UD opens league play with two straight victories
After victories in the team’s first two Pioneer Football League games against Davidson College and Marist College Oct. 4 and Saturday respectively, the Dayton football team sits at the top of the PFL standings, riding a three-game winning streak.
In Poughkeepsie, New York, on Saturday, the Flyers forced seven turnovers from the Red Foxes, including two for touchdowns.
Senior cornerback Zach Elias put the Flyers on the board with a 21-yard touchdown off of an interception. Elias also added a fumble-recovery later in the contest. Dayton intercepted Marist’s sophomore quarterback Anthony Francis four times during the game.
Sophomore kicker William Will scored his first-ever touchdown before the end of the first half after picking up a fumble caused by senior teammate Colin McManamon. In the game, Will scored a touchdown, kicked a 25-yard field goal and added four PATs.
Elias was awarded PFL Defensive Player of the Week while Will was named PFL Special Teams Player of the Week for Saturday’s game.
On the offensive side, senior quarterback Will Bardo completed 70 percent of his passes, threw two touchdowns and compiled 161 yards through the air. Bardo added 21-yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
Redshirt senior receiver Ross Smith and redshirt sophomore receiver Ian Palin snagged a touchdown each, while senior running back Connor Kascor picked up 81 yards on 21 carries.
Marist added seven points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as UD won 31-21.
Prior to the victory in upstate New York, Dayton edged Davidson on the road 54-48 in the longest game in UD football history. The contest lasted four hours and 11 minutes through five overtimes.
Though the first quarter was scoreless, the fourth quarter saw six scores and five lead-changes.
Kascor added the final score on the ground, ending his day with a career-high four touchdowns and 213 yards. In the air, Smith led the way hauling in eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Flyer head coach Rick Chamberlin nabbed his 50th career win against the Wildcats.
After the two road wins, Dayton sits atop the PFL’s scoring offense averaging 30.4 points per game. In his career-year, Kascor is averaging 145.2 rushing yards per game ranking first overall in the conference, and has seven touchdowns.
The Flyers return home Saturday against Morehead State University. The Eagles travel to Welcome Stadium with a 1-2 conference record, sitting at 2-4 overall.
Eagles quarterback Austin Gahafer is third in the PFL in total yards through the air. The sophomore has targeted redshirt senior Cyrus Strahm, redshirt junior Tanner Napier and redshirt sophomore Jake Raymond for over 230 yards each, respectively. The triad has five of the team’s 10 receiving touchdowns.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.