It’s been a long, uphill battle for the Dayton Flyers, but after losing four of their first five games they’ve won four of their last five to keep their hopes of a winning season alive.
Dayton (5-5, 3-3) ran out to a 30-0 halftime lead Saturday and beat Marist 36-17 on Senior Day at Welcome Stadium.
The Flyers scored on six of their seven possessions in the first half, and the one drive that failed was stopped on the 1-yard line on a fake field goal when Adam Trautman was brought down short of the goal line.
That was one of the few times Marist (3-6, 2-4) contained Trautman. The redshirt sophomore tight end caught six passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Seniors Alex Jeske and Tucker Yinger were a one-two punch in the Flyers backfield. Jeske had his best game of the season completing 16 of 27 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a second quarter score.
Yinger didn’t find the end zone, but he ran for 134 yards on 25 carries as Dayton spent most of the afternoon in Marist territory.
The problem for the home team was finding the end zone. Dayton drives came up short five times, setting up a career day for the Flyers freshman kicker Allen Waltz, who set a school record with five field goals, none longer than 31 yards.
“Every kick was important in this game,” Flyers coach Rick Chamberlin said. “But you hate to only get three points and not seven.”
Dayton gets a week off before closing the season at Valparaiso on Nov. 18. A win would wrap up another winning season for the Flyers, who hasn’t had a losing campaign since 2006.
Matt Tunnacliffe was presented with the Lt. Andy Zulli award at halftime. The senior receiver was honored for his sportsmanship, scholarship, and leadership. Tunnacliffe began his career as a walk-on and has started every game this season.