The University of Dayton football team had its three game winning streak snapped after a 41-9 road loss to the University of San Diego, on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Through the first quarter, the Flyers (4-5, 3-3 Pioneer Football League) trailed by just three points, even after being outgained 161-24. However, the second quarter was when the game was busted wide open.
A 13-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that started in the first quarter and chewed up almost eight minutes of game time put the Toreros up 10-0 early in the second.
Following a 28-yard field goal by redshirt senior kicker Pat Sankovic, USD manufactured a 75-yard drive capped off by a 34-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-3.
The Flyers’ next drive, according to head coach Rick Chamberlin, was the “major momentum swing” in the game.
On a third-and-1 play, redshirt freshman running back Connor Kacsor fumbled the ball, and even though it was recovered by the Flyers, it forced UD to punt the ball back to the USD offense, who made UD pay with a 71-yard touchdown drive that gave USD a 24-3 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, USD added to its already hefty lead with a field goal, as well as a seven-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-3 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth saw USD expand its lead with a 29-yard touchdown pass to make it 41-3. On the ensuing drive, the Flyers put together a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard touchdown run by senior running back Robert Washington.
The extra point attempt by UD was blocked, which resulted in the 41-9 final score.
Washington was UD’s top performer of the game, finishing with 69 yards on 10 carries to go with the touchdown. Kacsor also added 55 yards on just five carries.
For the Toreros, the quarterback and receiver tandem of redshirt junior Mason Mills and junior Sam Hoekstra dominated the game.
Mills threw for a PFL record 511 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, while Hoekstra caught 11 passes for 246 yards and a score. Redshirt sophomore Reggie Bell also added 107 yards on seven receptions for two scores.
Chamberlin said despite the team’s best efforts, they had no answer for Mills and Hoekstra.
“It was an outstanding day for [Mills] and [Hoekstra], they made plays when they needed to,” Chamberlin said. “Even when we switched up coverages, they were able to make plays. Give them both credit.”
In total, the Flyers were outgained 579-263 on offense and had 10 fewer first downs than USD. However, the Flyers did win the turnover battle 2-1.
Those two turnovers both came on interceptions. The first came from sophomore cornerback Zach Elias and the second from senior cornerback Kyle Sebetic.
Sebetic also added eight tackles as well as three pass breakups.
Chamberlin said that despite the tough loss, he was happy with his team’s effort throughout.
“We never let up; we had intensity throughout the entire game,” Chamberlin said. “That’s the kind of character we want. Despite San Diego having all the momentum, we were fighting every step of the way.”
Sebetic was also satisfied with his team’s effort, saying the team never gave up, but just didn’t make the plays necessary to win the game.
“We played four quarters with our full effort,” Sebetic said. “That’s all you can ask.”
The Flyers return home for its final game at Welcome Stadium of the season against the Drake University Bulldogs at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3.