The Drake University football team returns to Drake Stadium for its annual homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 5, when it hosts Pioneer Football League rival Jacksonville. Kickoff for the game, presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Tickets for the homecoming contest are $12 for adults and $6 for youth and can be purchased online by clicking here. In addition to the traditional homecoming festivities, Drake will also be honoring the 1957 football team that earned a berth in the 1958 Sun Bowl at halftime.
On the field, the Bulldogs return home with a 1-3 record and are aiming for their first PFL win of the season after falling, 31-17, at Mercer in their last outing. That contest saw the team handcuffed by an uncharacteristic seven turnovers in the loss to open the PFL season.
“You can’t throw away the turnovers and say ‘if’ or ‘but,’” Drake head coach Chris Creighton said of those miscues. “We’ve got to get better in that area. We moved the ball but we stopped ourselves seven times.”
Jacksonville is 2-3 overall and 1-1 in PFL after falling to Butler last Saturday. The Dolphins boast one of the top offenses in the PFL with 42.6 points per game being scored on 507.4 yards of offense per game.
“Their offense is incredibly good,” Creighton said. “We expect their starting quarterback [Kade Bell] to play, but their backup [Stephen Hughes] was the PFL Offensive Player of the Week two weeks ago and threw for 509 yards, so they’re really good.”
With the win over Indianapolis in its last home game, Drake has won 16 of its last 18 home games, an impressive 18 of its last 20 PFL home games and 12 straight games against PFL competition in Drake Stadium. Drake is 26-5 at home under sixth-year head coach Chris Creighton.
The Bulldogs are the reigning Pioneer Football League champion after going 7-1 in the PFL last year en route to an 8-3 overall record. The title was the program’s second straight and its sixth in the history of the league.
However, between Drake and Jacksonville, the two programs have won at least a share of the league title in four of the last five seasons and have been two of the most successful programs in the league.
“Whenever we play Jacksonville, it’s a monumental battle,” Creighton said. “It always has championship implications. They’re really good, they play had and they’re well coached.”
Despite Jacksonville’s success, Drake leads the all-time series by a 10-2 margin and is a perfect 5-0 against the Dolphins at Drake Stadium. Last year, Drake prevailed, 32-29, in Jacksonville, Fla., to clinch a share of its second straight PFL title.
Following Saturday’s homecoming contest, the team returns to the road to continue PFL action against Davidson on Oct. 12 at Noon. It will be the first time Drake has faced the Wildcats since 2010.