By: Connor Hanson – Staff Writer
Trailing by one-point heading into the fourth against a team that was hyped up to be bigger, faster and stronger than the Flyers, head coach Rick Chamberlin and company stood tall and showed all the Flyer Faithful in attendance how Dayton plays football.
With the help of a last-minute interception, UD defeated Southeast Missouri 25-23 Saturday afternoon at Welcome Stadium.
“Outstanding, one that I will always remember,” Chamberlin said with a big smile on his face. “When you go against a scholarship, physical program like this, and you play the way we did and win the way we did, that just tells you more than just the physical skills of your team, it shows you their passion, their heart, their intelligence and preparation, that’s why I will remember this.”
The passion and heart was clear to see from the stands as the Flyers clawed their way towards victory. Dayton scored twice in the final quarter, once off a dime pass from quarterback Kyle Kaparos to receiver Ryan Skibinski and the other off the leg of true freshman kicker Patrick Sandler.
Kaparos finished the day with eight-of-20 passes completed for 100 yards and two touchdowns, with his first score coming off of a 15 yard pass to fellow junior JP Forcucci.
Now, some might remember Sandler from his less-than-optimal performance last week, but he showed no signs of that former self. He finished the day four-for-five on field goal attempts, tying a Dayton record for field goals in a game.
“It felt surreal (tying the record) but this is just the beginning, there are more games to come,” Sandler said.
Even after missing a long field goal in the second half, Sandler remained unfazed like any great kicker would, going on to nail a 38-yard field goal that secured the win for the Flyers in the waning minutes.
“On to the next one,” Sandler said about what was going through his mind as he lined up for the last field goal. “I just wanted to come in clutch for my brothers.”
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However, he wasn’t the only clutch performer for the Flyers that day, linebacker Jack Crain intercepted a would-be game tying pass in the last seconds of the game as Southeast Missouri attempted to convert a two-point try following a touchdown.
“It came down to that two-point conversion, I was just trying to make a play to help out the team, and I saw him rolling out, I was watching his eyes and was just able to make a play on the ball,” Crain said.
With all that in tow, Dayton secured its first win of the season, bringing their record to 1-1 on the year. The Flyers will face off against FCS rival Duquesne next week at Welcome Stadium. It will be its last out-of-conference game and the second of their two-game homestand.
Photo by Griffin Quinn/Staff Writer
This article was edited for an error Sept. 12 at 12:40 a.m. | Linebacker Jack Crain caught the interception not Nick Surges.