Connor Kacsor has been a good running back for the University of Dayton, but Saturday he left a mark on the UD record book that only he may be able to threaten.
The senior from Leo, Ind., rushed for a school-record 301 yards on 34 carries as the Flyers held off Georgetown 23-14 in their season opener at Welcome Stadium.
“I had no idea I had set a record until I heard the p.a. announcer,” said Kacsor, who had 93 yards rushing at halftime and 206 after three quarters en route to eclipsing the mark of 251 set by UD Hall of Famer Jermaine Bailey against Drake in 2000.
“He showed us something we had not seen before,” Flyers coach Rick Chamberlin said. “And that was his toughness in the fourth quarter. He was tired but he still had the same explosiveness.”
Kacsor made sure to praise his offensive line and said, “I just trusted the guy next to me. All 10 guys in the huddle were huffing and puffing a bit, but we pulled together.”
Kacsor had just 14 yards after the first quarter but Dayton had a 3-0 lead thanks to a William Will 49-yard field goal on the first possession.
“Craig Turner coaches our special teams, and he asked Willy before the game what his range was after warming up,” said Chamberlin. “He said 55 yards, so I did not hesitate to send him out there.”
Will extended the lead to 6-0, connecting on a 31-yarder after Dayton’s offense stalled early in the second quarter.
“I was disappointed with our offensive performance in the first half. We had opportunities to control the game, but missed passes,” Chamberlin lamented. “Defensively we were fine, although we gave up that one big play.”
That 33-yard hookup from quarterback Kyle Nolan to wide receiver Justin Hill kept a 69-yard Georgetown scoring drive alive, capped by Daniel Wright’s 1-yard touchdown run. Trailing for the first time in the young season, 7-6, the Flyers answered with a four-play, 75-yard TD drive, with Kacsor accounting for 68 of those 75 yards, including a 43-yard burst to the end zone to give Dayton a 13-7 halftime lead.
Dayton’s offense was much better in the second half.The Flyers extended the lead to 20-7 when Will Bardo threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Branden Johnson. Johnson and Gabe Macis each had six catches to lead Dayton receivers.
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