Dayton (1-1) opens Pioneer Football League play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Welcome Stadium against one of the league’s two new members. Presbyterian College (2-1) and the University of St. Thomas, a former Division III program from Minnesota, joined the PFL this fall.
The game Saturday will be the first chance for Dayton to erase the sting of a game that saw it narrowly avoid its first shutout in 45 years.
A 28-yard field goal in the third quarter by Sam Webster extended Dayton’s scoring streak — the longest active streak in college football — to 489 games. Dayton trailed 48-0 when it kicked the field goal on 4th-and-goal from the 10-yard line.
The scoring streak, which was also in jeopardy when Dayton didn’t score in the first half in a 17-10 season-opening victory against Eastern Illinois, didn’t cross Chamberlin’s mind when he decided to kick the field goal.
“I just thought we were too far away to go for it on fourth down,” he said. “It was getting late in the game. Sam had one blocked earlier. I said, ‘Hey, let’s get him back out there and shore up and make sure we do it better this time. And that’s what we did.”
With the victory, Southern Illinois (2-1) climbed from No. 8 to No. 7 in the Stats Perform Football Championship Subdivision top-25 poll. It has lost only to Kansas State, a Football Bowl Subdivision program which ranks 25th in the Associated Press top 25.
The Salukis outgained Dayton 406-78 on the ground and 252-140 in the air.
“It was a huge learning experience,” cornerback Sam Broom said. “It was a great team. We found some stuff we need to work on, but it’s definitely in the past and we’re looking forward to this week.”