Every football fan knows that coming close doesn’t count in a game, but that continues to be the theme for the Dayton Flyers as the 2018 season heads into the final month.
The Flyers host Drake at 1 p.m. Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
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“There’s still four games left in this season,” head coach Rick Chamberlin said. “We still have a lot to play for. We’ve got two of our biggest rivals (Drake, Butler) the next two games. … There’s still a lot to play for and to get a winning record here at Dayton.”
Drake is one of three teams tied for second in the PFL standings. The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1) are coming off a frustrating loss at home to Stetson last week, when the visiting Hatters fumbled on the final play of the game, only to scoop it up and score while the Bulldogs were celebrating what should have been a victory.
The Flyers (3-4, 2-2) are averaging 48 points per game in their three wins at home this season.
Dayton took Pioneer Football League front-runner San Diego down to the wire last Saturday , but a failed two-point conversion turned the Flyers into the Toreros’ 24th straight victim in PFL games.
All four of Dayton’s losses have come on the road, and in three of those games the Flyers led in the second half.
Watching and waiting
There are several “watch lists” for college football awards, but the real list that any player wants to be on belongs to NFL teams.
Two Flyers are drawing interest at the next level, but the NFL will have to wait another year for redshirt junior Adam Trautman.
Trautman made a pair of NFL-caliber catches last week in San Diego, and both times he only needed one hand.
Adam hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass between two defenders in the third quarter, and then made another one-handed grab in the end zone late in the fourth quarter of the Flyers comeback bid that came up short.
An engineering major, Trautman has already told UD coaches he plans to return for a fifth season in 2019.
Punter Sean Smith is also opening some eyes with his booming kicks. The fifth-year senior is averaging 43.4 yards per punt, but he’s only had to kick 21 times, not enough to qualify him in the PFL statistics.
“Sean Smith is our most complete special teams player,” Chamberlin said. “He punts, he kicks off, he holds on place kicks, and he’s our back-up kicker. He’s not just a punter.”
Smith has been All-PFL in his first three seasons. Nine of Smith’s kicks have carried 50 yards or more and 13 of the 21 times he’s pinned opponents inside the 20 yard line.