Flyers use record-setting punt to beat Butler

Quarterback Jack Cook tied a University of Dayton record with five touchdown passes and Tucker Yinger rushed for 222 yards as the Flyers beat host Butler 38-28 on Saturday.

But the play of the game might have been a third quarter punt by UD’s Sean Smith.

After Butler cut the Dayton lead to 21-13 in the third quarter, the Flyers were backed up to their own 3-year-line and forced to punt.

“I dropped the ball laces down,” Smith said. “But it still felt good when I hit it, and I knew the wind was behind me.”

The ball sailed over the head of the Butler returner and went out of bounds on the 19-yard line. It was a UD- and PFL-record 80-yard punt.

"That was the play of the game," said UD coach Rick Chamberlin. "I felt like the momentum had shifted to them."

Before that, Dayton had jumped to an early lead. Cook engineered scoring drives of 96, 60, and 93 yards as the Flyers went up 21-0.

“Once I got that first touchdown pass, I felt in control. I didn’t force the ball,” Cook said.

The only blemish in the Flyers first half was a fumble by Sean Prophit, and the subsequent Butler scoring drive that cut the Dayton halftime lead to 21-7.

Butler took the third quarter kicked and marched 75 yards. Brad Sznajder’s 8-yard touchdown run and a missed extra point saw the score UD up 21-13 with 8:08 to play in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Kyle Butz made an invalid fair catch signal and the Flyers had to start at their own 3 yard line, which set up the game-changing punt.

Tucker Yinger had a season high 28 carries for 222 yards. Now 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the PFL, the Flyers keep hopes of a winning season alive, heading into a bye week.

“We’ll be smart about it,” Chamberlin said. “We’ll work on some fundamentals.”

Dayton next sees action on Nov. 10 in the home finale vs Morehead State.

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