The Dayton Flyers needed just two plays to find the end zone Saturday, but it was never easy after that in a 41-28 win at Valparaiso.
Jack Cook passed for 277 yards and three touchdowns and tight end Adam Trautman continued his dominance with 10 receptinos for 122 yards and three scores for the Flyers, who moved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Pioneer Football League.
On the first play from scrimmage quarterback Cook hit Trautman on a 28-yard pass to the Valpo 35-yard line. The next play Cook lined up wide to the left, receiver Kyle Butz took a direct snap and pitched to Jake Chisholm on a jet sweep. Chisholm then tossed it to Cook on a reverse. Cook threw to Trautman, who made a spectacular one-handed catch in the end zone.
“Jack put it in the only place the defender couldn’t get it,” Trautman said. ” I reached out, grabbed it and pulled it in.”
Dayton scored on its next possession on a 7-yard run by Chisholm, but the Crusaders responded immediately with a 76- yard touchdown run by quarterback Chris Duncan.
The Flyers took the lead out to 21-7 right before halftime, but Valpo may have had the momentum. They had forced Dayton to punt twice, and had they not turned the ball over on an interception and missed a field goal, could have been right there with UD.
Valparaiso first-year coach Landon Fox had spent 11 years as Dayton’s defensive coordinator.
“He knew how to give his offensive coaches the plan to attack us, “ said Trautman.
Valpo then marched down the field to start the third quarter, with Cody Boxrucker’s 10-yard TD run cutting the Dayton lead to 21-14.
The Flyers responded with Trautman’s second touchdown catch of the day, only to have Ollie Reese of the Crusaders return the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a TD.
Ryan Skibinski completed a 55-yard drive with a 16-yard scoring run. Sam Webster’s extra point was no good, and Dayton led 34-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Valpo drove to the Dayton 9, but turned it over on downs. The Flyers iced the game with a 16-play, 91-yard drive that took nine minutes off the clock. Cook capped it with a 5-yard TD run. Dayton finished with 458 yards of offense.
“We ran the ball well. The offensive line did a great job,” said Cook. “You want to end the game with the ball in your hands.”
Valpo totaled 447 yards of offense, including 299 on the ground.
“Defense gave up too many big plays,” Dayton coach Rick Chamberlin said. “I will not be happy when I watch the film.”
Trautman added to his list of school records. With three touchdown catches in the game he passed Pat Hagar for the career lead.
“It feels good,” he said. “All the hard work is paying off. I’m just glad we got the win.”
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