Dayton Football Looks To Bounce Back After First PFL Loss Of The Season

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Atticus Hughes
Contributing Writer

The Dayton Flyers (2-3, 1-1 in the Pioneer Football League) continue play in the PFL this week as they take on the Valparaiso Crusaders (0-4, 0-1) Saturday at Welcome Stadium at 1 p.m. The Flyers look to right the ship and use this game to propel them to a 2-1 record in the PFL and back on track to their run at a 13th PFL title.

Dayton looks to comeback from their first PFL loss of the season at Marist last week, where they fell to the Foxes by a score of 28-17.  

“The talent and execution are there at times, but it was not a complete game for us,” head coach Rick Chamberlin said in in reference to the Flyers loss against Marist and the season in general. However, they look forward to bringing that complete game together this week against Valparaiso.

Valparaiso comes into Welcome Stadium on Saturday with a deceiving 0-4 record. It’s deceiving because the Crusaders began the season playing against three scholarship non-conference opponents, losing two of those games by only a touchdown.. Dayton expects a well prepared Crusaders team to fight tooth and nail for another upset victory against the Flyers.

Yes, another upset victory. The Crusaders snapped the Flyers 13 game win streak against the them when they won last year by a score of 8-7 to close out the season. However, the Flyers are not dwelling on the past. They are looking forward to putting together a complete game against the Crusaders.

The Crusaders have a few holes on defense that Dayton’s offensive line and running backs are chomping at the bit to exploit. Valparaiso is entering the game allowing just under 300 yards per game on the ground. This bodes well for redshirt senior running back Tucker Yinger and the Dayton offense, as they are averaging over 200 yards per game rushing.

On the flip side, Dayton’s defense looks to gain some confidence this week against a struggling Valparaiso offense, who are averaging just 20.8 points per game compared to the Flyers 31.0. Chamberlain speaks on the Valparaiso offense, specifically the passing game, calling it, “Very efficient.” Despite the efficiency in the passing game, Valparaiso has had a very tough time getting anywhere on the ground this season, averaging less than 100 yards per game.However, the Flyers will not be overlooking this Valparaiso offense, as they prepare to buckle down and put together a complete offensive and defensive game.

This may look like a lopsided event on paper, but make no mistake, the Flyers will be ready to come out on Saturday to battle a more than competent Crusaders football team. Fans should also be on the lookout for Yinger, as he is now second in career rush yards at UD, and gaining fast on the current record holder, as he looks to chip away at it this Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn.