Steve Valentino celebrzted his birthday with two TD passes, including one to Anthony Papp on this play.
DAVIDSON, N.C. - University of Dayton quarterback Steve Valentino compiled 280 yards of total offense and the Dayton defense came up with three turnovers to lead the Flyers to a 37-13 Pioneer Football League victory over Davidson Saturday afternoon at Richardson Stadium.
The win was the seventh in a row for UD, who improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the PFL. Dayton is tied with Jacksonville for first place in the league, one game ahead of Drake.
Valentino completed 11-of-17 passes for 223 yards and two TDs and rushed 12 times for 57 yards for the Flyers. Taylor Harris had seven carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyler Hujik caught two passes for 81 yards and a TD. Nick Collins and Justin Watkins each had three catches for 56 and 46 yards respectively.
Devon Langhorst led UD with nine tackles, including half a sack. Steve Wirkus had seven in his first career start. Kyle Sebetic added six hits and a fumble recovery. James Vercammen had five stops and an interception, as did Chase Walton. Walton returned his 42 yards. Langhorst, Wirkus, Sebetic and Vercammen all had five solo tackles.
Jonathan Carkhuff completed 23-of-39 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown for Davidson (2-6, 2-4 PFL), and Josh Yost caught seven passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Davidson received the opening kickoff and got on the scoreboard early with a 37-yard field goal from Ben Behrendt following a 52-yard drive. The Flyers answered by scoring the next 21 points.
UD began with a 6-play, 64-yard scoring drive, capped by a Harris 18-yard touchdown run. Valentino connected with Hujik for a 69-yard touchdown pass with 6:10 left in the second quarter to open a 14-3 cushion.
On the next play from scrimmage, the Flyers¹ Chase Walton picked off a Carkhuff pass and returned it 42 yards to the Davidson 7-yard line to set up Dayton¹s third TD, a 1-yard run by Brian Mack, which made the margin 21-3.
Behrendt added another field goal just before halftime to send the teams to the locker room with the score Dayton 21, Davidson 6.
UD took the second-half kickoff and engineered its longest drive of the day in terms of plays (9), yards (78) and time of possession (5:26). On 4th-and-9, Valentino hooked up with Anthony Papp for a 29-yard touchdown pass. The Flyers missed the extra point, leaving the margin at 27-6.
Carkhuff found Yost for a 5-yard touchdown pass as the Wildcats cut the lead to 14 points with 6:40 left in the third quarter. An 18-yard run by Mark Hanabury and a 14-yard completion from Carkhuff to Yost keyed the drive.
After holding Dayton to just its second three-and-out of the day, Davidson was a defensive stop, driving again, but Sean Belanger broke up a Carkhuff pass intended for Yost in the end zone on 4th-and-5 from the Dayton 26 to turn the ball over on downs.
Dayton drove down to the Davidson 30, and on 4th-and-1, Taylor Harris went straight up the middle and 30 yards for a touchdown to make the margin 34-13 and put the game away. A 32-yard pass from Valentino to Nick Collins also keyed the scoring drive.
Nate Miller added his first field goal of the season to make the final score 37-13.
The Flyers will return home on Saturday, November 6 to host Drake at 1:00 p.m. ET. UD’s Senior Day Salute will include the 55th annual presentation of the Lt. Andy Zulli Memorial Trophy, one of the most prestigious honors in the Dayton football program.