Comeback Kids: Flyers Score 17 Unanswered To Trounce the Bulldogs

Searles spent Saturday reading the quarterback’s eyes and helped Dayton acquire three picks off of Butler.

By: Connor Hanson – Staff Writer

Dayton found themselves down 22-10 and out-gained by 341-112 total yards at the end of the first half, but they turned the game on its head, successfully shutting out Butler in the second half on their way to a 27-22 win.

During the first half, Butler took it to the Dayton defense, coming at them in a multitude of ways through the air and on the ground.  For the entirety of the game, senior cornerback, Christian Searles was tested.

“It’s always fun for me [getting thrown to], because you always love a challenge, you love to be challenged and you love to be involved in big games and make big plays, and they came at me today and made some unbelievable catches,” Searles said.

Butler managed to pull off ridiculous catches against would-be pass deflections, somehow snagging the ball out of the air after it had been tipped on multiple occasions. Overcoming that aspect of the game might be hard for a defensive back, after he seemingly just played the ball perfectly, but to also be flagged for pass interference during coverage can have the same effect, if not worse.

But for defensive backs, it is all about having a short memory, and that is what Searles and his teammates showcased during the game, intercepting the quarterback 3 times, with one of them ending the half and the other ending the game.
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The interception to end the half came into the hands of safety redshirt freshman Tim Simon. Simon has had a coming out year, after being redshirted his entire freshman year and earning more playing time as the year has progressed.  On top of that, Simon has one of his hands wrapped up in a club from an injury sustained earlier in the year, making his interception that more impressive.

“I was supposed to have a man [on the play], but my man just stayed in and blocked, so I just looked around for help,” Simon said as he detailed the play. “I just looked to the other side, saw the ball in the air and just ran over and scooped it.”

That interception would put an emphatic stop to what was otherwise a rough first half for the Flyers. The Flyers would then pull through in the second half, shutting the Butler offense down and scoring 17 unanswered points to seal the comeback.

Both Simon and Coach Rick Chamberlin gave credit to their scout team, which prepared them to take on Butler’s extravagant and confusing offense.

“It’s very hard with our scouts, but we have a great freshman quarterback, Jack Cook, who reminds you a lot of number 11 [one of Butler’s two active QB’s] and he gave us some really good looks this week,” Coach Chamberlin said during a postgame interview.

However, all the time spent practicing against that offense could not prepare them for the reality that is their two-quarterback system, but for Chamberlin, his guys were always there in the right spots. It was just a matter of getting to the second half when things started clicking.

This win now brings Dayton to 4-5 on the season and 3-3 in the Pioneer Football League with two  games to play.

Next Saturday’s game will be against Marist, and it will be the senior day and the last home game for the Flyers. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Photos Courtesy of Christian Cubacub