NCAA Division III Football
Heidelberg at SUNY Cortland
Saturday, September 5, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.
Cortland Stadium | Cortland, New York
Live Stats: LINK
Live Video: LINK
Heidelberg Season Preview
For the Heidelberg University football team, the 2015 season isn't about rebuilding. Yes, 20 lettermen are gone, including three All-Americans. But based on the spring practices, the next contingent of standout student-athletes are already on campus.
"The guys we need to step up are here and have already seen a lot of game action," said head coach Mike Hallett, in his ninth season at Heidelberg. "It's their turn to step up and shine."
The vaunted HU offense will look to replace three All-Americans (OL Austin Hunter, RB Cartel Brooks and WR Donteea Dye) and a four-year starter at quarterback (Michael Mees). D3football.com preseason All-American Alex Damschroder will anchor the offensive line. In addition to Damschroder, five returners have seen significant game time on the line. With the graduation of Brooks, Bryan Lacey and Cameron Vocke will start the season as the featured backs. WR Nick DeLisa and TE Zach Hogya, the lettermen with the most career receptions, will be joined by a dynamic group of sophomores who saw JV action in 2014.
Under center, Jon Sandwisch will start as the number one signal caller. As a backup, Sandwisch has seen action in 17 games, throwing for 556 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, all-conference performers Ryan Malloy and Clay Staib return to an improving unit. On the defensive line, Malloy – who had 4.5 sacks in 2014, will be accompanied by a young group of talented pass rushers. At linebacker, Staib led the team with 72 tackles, including five for loss. Will Lance and Billy Byrne join Staib in the linebacking corps. In the secondary, Alex Rentz and Jimmy Turner return. Rentz had a pair of interceptions a year ago.
Punter Stephen Smith and kicker A.J. Morrison return as the specialists for the kicking game.
Heidelberg opens the season with an unfamiliar opponent. The Student Princes open at SUNY-Cortland on September 5. OAC action begins at home on September 19 against John Carroll.
LAST TEN YEARS
Year Wk. Result
2014 - N/A
2013 - N/A
2012 - N/A
2011 - N/A
2010 - N/A
2009 - N/A
2008 - N/A
2007 - N/A
2006 - N/A
2005 - N/A
- Heading into his first season as the starting quarterback, senior Jon Sandwisch has played in 17 games over his career.
- Largely playing in blowouts, Sandwisch is 38-for-67 passing for 556 yards, with five touchdowns and six interceptions
- Sandwisch replaces four-year starter Michael Mees, who broke nearly every career passing record at Heidelberg
- Tailback Bryan Lacey also steps in to fill some pretty big cleats, replacing All-American Cartel Brooks
- Lacey had 398 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in 2014, coming off of a season-ending injury suffered early in 2013
- As a freshman, Lacey filled in for an injured Brooks in Heidelberg's do-or-die Week 10 triumph over BW in 2012. Lacey amassed 201 yards rushing in the victory, which propelled HU into the NCAA Playoffs
- For the second straight season, OL Alex Damschroder was named a preseason All-American
- Heidelberg has had All-Americans on the line in each of the past two seasons -- Quentin Rembert in 2013 and Austin Hunter in 2014.
- Ryan Malloy looks to build off of a monster 2014 season as he leads the revamped defensive front
- Malloy was charged with acclimating a talented group of incoming linemen to the HU defensive structure
- P/K Stephen Smith is one of only 200 organ performance majors nationwide
- Finished third in the nation in 2014 by converting on 92.3% of his field goal attempts
- Kicked a career-long 37-yard FG vs. ONU
- Matt Grieves, a 2010 All-American defensive end and former graduate assistant returned to the staff in the spring. He replaced Corey Fillipovich, who left to be the defensive coordinator at NC Wesleyan.
- Former HU standouts Mitchell Kelly and Will Nunnally have returned to their alma mater to serve as graduate assistants. They are joined by Dayton graduate Kyle Pignatiello.
- RB Bryan Lacey, OL Alex Damschroder, DL Ryan Malloy & LB Eric Depinet were elected as team captains for the season via a team vote near the end of camp
- For the 2014 season, Heidelberg's time of possession was 242nd in the nation. However, HU's yards per game was fourth in the country.
- The longest TD drive for HU was a nine-play 75-yard drive against BW that took 4:10 off the clock