The Dayton Flyer offense returned nine starters from last years team and it showed. The Flyers beat the Robert Morris Colonials 49-28 on Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
The starters showcased their big play potential, as redshirt senior Tucker Yinger sprinted 44 yards up the middle for a touchdown to give the Flyers the first lead of the game. Senior tight end Adam Trautman followed that up with a 31 yard catch and run to put the Flyers up 14-7 early-on.
It looked like the Dayton offense would keep the pressure on, as they worked their way into the red zone ready to score for the third time in the three drives. But that’s when things went south, senior quarterback Alex Jeske took a hit on a designed run and didn’t get up. Trainers worked their way onto the field and assisted him off before putting him on crutches for the rest of the game.
With uncertainty in the air and pictures of last year’s season with Jeske injured in the heads of Flyer fans, redshirt freshman Jack Cook entered the game under center. The coaches kept it simple for Cook, calling a run play for redshirt freshman Tim Warfield that put the Flyers up 21-7 in the first quarter.
The coaches got Cook involved in the next drive, easing him into the game with a couple screen plays to redshirt sophomore Kyle Butz. Then, on the fifth play of the drive, he hit junior Ryan Skibinski on a rocket screen that would go 64 yards for a touchdown. Skibinski led the receiving unit for the game with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
The offense then switched gears after going up 28-7 midway through the second quarter, electing to go run heavy in an effort to take time off the clock. They would pull up for a field goal but it would sail wide right as the rain began to fall at Welcome Stadium.
The Dayton offense came out of the half with the same intensity as Yinger eclipsed 100 yards on the day for the twelfth time in his collegiate career. Fellow running back Warfield finished the drive off, catching a 20 yard pass from Cook. Warfield scored again late in the third quarter to bring his total to three on the day.
The backfield duo of Yinger and Warfield finished the game with 198 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, three on the ground and one through the air.
Cook topped off the scoring for the Dayton offense, running one in after a botched snap to bring his total touchdown count to three on the day. His first collegiate game ended with him completing seven-of-twelve passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing nine times for 41 yards and another touchdown.
The Flyers next game is against Southeast Missouri on Saturday, September 8th at 2:00 p.m. The game will be played at Houlihan Park in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and will be broadcasted on ESPN+. The Flyers beat the Redhawks 25-23 last year.
Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn.