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Former Niles standouts Nick Etzcorn, Paul DePoy and Ben Brandstatter are hoping to help DePauw capture the Nonon Bell Classic today. (Daily Star photo/Provided)
Former Niles standouts Nick Etzcorn, Paul DePoy and Ben Brandstatter are hoping to help DePauw capture the Nonon Bell Classic today. (Daily Star photo/Provided)

Archived Story

Niles players helping DePauw win big

Published 5:27pm Friday, November 13, 2009

By STEVE MORRISON
Niles Daily Star

In, likely, one of the most important games of their young lives, former Niles Viking football players Nick Etzcorn, Paul DePoy and Ben Brandstatter will suit up for the DePauw University Tigers’ battle against arch-rival Wabash’s Little Giants in the Monon Bell Classic game football today.

The game begins at 1 p.m. at Blackstock Stadium, on DePauw’s campus. The game can be seen on the Dish Network (Channel 362). Also, live audio coverage will be provided by DePauw’s WGRE. Just go to DePauw.edu. Then go to Athletics, and add Football. Check in to WGRE, at the bottom of the page.

The three teammates are members of a DePauw squad that has accumulated a 7-1 record and has clinched a co-championship in the Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. This will be DePauw’s first-ever playoff appearance.

Meanwhile Wabash College has posted an 8-1 record, and is a candidate for its third consecutive entry into the 32-team, Division III postseason format, depending on the outcome of today’s contest.

The rivalry between DePauw and Wabash is one of the biggest college football competitions in the country. It is the oldest college football rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains in series amounting to more than 100 games. Dating back to 1890, this fierce annual donnybrook has yielded a remarkably balanced record of 53-53-9, after DePauw’s 36-14 win over the Giants last year.

Since 1932 the coveted Monon Bell has been the trophy awarded to the winner of this annual event. The Monon Bell is a 300-pound locomotive bell recovered from the Monon railroad. DePauw holds a narrow 37-34 -6 lead for the bell’s possession, in this series.
Etzcorn, son of Dan and Mary Etzcorn of Niles, is a 6-3, 228 pound senior. He is a three-year letter winner. He has gathered in three receptions for nineteen yards during this campaign.

Brandstatter was an all-conference two-way starter at Niles. At DePauw he has focused on defensive back. At strong safety and on special teams this year, Ben, a sophomore, has made 14 tackles, 11 unassisted. He is the son of Pat and Jane Brandstatter. Pat is a former Niles High School assistant football coach and served as an assistant for the Benton Harbor Tigers football team, this past season.

Paul DePoy, is a 6-3, 290 pound junior. After recovering from major shoulder surgery, which cut his season short in 2008, DePoy has come to earn the starting left tackle position, on offense, for the last five games. DePoy’s parents are Roger and Marsha, of Niles.

Spud Dick, the senior Tiger quarterback, has achieved national ranking in passing efficiency and total offense in Division III ball. The Tigers lead the Southern Collegiate Conference League in total defense (289.50 yards per game), passing efficiency (167.21), passing offense (313.38), and total offense (434.50, per game).

“Paul has been fortunate to be able to combine a great education with the chance to play college football at a special place,” Roger DePoy said. “The level of competition is great and the annual Monon Bell game is one of the best rivalries in the country.”

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