Sean Prophit scored on a 13-yard run with 1:57 to play, and the defense sealed the victory on Zack Rumpke’s interception in the closing seconds as the Dayton Flyers knocked off 14th-ranked Indiana State 42-35.
It was UD’s season opener and the biggest upset win in the FCS era of Flyer football.
Indiana State drew first blood on the opening series of the game, driving 81 yards, capped by Peterson Kerlenga’s 14-yard run. Jake Chisholm returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield, and 7 plays later Prophit scored the first of his three touchdowns of the day.
Dayton never trailed the rest of the game.
“After we got a stop on their second drive, I knew we could compete with them, “ said junior safety Brandon Easterling, who led UD with 13 tackles. “They are a good team and I think we underestimated ourselves.”
Twice Dayton had 14-point leads, up 21-7 before the Sycamores drove 95 yards in the final minute of the first half, cutting it to 21-14, and tying the game at 21 early in the third quarter.
The Flyers responded with two TD runs by quarterback Jack Cook to give Dayton a 35-21 lead at the end of three quarters.
However, Indiana State scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and after Dayton went three and out, the Sycamores tied the game on a 5-yard run by Chris Childers with 10:53 to play.
The two teams exchanged possessions and the Flyers took over on their own 15 yard line with 6:32 to play.
Ten plays later Prophit found the end zone. Indiana State drove to the Flyers 26 yard line, before Rumpke’s interception with 9 seconds to play. Rumpke was playing his first collegiate game filling in for captain Andrew Lutgens, who was injured in the first quarter.
“He was right where he was supposed to be on that play,” said UD coach Rick Chamberlin said.
Jack Cook was 21-29 passing for 251 yards and two touchdowns, including 132 yards of that to pre-season All-American tight end Adam Trautmann who had a career-high 11 catches.
“This is the greatest win I have ever been a part of,” said Trautman. “Jack knows where I like the ball, and he just puts it there.”
Chamberlin put the victory in perspective: “This is at the top of all the games I’ve been in as a player and a coach. As good as they are. As highly ranked. No one thought we could do this.”