The Pioneer Football League Weekly Report: Week 7

Tue, Oct 12, 2021

For games of Oct. 16

PFL Weekly Report:


League co-leaders Davidson, Marist and Morehead State are each in action during Week 7… Marist takes to the road with the toughest matchup among the co-leaders this week when it faces a Dayton squad just one-half game behind in the standings… Davidson and Morehead State are each home against teams seeking their PFL victory in Presbyterian and Butler, respectively… Morehead State puts a five-game home win streak (14th longest among FCS teams) on the line when it hosts Butler. It will pit a Morehead State offense that is averaging 506 yards and 41.5 points per PFL game against a Butler defense that has held opponents to 281.6 yards and 31.3 points per game in league action… Davidson has a four-game home win streak to defend when Presbyterian visits. It is a game that will feature to completely different offensive mindsets with Davidson boasting the league’s top run game (289.5 ypg) while Presbyterian is the PFL’s top-ranked pass offense (497.0 ypg)… Dayton sits 2-1 in league play with the league’s top-ranked scoring offense averaging 43 points per PFL game while Marist has gotten to 2-0 thanks to a defense that is ranked second in the league, limiting opponents to 13.5 points per game… St. Thomas’ venture to all parts of the PFL continues when they visit the league’s southern-most member in Stetson. The Tommies are quietly leading the PFL defenses, limiting PFL opponents to 275.3 yards and 13.3 points per game. Stetson has been able to move the ball this season, averaging 399.5 yards per game in league play, but it’s the finishing touch that has eluded the Hatters with just 15.5 points per game… With a two-game PFL win streak in hand, San Diego returns to the west coast to host Drake, which is making its third trip west this season. It’s another matchup between one of the league’s top offenses (San Diego averaging 31.7 ppg) and one of its top defenses (Drake averaging 18.3 points allowed per game).


Morehead State and Marist each picked up wins to improve to 2-0 and join Davidson atop the PFL standings. Dayton, St. Thomas and San Diego also picked up victories in Week 6.… Trailing 14-7 after the first quarter, San Diego scored 45 unanswered points to secure a 52-21 PFL victory against Butler. Mason Randall threw three touchdown passes as part of a 24-for-29, 257-yard passing performance to lead San Diego. Nick Orlando passed for 145 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 45 yards to pace Butler.… Marist scored the game’s first 24 points, in four different ways, and the defense surrendered only a field goal in a 34-3 PFL victory. Marist opened the game with a field goal, a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and a interception returned for a touchdown in the opening 23:21 to take a 24-0 lead… Dayton opened the game’s scoring with Ca’Ron Coleman’s four-yard fumble return for a touchdown and Jake Chisholm rushed for a pair of touchdowns in Dayton’s 28-10 PFL victory against Drake. Chisholm finished with 144 yards on 34 carries. Drake’s Blake Ellingson completed 19-of-33 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown.… Issah Aguero rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, leading Morehead State past Presbyterian, 38-30. Ren Hefley enjoyed a 551-yard passing performance on 50-of-80 passig with four touchdowns to lead Presbyterian… Tom Loeffler ran for a pair of touchdowns and St. Thomas fended off a late Valparaiso rally for a 20-13 PFL victory. Loeffler finished the day with 48 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Valparaiso’s Ben Nimz went 17-of-25 for 177 yards and a touchdown.


San Diego’s Dale Lindsey became the fourth head coach to record 50 career PFL victories with the Torero’s win at Butler, Oct. 9. He joins Dayton’s Rich Chamberlin (72), Dayton’s Mike Kelley (55), and Jacksonville’s Kerwin Bell (51) as coaches with 50-plus wins. That group still could grow by two this season with Butler’s Jeff Voris (48) and Marist’s Jim Parady (48) just two wins away from joining the exclusive group.


With Dayton’s 63-point performance in a league victory against Presbyterian, five of the FCS’s 60-plus scoring performances have been put forth by PFL teams. Presbyterian holds down the No. 1 and No. 5 spots on the list with its 84 points against St. Andrews and 68 points against Fort Lauderdale. Butler sits at No. 2 with its 77-point outing against Taylor (Ind.). Dayton is now No. 9 while Morehead State’s 62-point effort against Point (Ga.) is No. 14.


Furthering the league’s offensive mindset in 2021, four of the league’s 11 members are ranked in the FCS’ Top 50 in scoring offense. Presbyterian ranks No. 4 (45.0 ppg) followed by Morehead State (13th, 38.0), Dayton (36th, 29.8), and Davidson (43rd, 28.8 ppg).


Leading the FCS’ fourth-ranked offense, Presbyterian quarterback Ren Hefley ranks among the FCS top 5 in passing yards (2nd, 2,040), passing per game (2nd, 408.0 ypg), points responsible for (2nd, 28.4 ppg), and passing touchdowns (1st, 21). He owns two of the FCS’s five 500-yard passing performances this season, passing for 576 yards against St. Andrews in Week 1 and 551 yards against Morehead State in Week 5.