CFB: Injuries and mistakes hand Dayton Flyers first loss of season

The Duquesne Dukes scored 25 unanswered points to hand the University of Dayton football team their first loss of the season Saturday at Art Rooney Stadium in Pittsburgh.

The Flyers started better than they finished. Running back Jack Adams bulled in from one yard to complete a game opening 65-yard drive. Duquesne responded with a 13-yard TD pass from Dillon Beuchel to Blair Roberts. That was made possible when UD blocked an Austin Crimmins field goal attempt, but were hit with a 15-yard roughing the snapper penalty.

Dayton blocked the extra point to lead 7-6. On the next series quarterback Alex Jeske raced 59 yards to the Dukes 1-yard line. Jack Adams was stopped for no gain and left with a shoulder injury and was replaced by sophomore Alex Kenner, who made his first collegiate carry a touchdown run.

“I was excited this week in practice when I found out I might get this chance,” Kenner said. “Hopefully, there will be more to come.”

Dayton led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter. Willy Will kicked field goals of 27 and 45 yards, to give the Flyers a 20-9 lead with 1:08 to play in the first half. It was all downhill after that for UD.

Will kicked off out of bounds and Duquesne cashed in on good field position — four plays later freshman A.J. Hines scored.

The Dukes missed another PAT, but the game began to turn.

“They grabbed the momentum,” UD coach Rick Chamberlin said . “If we have an 11-point lead at halftime, the game has a whole different feel.”

The Flyers lost another running back when freshman Sean Prophit injured an ankle. Prophit had 42 yards on 10 carries.

With Tucker Yinger out with a shoulder injury, that left Owen Williams as the only available running back.

The Flyers managed 50 net yards of offense in the second half, including a 53-yard catch and run by freshman wide receiver Ryan Skibinski. Duquesne took the lead for good in the third quarter when linebacker Carter Henderson returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown

Hines had two touchdowns and rushed for 189 yards on 29 carries. The Flyer defense was on the field for 86 plays.

UD senior linebacker Chris Beaschler said that was too many.

“It all comes down to execution,” Beaschler said.

His coach agreed.

“We made too many mistakes — penalties, interceptions, dropped balls, missed tackles,” Chamberlin said. “I told our team we can’t play like that and expect to compete for a PFL title.”