“It felt awesome,” Andrews said. “There’s always something special about that first win as a team in any given year.”
Dayton bounced back from a 41-0 loss in Week 1 at Illinois State in its first game at the renovated Welcome Stadium. The crowd numbered 3,104.
Dayton improved to 8-1 against Central State with eight straight victories in the series. The teams last met in 2016 when Dayton won 31-19. Central State fell to 1-1 after beating Mississippi Valley State 24-21 in Chicago in its opener.
Dayton erased the offensive issues that plagued it in its opener by scoring touchdowns on four of its first five drives.
Dante Casciola threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Gavin Lochow and then a 45-yard pass to Alec Keathley on the first two drives.
“Our mentality going into this week was we’ve got to learn from last Saturdayand put that behind us,” Casciola said. “The guys came out and fought hard right from the get-go. We had a sloppy second quarter. I’ll put that on me. But for the most part, I was really proud of the guys’ effort today.”
Michael Neel, who rushed 20 times for 125 yards, ran 70 yards for a score to extend the lead to 20-0 in the first quarter. A six-yard touchdown pass from Cole Dow to Joey Swanson gave Dayton a 27-0 lead with 12:43 left in the first half.
Casciola completed 10 of 16 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Dow completed 5 of 8 passes for 35 yards and two scores.
“It was just a big game for us,” Dow said. “We came out with a ton of energy. It was obviously coach Andrews’ first home game, so that that amplified everything for us. We need to do a better job of just keeping that momentum going the whole game, but the boys were ready to play today.”
Two defensive touchdowns in the second half added to the rout. Defensive end Chase Brown returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown. Safey Jacob Schachte returned an interception 76 yards for a score.
Linebacker Nate Arthur led the defense with seven tackles and also had a quarterback hit and pass breakup.
“It feels good,” Arthur said. “We came out and played hard. We played a great team. It was a great atmosphere. It’s good playing at home and having the fans here.”