Nobody has won more Pioneer Football League titles than the Dayton Flyers (12), but San Diego (9) certainly seems to be in a hurry to catch up.
The Toreros (3-2, 2-0) have won or shared six of the last seven PFL Championships, including four in a row. The Flyers (3-3, 2-1) have only one title in that same time and that was shared with San Diego.
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The rivalry resumes Saturday in a matchup of the preseason league favorites.
“I think we all understand what this game means,” Flyers defensive back Andrew Lutgens said. “San Diego is a great team and we pride ourselves on being a great team. It just comes down to consistency and that’s why it’s fun to play these guys.”
What’s not fun is the jet lag from a west coast trip that usually causes problems for visiting teams. The Flyers haven’t won a game at Torero Stadium since 2010 and coach Rick Chamberlin changed up the Flyers’ travel plans by flying out Thursday night instead of Friday morning.
” … It will give us a whole day to acclimate to the time change so we’ll see if it will make a difference,” he said.
Freshman quarterback Jack Cook will be making his first trip to the west coast with the Flyers and the redshirt sophomore, who will make his sixth start of the season, will pack a lot of confidence.
Cook completed his first 12 passes and finished 19 of 22 for 292 yards in last week’s 53-20 win over Valparaiso. For the season, he has completed 95 of 163 passes (58.3 percent) for 1,290 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Earlier this week Cook was named to the watch list for the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award, awarded annually to the top freshman in FCS.
Cook assumed the starting role when four-year starter Alex Jeske suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of Dayton’s season opener.
Dayton and San Diego are both averaging just under 35 points a game while giving up 28 points a game. The Toreros average 454 yards of offense, the Flyers 440 yards.
“We can’t turn the ball over,” Chamberlin said. “We’ve got to force turnovers on their side which is going to be tough because they take care of the ball. We’ve got to be able to move the ball against a stingy defense, but we can’t turn the ball over. If we can avoid that we’ll have a chance.”