Dayton kicker perfect through four games

Flyers play at Butler in second PFL game

Dayton Flyers kicker Sam Webster underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip in January. He’s still recovering, he said, still working through the pain but also still kicking and kicking well.

Webster made field goals of 38 and 21 yards Saturday in a 27-14 victory against Drake at Welcome Stadium. He was named Pioneer Football League special teams player of the week.

“We’ve had great offense, so they’ve put me in good positions,” Webster said Wednesday. “The O-line has been doing amazing for me blocking. The snapper and holder have been amazing. I can’t ask for anything more. It’s just flowing for us.”

Webster, a senior from Richfield, Ohio, and Revere High School, is a third-year starter. He made 8 of 9 field goals in 2019 and 9 of 14 last season. He made 94 of 97 extra points in his first two seasons.

Webster has been perfect this season. He has made 7 of 7 field goals and 10 of 10 extra points in four games despite not knowing coming into the season how healthy he would be.

“Truth be told, I’m still in just as much pain as before the surgery,” Webster said. “I just very grateful I can still go out and do my job and help this team win.”

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Knowing his injury history, Dayton’s coaches have been cautious with Webster, coach Rick Chamberlin said.

“Our trainers and strength coach, Mark Thobe, they’ve gone about it the right way,” Chamberlin said, “not overworking him but working him enough that he can be sharp.”

Dayton (3-1) had one other PFL player of the week after its conference opener. Running back Jake Chisholm won the award for the sixth time. He ran 24 times for 131 yards with two touchdowns and caught five passes for 38 yards. He leads the league in scoring (9.0 points per game) and ranks fourth in all-purpose yards (101.8 per game) and rushing (68.0).

Dayton returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday against Butler (2-2, 0-1) in Indianapolis. Dayton leads the series 33-12-1 and has won the last seven games. It beat the Bulldogs 38-31 last season at Welcome Stadium thanks in part to four touchdown runs by Chisholm.

Butler, picked to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the PFL preseason poll, lost 31-0 at Davidson in its first league game. Quarterback Bret Bushka ranks second in the PFL in total offense (264.5 yards per game).

This is Dayton’s first game against Butler coach Mike Uremovich, who was hired in December. He spent the last three seasons as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Temple. Jeff Voris resigned after last season, his 16th, when Butler finished 3-8.

“There won’t be any letdown because our guys know how competitive the PFL is, no matter what your record is,” Chamberlin said. “But really this is a whole new coaching staff. I’m sure they brought a whole new energy to the program. They’re executing on film offensively and defensively, and they’re ranked in the conference in a number of different areas. So we know we’re going to have our hands full over there.”

SATURDAY’S GAME

Dayton at Butler, 1 p.m., 1290, 95.7

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