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2019-2020 High School Bounce

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Dayton Flyers welcome San Diego for rare PFL night game at Welcome Stadium tonight at 6:00 pm



Welcome Stadium, home of the Flyers sees a rare college football night game ( photo)


The University of Dayton football team will play its first night home game against a Pioneer Football League opponent in 10 seasons Saturday when the San Diego Toreros visit Welcome Stadium. Game time is 6:00 p.m. ET.
While a night game in the PFL is a rare thing, a critical league game between Dayton and USD is anything but. In the 20-year history of the PFL, the Flyers or the Toreros have won the league title 20 times. 

(courtesy Dayton)

Saturday’s game will play true to form. San Diego is undefeated in three games in PFL play (4-2 overall), while Dayton is one game back at 2-1 (4-2 overall).
Dayton won five of its last six games in 2012 to finish the year 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the Pioneer Football League. It was UD’s 35th winning season in 36 years as a non-scholarship program. 

(courtesy U of San Diego)


The Flyers entered the season with the third-best winning percentage (.762, 109-34) in FCS football since 2000 AND the most football Academic All-Americans (22) at any level of competition in the same time frame. The top five are Harvard (.775), Montana (.769), Dayton (.762), Appalachian State (.739) and North Dakota State (.710).
UD has not been shut out in an NCAA-record 414 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out UD was Marshall, 9-0, on Oct. 16, 1976.
The Pioneer Football League is in its 21st season. The original (and now the only) Division I strictly need-based football league began with charter members Butler, Dayton, Drake, Evansville, San Diego and Valparaiso. UD’s 86-27 PFL record is the best in league history. Dayton has won 11 (shared or outright) league championships, the most of any PFL team.
Dayton leads the series 14-6, but USD has won the last two meetings, snapping a four-game Flyer win streak. Last year in San Diego, the Toreros won handily, 41-9 on Oct. 27.
San Diego, who has won its last nine PFL games, is led by record-setting quarterback Mason Mills. Mills, who set the USD single-game passing yardage record (511 yards), last year against Dayton, is the school’s career leader in completions (764). He needs 181 yards to become San Diego’s career yardage leader. This year, he leads the PFL in passing yards (313.8) and pass efficiency ratings (169.1).
Defensive end Blake Oliaro leads the PFL in tackles in the backfield (1.5 per game). He was named this week’s PFL co-Player Defensive Player of the Week after a 10-tackle, two-sack performance against Marist last week. Linebacker Zach Devaney leads the team in tackles (7.0 per game).
Freshman punter Ryan Belden leads the PFL in punting average (44.0).
Head coach Rick Chamberlin guided UD to 40 wins in his five seasons, going 9-3, 9-2, 10-1 and 6-5 the last two years. Dayton won a share of PFL championships in two of his first three years, and missed the third by just five points at Jacksonville in the last game of 2008.
Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 338 of UD’s 638 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 44 as a head coach. He has also been a part of 434 of UD’s 1,019 games.
Ten Flyers own start totals of 10 or greater. Cornerback Kyle Sebetic has 34 starts in his career. QB Will Bardo has 27. LB Colin Monnier has 25, and OT Tom Corcoran has 24. WR Branden Johnson has 19. DT Brannon Dunn has 18. CB Howard Savage has 17 and DE Pat Dowd has 16. WR Ross Smith has 13. OG Chris Cortopassi has 12 and S Matt Bianco has 10. Monnier’s 25 is the longest string of consecutive starts on the team.
The Flyers had a glut of injuries in 2012 that resulted in 45 starts missed by players who were considered starters in the pre-season. The other side of that coin is that UD has 22 players back this season who have previous starting experience. Still, five Dayton players made their first collegiate start at Youngstown State — center Grant Georgic, guard Jimmy Vogel, slot receiver Gabe Macis, wideout Cory Stuart and defensive end Nate Sudnick. It was Vogel, Stuart and Sudnick’s first action in college.
The Flyers are being led by four co-captains in 2013 — Brannon Dunn, Ben Estey, Colin Monnier and Kyle Sebetic.
Dunn started at defensive tackle in 2012, but was limited to six games due to an in-season appendectomy. He was in on 14 tackles and 2.5 hits in the backfield with 1.5 sacks. In 2011, he played in all 11 games with seven starts and had 38 tackles with eight sacks.
Estey started the last six games of 2012 at offensive tackle when the Flyers finished the season by winning five of their last six contests. He played in all 11 games last year after seeing action in just four career games heading into the season. He was the 2009 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year. He has missed the last three games (injury).
Just the fifth two-time captain in Dayton football history, Monnier is a preseason First Team All-PFL selection. He was the team’s White-Allen Most Valuable Player in 2012. The only member of the defense to start every game, Monnier led the team in tackles (92), solo hits (46) and tackles in the backfield (12.0). He was also tied for second in interceptions (2) and batted away another pass and had a quarterback hurry.
A three-year starter at cornerback, Sebetic led NCAA FCS football in passes defensed in 2012. He had 15 passes broken up and three interceptions in nine games, for a 2.0 per game average. He also had 52 total tackles and was second on the team with 39 solos. Sebetic was also named preseason First Team All-PFL.
“We’ve got a great mix” according to coach Rick Chamberlin. Colin is the veteran of the bunch, having been a captain already last year. He’s an outstanding player and the emotional leader of the team. Brannon is a down and gritty kind of leader. The tougher things are, the more he likes it and he showed that by battling back from having his appendix removed to play that last part of the year.”
“Ben may have shown the biggest improvement as a football player of anyone on the team, and his hard work, maturity and leadership have earned him the respect of all of his teammates and coaches. Kyle is the quiet one of the group. He lets his play and work ethic do his talking for him. But when he does speak, everyone listens.”
Linebacker Colin Monnier is sixth in the PFL in tackles per game (9.3). UD’s MVP and leading tackler in 2012, Monnier picked up right where he left off by leading all players with 12 tackles at Youngstown State. He had eight solo hits and one TFL. He was PFL co-Defensive Player of the Week after getting 14 hits and UD’s only sack in the Duquesne win.
Senior cornerback Kyle Sebetic had 10 tackles at YSU, but none of his seven solos were as impressive as the one when he ran down Adaris Bellamy from behind to prevent an 83-yard TD. Bellamy had a15-yard lead on everyone on the Dayton defense when he broke free on a third-and-one, but Sebetic refused to concede and erased the gap. Sebetic is tied with Howard Savage for solo tackles on the team (23).
Even though he made just one tackle on a running play, cornerback Kyle Sebetic’s performance in the second half was a key in Dayton’s come-from-behind win over Duquesne. At halftime, the Dukes’ Gianni Carter had six receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. During the break, the Flyers assigned Sebetic, last year’s FCS leader in passes defensed, on Carter wherever he lined up. Sebetic blanketed him so thoroughly that Carter was held to one catch for four yards in the second half. Sebetic had a similar effort last year against Marist’s Michael Rios, holding Rios to three catches for 24 yards when matched on him.
Senior cornerback Howard Savage returns after missing the last half of 2012 with an injury (ironically, the injury happened against Butler in his hometown of Indianapolis). He was second on the team in tackles per game (6.6) and also had two interceptions and four passes broken up. He had five hits (four unassisted) at YSU. He had six tackles and a fumble recovery in the Duquesne win. He is tied for second in the PFL in fumbles forced per game (0.33). He is also tied with Kyle Sebetic for honors for solo tackles on the team (23), and is second in hits (37).
Ryan Schwenke, who plays the hybrid linebacker/safety position called “Flyer” in the Dayton defensive system, has shown a nose for the ball in his move into the starting lineup. The soph’s three interceptions are tied for first in the PFL. He is also third on the team in tackles (33).
Safety Nick Weston was the PFL Defensive Player of the Week after the RMU win when he had 11 hits, an interception and a pass broken up .
One of three Flyer preseason First Team All-PFL selections, senior defensive end Pat Dowd led UD and was third in the PFL in sacks (0.85 per game). All but one of his 8.5 sacks in 2012 were in PFL action.
Will Bardo returns for his third season at the helm of the Flyer offense, and is now third in career total offense at UD (5,541 yards). Steve Valentino had 6,218 yards and is in second place. Bardo accounted for 227 yards total offense at Youngstown State, and moved into fifth place in career total offense at UD. Then he had 250 (79 rushing with 2 TD’s, 16 of 32 for 171 passing) vs. Duquesne to move into fourth. A dual threat, he is averaging 6.9 yards a carry on running plays in 2013 (6.7 per carry without sacks, 4.7 with sacks factored in). He is second in UD in rushing (290) and yards per carry (4.8). His four rushing TD’s are second on the team. Despite throwing seven straight incompletions at one point, Bardo was 13 of 26 passing for 188 yards and two TD’s in the RMU win. Against Davidson, he was 12 of 17 passing for 103 yards and also had eight runs for 69 yards (8.6 avg.). At Stetson, he was 7-of-13 for 164 yards and gained 41 yards rushing in eight attempts.
After back-to-back 100+ yard performances, running back Connor Kacsor is now third in the PFL in rushing (89.7 yards a game). He had one of the greatest single-game rushing performances in Flyer football history in the Davidson win. Kacsor carried the ball a career-high 26 times for 244 yards. He was just seven yards short of Jermaine Bailey’s Dayton single-game record of 251 yards set against Drake on Oct. 21, 2000. Kacsor ran for two touchdowns and averaged 9.4 yards per carry. Five of his carries went for 20 yards or more. It was the best rushing performance in the PFL this season, and sixth-best in FCS football. He followed that up with 128 yards in 22 attempts with three touchdowns at Stetson. It was Kacsor’s fifth game of 100 yards or more in just 15 career games.
Connor Kacsor was the first Flyer freshman football player to run for 100 yards in a game three times in a season last year as a redshirt freshman. He had 135 at Davidson, 106 in the Morehead State win and 124 vs. Valpo in back-to-back-to-back weeks. He is only the second freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game at UD. The first was quarterback Kelly Spiker, who ran for 142 yards vs. Morehead State and 157 vs. Butler in back-to-back weeks in the 2000 season. Kacsor led the PFL with a 10.6 yard-per-carry average in 2012. Kacsor missed most of his senior season in high school, and then redshirted his first year at UD in 2011.
bad luck BRANDEN
For the second straight season, wideout Branden Johnson has suffered a season-ending injury while leading the team in receptions. This year, he sat out the first two games, but came through in the next two games with 13 catches for 207 yards (15.3) and four touchdowns. He broke his collarbone on the fourth TD, which was UD’s last play from scrimmage in the Marist game. He was UD’s top pass catcher in 2012 (28 catches for 270 yards, 9.6 avg) even though he missed the last five games of the season with an injured shoulder. He was the second-leading Flyer receiver in 2011 (25 catches for a team-high 15.9 yards per catch average).
Dayton had eight different pass catchers with at least 10 receptions in 2012. Eleven receivers have already caught passes this season.
Flyer senior slot receiver Gary Hunter has a 21.1 yards-per-touch average over his career. He gained 136 yards (34.0 avg.) with a 77-yard TD catch and three punts for 59 yards at Stetson. He opened the year with a career-high six receptions for 56 yards at Youngstown State. He had another five for 59 in the Duquesne win. Also against Duquesne, Hunter averaged 17.5 yards on two punt returns and 43.5 on two kickoff returns. In 2012, he averaged 22.6 yards per touch as a pass receiver (25.0 yards on 7 catches), punt returner (25.5 on 4) and kick returner (21.2 on 20). He missed two games before returning for a few plays against Davidson.
The Dayton career record holder in kickoff returns, Gary Hunter is believed to be only the second Flyer football player to have three special teams touchdowns in his career (available statistics are incomplete prior to 1950). Kelvin Kirk (the original Mr. Irrelevant) had three from 1974-77. Hunter had what is believed to be the first kickoff return for a TD by a freshman in the history of University of Dayton football when he had an 82-yard scamper against Valparaiso in 2010. He returned a kickoff for a TD in both of his first two seasons at Dayton and had a 77-yard punt return in the 2012 opener at Illinois State.
Slot receiver Gabe Macis leads the team in receptions (18 for 9.4 avg). Ross Smith, who can play both outside and inside, is second (17 for 12.8 avg.). Gary Hunter leads the team in receptions per game (3.0, tied with Macis) and yards per catch (16.0).
Dayton senior Ross Smith has caught at least one pass in 15 straight games. He is second on the team in reception (17) and third in yards per catch (12.8). Smith was second on the team with 26 catches in 2012.
Redshirt freshman wideout Cory Stuart had eight catches for 65 yards in the first two games, and then missed the last two games with an injury. He now has 10 for 85.
Dayton returns three players with starting experience in 2013 on the offensive line. Tackles Ben Estey and Tom Corcoran are back from a year ago, and Chris Cortopassi, who has also started in the past at tackle and is now at guard, give the Flyer o-line experienced depth. The Flyers led the PFL in rushing (196.9 yards a game) in 2012, averaging 5.0 yards a carry. Estey returned to action at Stetson after missing three games with an injury.
Redshirt senior offensive tackle Tom Corcoran was named UD’s offensive player of the week in the Duquesne win. He was the primary blocker assigned to the Dukes’ Buck Buchanan Award finalist Dorian Bell. Bell, a transfer from Ohio State who averaged double-digits in hits last year, was held to four tackles (1 solo, three assists) in the game.
Redshirt freshman kicker William Will was named the PFL Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring the last nine points in UD’s come-from-behind 23-20 win over Duquesne. Will was three-for-three in field goals in the three-point win. On the year, he is six-for-seven in field goals.
Kyle Pignatiello is back for his second season as UD’s punter. He is averaging 40.9 yards a punt, fourth in the PFL. He leads the league with 10 punts inside the 20, with just three touchbacks. At RMU, he punted six times for a 42.5 average, with three kicks inside the 20. As a redshirt freshman, he averaged 37.4 yards a punt in 65 kicks. Twenty-four of his punts were inside the 20 (with only three touchbacks), and 19 were fair caught. Pignatiello was the first UD player to be named a team player of the week twice this season.
Dayton leads the PFL in net punting (37.1). Against Robert Morris, Flyer coverage teams limited them to one total return yard on three returned punts and 16.7 yards on three kick returns. RMU return man Eddie Antwan came into the game averaging over 13 yards a punt return. The Flyers also lead the league in kick return average (23.8).
Twice: Branden Johnson, Connor Kacsor, Kyle Pignatiello; Once: Christopher Beaschler, Tom Corcoran, Gary Hunter, , Clay Krafft, Gabe Macis, Colin Monnier, Ryan Schwenke, Kyle Sebetic, Cameron Stubbs, Nick Weston, William Will
Thrice: Nick German; Twice: Jack Adams, Danny Dudek; Once: Shane Companey, Tommy Fanning, Austin Lacke, Ricky Lawniczak, Alex Middleton, Ben Pendrey, Graham Peters, Mike Ryan, Michael Scott, Cory Stufflebeam, Owen Williams
Dayton has had at least a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy, the major award of the NFF’s Scholar-Athlete Award program (the academic Heisman if you will), for eight straight years. This season, linebacker Colin Monnier is UD’s semifinalist. Previous Flyer picks were Bill Petraiuolo (2012), Devon Langhorst (2011), Brandon Wingeier (2010), Sean Heenan (2009), Bart Bergfeld (2008), Brandon Cramer (who was also a finalist in 2007), and Brandon Godsey (2006). Dayton is the only PFL team to even have three straight (Drake has two). Among Division I schools, the Flyers are one of 10 institutions with a semifinalist in the last seven years. The others are Austin Peay, Bucknell, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Dakota State, Texas, and Wisconsin.
600 CLUB
The Flyers became the 11th NCAA FCS team (and the first west of the Alleghenies) to win at least 600 games in its football history when UD beat Davidson on October 18, 2008. Here are the 15 members of the club heading into the 2013 season: Yale (871), Harvard (829), Penn (824), Princeton (791), Dartmouth (662), Delaware (661), Lehigh (660), Lafayette (659), North Dakota State (641), Dayton (634), Cornell (629), Northern Iowa (625), North Dakota (617), Colgate (618) and Holy Cross (605). Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (104, nine fewer than Northern Iowa’s 113). UD moved into the Top 10 in 2010. The Flyers’ .640 all-time winning percentage is fourth among the “600 club” and ninth all-time. The top 10 FCS winning percentages going into 2013 consists of Yale (.701), Grambling (.698), Harvard (.677), Florida A&M (.663), Princeton (.662), Tennessee State (.656), Georgia Southern (.647), Appalachian State (.6403), Dayton (.6395) and Penn (.634).
The UD Flyers moved to Welcome Stadium in 1974. The word “Welcome” implies hospitality, but UD has been anything but hospitable to its opponents at home, where it is 206-44-2 (.822). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
Six current members of the Flyer football team have had relatives who also played for UD, including three players whose fathers played — Austen Alber (Tim, 1986-88), Alex Husted (Jon, 1986-89) and Kyle Pignatiello (Mike, 1980-82).
When Jon Gruden coached the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Super Bowl championship in 2003, he became the second UD grad to coach a Super Bowl winner. Former UD co-captain and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Noll won four as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Noll started at center and linebacker for the Flyers and graduated in 1953. Gruden played quarterback at Dayton and earned his degree in 1986. UD became only the third school (now there are four) to have two alumni coach Super Bowl winners. The others are San Jose State (Bill Walsh and Dick Vermeil), Arkansas (Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer), and Eastern Illinois (Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton). At the time of their wins, Gruden was the second-youngest coach to win a Super Bowl and Noll was the fifth-youngest. As a matter of fact, UD has ties to 19 Super Bowl rings. In addition to Noll’s four and Gruden’s one, six former members of Dayton coaching staffs own a total of 14 Super Bowl rings between them. They include current Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi (XLIV). Lombardi, an Air Force Academy grad and the grandson of Vince Lombardi, began his coaching career at Dayton. He coached for three seasons on Mike Kelly’s staff while stationed at Wright-Pat AFB. Noll and Gruden are honored in the main entryway of UD’s newly-renovated Football Offices.
DeLAND, Fla. — The University of Dayton Flyers scored touchdowns on four of their first 10 plays from scrimmage in their first game against the Stetson Hatters en route to a 49-20 win Saturday in DeLand, Fla. Dayton led 28-0 after one quarter, and 49-7 after three before the Hatters scored two fourth quarter TD’s.
Every available player played for Dayton on a hot and humid day in Florida. Stetson gained over half of its yardage in the fourth quarter, gaining 165 of its 308 yards in the final period.
Running back Connor Kacsor had his second straight 100+ yard game, carrying the ball 22 times for 128 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Washington added four carries for 66 yards. Will Bardo ran eight times for 41 yards and a TD, and was seven for 13 passing for 164 yards and a 77-yard TD to Gary Hunter. All but two of Bardo’s passes came in the first half. Ross Smith caught four passes for 79 yards to lead UD.
It took the Flyers 17 seconds to extend their NCAA games without being shutout string to 414 games. Dayton won the toss, deferred to the second half, and kicked off to Stetson. The Hatters’ first play from scrimmage was a quarterback draw, defensive tackle Austen Alber stripped the ball on the tackle and defensive end Pat Dowd fell on the fumble. On Dayton’s first offensive play, Kacsor took it in from 21 yards for the score.
Long gainers factored into UD’s other three scores in the first quarter. After a Stetson three-and-out, Hunter returned a punt 36 yards to the Hatter 33-yard line. A 27-yard Bardo-to-Smith pass put the ball inside the 10, and three plays later Bardo took it in from the one. On the second play of the next Flyer possession, Washington galloped 61 yards for a TD.
And then the next time Dayton had the ball, on third-and-11 from the UD 23, Bardo hit Hunter over the middle and he took it 77 yards to the house to give the Flyers a 28-0 lead after only 10 offensive plays.
Linebacker Christopher Beaschler led the Dayton defense with seven tackles. Safety Danny Leach added six hits with five solos. In addition to Schwenke’s pick, Clay Krafft also had an interception.
The Flyers play at Morehead State on Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. ET. San Diego hosts Butler.

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