Turn on the lights; CUA to host first-ever night game

WASHINGTON - For the first time in school history, CUA will host a night game as the Cardinals welcome Washington & Lee to Cardinal Stadium on Friday evening.  CUA earned its first ODAC win of the season with a 33-31 victory at Emory & Henry last week, while the Generals have won four straight.

"Our guys are really excited to play this Friday for the first home game under the lights in school history," says head coach Dave Dunn. "We are coming off a big road win in the league against Emory & Henry and our players have always loved to compete against Washington & Lee. It should be a great night."

While Friday is the first home night game at CUA, the Cardinals have posted a perfect 3-0 record at night under head coach Dave Dunn.  CUA has defeated Shenandoah in each of those contests, including in this year's opener, 16-13.

In 2009 CUA registered 400 yards of total offense just once.  Through seven games this season, the Cardinals have already surpassed 400 yards four times, with a season-best of 441 in the win over Apprentice School.

Freshman Conor Stueckler has totaled 15 combined tackles in his last two games, including a season-best eight at Emory & Henry.  The first-year linebacker has 25 tackles and one sack this season.

There is a number of events planned surrounding Friday's historic game.  From 5:30 until kickoff all CUA students will receive complimentary food and drinks outside Cardinal Stadium. There will also be games and activities to keep those in attendance busy. The student-run event is being organized and sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and the Program Board.

The first 250 students through the stadium gate will receive free T-shirts and later in the evening, there will be a Halloween costume contest with three top prizes for the best costumes.

Current CUA students won't be the only ones joining in the festivities. Courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations, all fans can attend a tailgate party before game time outside the stadium.

Once inside, fans will witness the presentation of the Anthony J. Bottoni and the Ronnie McManes awards.

Bottoni was a two-year starting right guard for the Cardinals who lost his life in a car crash in December 1999, and the award was established in 2000 to honor the CUA football team's outstanding senior player. Former senior offensive lineman Jim Gehringer, who earned a bachelor's degree in history in May 2010, will receive the award.

The Ronnie McManes Award has been presented annually since 1998 to the Cardinal football player who has risen above adversity to excel athletically and academically. The award is named in honor of McManes, who helped to rejuvenate football at CUA by becoming the university's first head football coach in 1965 after the program went on a 15-year hiatus. Tommie Roberson, who graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in psychology, is the recipient of this year's McManes Award.

Friday's game between CUA and Washington & Lee kicks-off at 7:00.  For those unable to make it out to the game, live action will be shown on cuacardinals.com.

For more information on Friday's matchup, check out the CUA game notes.