The University of Dayton football team finished its season on a high note after a 21-17 victory over Marist College on Saturday, Nov. 10.
The Flyers completed the season with its 36th winning season in the last 37 years, concluding with a 6-5 record and going 5-3 in the Pioneer Football League.
UD was led by its defense as the Flyers held the Red Foxes to just under 300 total yards of offense and 3-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts.
Senior cornerback Kyle Sebetic held the PFL’s leading receiver, redshirt senior Michael Rios, to just three catches for 24 yards. Rios caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter when Sebetic was not covering him.
The Dayton defense also combined for seven tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions, the last of which was by Sebetic on a mutual catch that he wrestled away from Rios to clinch the game for the Flyers.
Sebetic said that despite his huge game, he was more pleased with how the unit played as a whole.
“The defense was great,” Sebetic said. “We played together as one unit. It was a team effort. Even though we got up early, we didn’t back down, and we made plays when we needed to. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Flyers were once again led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Bardo, as he finished the day with 166 yards passing on 14-of-24 completions with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Bardo spread the wealth in the passing game as seven receivers had at least one reception, led by redshirt freshman Ross Smith, who had three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Jordan Boykin caught the other touchdown pass thrown by Bardo.
On the ground, senior running back Robert Washington led the way with 16 carries for 91 yards. Redshirt senior running back Dan Jacob also added 66 yards on 16 carries, as well as running for an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Head coach Rick Chamberlin said he was pleased with his offense’s effort, especially that of his quarterback.
“We started off very well,” Chamberlin said. “We knew Marist would not lay down, and they came out with more intensity in second half, but we stuck with them. Bardo played great. He extended plays, threw for first downs and ran well too.”
For the Flyers, the win clinched a winning season after starting the season 1-4, finishing with a 5-1 record in the last six games. Chamberlin said despite not accomplishing the team’s goal of winning the PFL, he was proud of how his team handled the adversity of the season.
“The best part was how the team handled adversity this season,” Chamberlin said. “Not many teams start 1-4 and come back from that. We had some losses where we didn’t execute on key plays. Overall, I think we were a better team than the record indicates.”
This game marked the end of the football careers for many UD players, and for Sebetic, he said he was glad they could end the season on a good note for the seniors.
“It was a great way to go out, to win the last game and go out with winning season for the seniors,” Sebetic said. “Hopefully the big win carries over momentum for the next season.”