journal Gazette