Competing for the Pioneer Football League title is always a goal for the Dayton Flyers heading into the season, but for the second year in a row that goal is out of reach for the Flyers.
Dayton (3-5, 2-3 PFL) heads to Indianapolis on Saturday to face Butler.
“Dayton has a long tradition of being a winning program,” Dayton coach Rick Chamberlin said. “We still have that opportunity even though it’s a very slim opportunity, we can’t slip up anymore here. We have three games left to get that winning season and also just to show that this is a good team when we play four quarters.”
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The season took a wrong turn in the first game when senior quarterback Alex Jeske was lost for the year with a knee injury, but the Flyers have still had a chance to win every game they’ve played.
“ Obviously it’s a frustrating year we’ve had,” Flyers center Tim Roell said. “A lot of close games just one or two plays away. I think we’re a very proud program and I think everybody in this locker room is going to play as hard as they can.”
“We’re not giving up,” linebacker Zach Pipoly said. “We’ve got a tough game up ahead of us as we look towards Butler, we can start with a win there and look to turn this season around.”
Butler (3-4, 1-3) won three of its first four games, but the Bulldogs drag a three-game losing streak into Saturday’s noon kickoff at the Butler Bowl. Butler is last in the PFL in scoring this season.
“A lot of players on their team know players on our team,” Chamberlin said. “I think we’ve been playing them since 1977 and it’s always been a knock down, drag out fight and it’s an important game for both programs.”
Dayton has its bye week next week before closing out the season at home against at home against Morehead State and then on the road at Jacksonville. The Flyers need to win all three games to finish with a 6-5 record.
“That’s one thing that’s really good about this program, we’ve been playing with poise,” Chamberlin said. “I haven’t seen any panic no matter what the score is or what happens to the team.”