By: Chris Bendel – Sports Editor
In UD’s penultimate Pioneer Football League matchup, the Flyers beat Butler University 21-14 Saturday in Indianapolis, pushing the team’s conference record to 5-2.
At the same time, forces outside of the team’s control were working against the Flyers, eliminating UD from PFL title contention.
Leading the charge Saturday, redshirt senior quarterback Will Bardo finished with 240 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 22-37 passing.
In a low-scoring game, Bardo’s 28-yard pass to redshirt senior receiver Ross Smith gave UD a 21-14 lead and was the only scoring play of the half for either team.
Smith has now caught a pass in 30 straight games, according to UD athletics.
Senior tailback Connor Kacsor gained 125 yards on 27 attempts on an afternoon where the team relied more heavily on the pass than in previous games.
While the team is currently No. 2 in the conference standings after the Butler victory, the University of San Diego clinched the PFL championship and the automatic bid to the 2015 Division I Football Championship after a 32-27 win over Valparaiso University Saturday.
In a matchup against San Diego Oct. 25, Dayton dropped the team’s first conference game of the season, losing to the eventual league champions 40-29. Heading into the game Oct. 25, both UD and San Diego had perfect league records.
In other PFL news, Jacksonville University (9-2, 7-1), outright owner of first place in the PFL, has withdrawn from contention due to an internal review of compliance procedures, opening the door for San Diego.
In a press release from the university Friday before their game against Campbell University, JU announced that it will “voluntarily withdraw from championship contention and postseason play for 2014 as a result of its internal review of compliance matters regarding the PFL’s financial aid rules .. Jacksonville University’s independent audit was conducted in response to a conference survey which revealed a number of financial aid inconsistencies.”
The Flyers host Campbell University on Senior Day Saturday. Kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.