The Flyers took their first possession and seemed not to stop until they reached the shores of Lake Michigan. The Beacons won straight away with this long comeback from the second half kick-off. Despite a 1-5 record, the Beacons dominated the Flyers on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field, 45-28.
VALPARAISO, Ind. – As the University of Dayton football team discovered on Saturday afternoon, a bad record can be as much a mirage as a palm tree and a puddle in the middle of the desert.
The University of Valparaiso opened Saturday’s game against the Flyers with a 1-5 record, but. . .
Three of the Beacons’ non-conference losses are for teams ranked with a combined 16-1 record. And they were 1 and 2 in the Pioneer Football League before crushing Dayton on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field, 45-28.
Their two PFL losses were 27-20 in overtime to Marist, a team that beat Dayton last week, and a 20-13 loss to St. Thomas.
And the new Beacons, formerly known as Crusaders until the Political Corrections Police got them, had two incentives that pushed them and drove them to victory:
—UD had beaten Valpo 26 times in 29 games, but they were Crusaders and they were Beacons.
—Valpo is coached by Landon Fox, who spent 11 years at the University of Dayton as an assistant to Flyers coach Rick Chamberlin.
Even Chamberlin, who knew it could be a trick game, was a little confused afterwards.
“I can sum it up in one word,” he said. “They wanted him more than us. . . well, that’s two words.
Actually, it’s six words, but Chamberlin had every right to be confused as the young Flyers seemed bewitched, deranged and confused more than once.
“We played badly, too many mistakes,” he added. “Too much, too much, too much. Falling balls and penalties, poor execution.
The Flyers took their first possession and seemed not to stop until they reached the shores of Lake Michigan.
UD quarterback Jack Cook logged in on four straight passes to put the Flyers inside Valpo 10. But the offense failed on all three and Sam Webster scored on the field. 20 yards for a 3-0 lead.
Valpo, however, took it the other way around on his first possession, converting a pair of third and long. A third and five assists completed by quarterback Ben Nimz for nine yards and a third and nine assists from 35 yards to Braden Contreras put the ball to DU 29.
Nimz immediately turned the right corner and sprinted to UD 8 and two plays later Nimz threw a touchdown pass for a 7-3 lead over Valpo.
The Flyers only had the ball for three games before Cook was intercepted and three games later Robert Washington barged in on the six for a 13-3 lead over Valpo.
It was time for the Flyers to get in touch. They scored the next 17 points to take a 20-14 lead in the break.
Cook choreographed the first touchdown on a 57-yard pass to Luke Brenner who set up Cook’s three-yard touchdown pass to Chisholm on the opening play of the second quarter, reducing Valpo’s lead to 13-10.
Valopo got a 1-2-3 kick and the Flyers launched into a rushing touchdown, highlighted by the third and 14 23-yard pass from Cook to Joey Swanson and the Flyers took a Chisholm’s sprint around the left 17-13 lead. to finish.
Left-footed kicker Webster scored three runs from a 31-yard field goal just before the half and the Flyers rested, 20-10, in intermission.
The euphoria only lasted until they lined up for the second half to kick off. Valpo’s Charlie Maxwell kicked off both of his and didn’t stop until he was at UD 22.
Zack Rumpke forced Valpo to score a 22-yard field goal when he defeated Washington for a three-yard loss in the third and a goal on both, preserving Dayton’s lead at 20-17.
But the Flyers went three and on the outside, Nimz hit Contreras on a 42-yard pass, setting up Washington’s 34-yard touchdown sprint in the middle in which he went through claws and catches. several defenders of the UD.
“We were in the wrong alignment and he broke it right in the middle,” Chamberlin said. “It was a basic alignment and we were in the wrong alignment.
“We have lost our temper and you know how important it is,” he added. “Things are not going to turn out your way throughout a contest. There are going to be ups and downs. You can tell we have a lot of guys who haven’t played a lot of college football.
“That doesn’t mean they don’t try,” Chamberlin said. “They’ll be fine, but right now they’re going through a tough time. “
After Washington’s sprint against a broken defense, Valp was back in front, 24-20, midway through the third period.
The Flyers made their own 1-2-3-kick and Nimz became happy to score again – 12 to Maxwell, 25 to Contreras, 17 to Contreras again and 14 to Maxwell for TD and a 31-20 lead. Valo.
UD forced Valpo to kick from behind his end zone and the Flyers moved into 26 Beacons. The Flyers got a first and a goal on all three and it took three games for Cook to sneak it up. The Flyers went for two and did it on the pass from Cook to Sam Bubonics. That brought the Flyers down to three, 31-28.
Alas, getting to less than three was an illusion. On the first play after the UD touchdown, Nimz hit Washington with a 50-yard pass, setting up Washington’s two-yard touchdown, pushing Valpo back to 10 points, 38-28, with 11 and a half minutes left. play in the Game.
And all hopes and aspirations waned late in the fourth quarter when Valpo’s Jamari Jackson intercepted a Cook pass and sent it back 37 yards for a late-game touchdown, 45-28.
“It was difficult because it was in all phases,” Chamberlin said. “Attack, defense and our special teams. . .long kick-off return. We had momentum (20-14 at half-time), but they took it straight away with this long comeback from the second half kick-off. Fortunately, we held them to a field goal. . .but it was 20-17, then the wheels fell off.
Indeed. . The wheels, hubcaps, lug nuts, the whole kit and the kaboodle as the Beacons outscored the Flyers 17-0 in the third period and didn’t even have to look over their shoulders.
With an overall record of 3 and 4, 2 and 3 in the PFL, a league championship is the Flyers’ wildest dream.
“Regarding Valparaiso, I’ve been saying to the guys all week, ‘Don’t worry about their record, watch what you see on the film.’ Washington is the best running back in the conference and we have done well. . .except for two pieces.
Washington has carried 20 times for 102 yards, including his 34-yard touchdown. He also caught three passes for 59 yards, including one for 48 yards and he even completed a pass for 14 yards.
Meanwhile, Valpo has practically vaporized Dayton’s main threat, running back Jake Chisholm. He carried 19 times for 68 yards. And it wasn’t the best of days for UD quarterback Jack Cook. He spent much of the afternoon protecting his health and well-being by fleeing the pocket. He was 16 for 36 for 247 yards and one touchdown, but also had two pickups.
“We’re at home (next Saturday against Butler) and we have three games to play,” Chamberlin said. “Like I was telling the guys, our goal is the PFL Championship. We’re one of the few conference teams that can say that every year. This is a goal for us. That’s why losses like this hurt. You have teams like Valpo and others who are wasting all the time.
“For them, a loss is just another loss,” he added. “But for Dayton, it’s difficult.
The PFL title is pretty much gone, but the goals remain.
“Our second goal is to have a winning season,” said Chamberlin. “We still have a chance for that and that’s what we’re going to do.”