By: Chris Bendel – Sports Editor
The University of Dayton grabbed control early, once again led by senior tailback Connor Kacsor and a 10-carry, 232-yard performance en route to a 41-7 victory over Morehead State University Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
Kacsor recorded three touchdown runs of 50 yards or more, for a 23.2-yards per rush average. Dayton’s ground attack racked up 443 yards rushing on the afternoon.
The win pushes the Flyers’ record to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Pioneer Football League play, with an impending matchup at San Diego University Saturday that carries heavy PFL standing implications.. San Diego enters the game with a 3-1 conference record.
Dayton entered the half leading 28-0 thanks to 167 yards and three touchdowns from Kacsor and a UD defense that halted the MSU offense on three fourth down attempts. Morehead State finished the afternoon 1-4 on fourth down attempts, with all three turnovers on downs coming in the first half.
Once the defense reaches fourth down, the situation requires a new level of focus, according to junior linebacker Ryan Schwenke.
“The mentality is just get off the field,” Schwenke said. “That’s always what you want to do… You have to suck it up a little more and do whatever you can to stop them.”
Redshirt freshman tailback Jack Adams added a touchdown with 2:02 remaining in the half after redshirt sophomore defensive end Nate Sundick batted a MSU pass in the backfield, stuck with the play and intercepted the pass setting up the UD offense on Morehead’s 21-yard line.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Chris Beaschler, who led the team with 17 total tackles, including 10 solo takedowns, said simply, the defense executed. From the front seven to the secondary, the unit was locked in.
“The defense did what we needed to do,” Beaschler said. “Our front seven, especially our defensive line got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. The secondary did a great job in the backfield.”
With the game in command, Kacsor put the nail in Moorhead’s proverbial coffin on the second play of the second half, when the tailback tore down the sidelines for a 61-yard touchdown run putting the Flyers up 35-0. Head coach Rick Chamberlin and the coaching staff then sat Kacsor for the remainder of the game.
“We came into this game thinking that we have to show this PFL how we can run the ball and I think we did that today,” Kacsor said.
Three Dayton tailbacks carried the load in the second half while Kacsor watched from the sideline.
“We are four deep, four great running backs and that’s awesome,” Kascor said. “I trust them ,and I know they’re going to do their job.”
Redshirt senior tailback J.J. Greenwood, redshirt sophomore receiver Kyle Sess, who capped Dayton’s scoring on the day with a 66-yard touchdown run and Adams kept the pressure on the MSU defense and capitalized on an offensive line that has really come into its own, according to Chamberlin.
The Flyers will travel to San Diego for a 9 p.m. EST matchup Saturday.