Dayton scored 31 points in the first half and totaled 289 yards rushing en route to a 38-3 victory over Davidson in Pioneer Football League action Saturday afternoon in Richardson Stadium. The loss was the Davidson’s fifth straight. The Cats are now 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the Pioneer Football League. Dayton improved to 2-4 overall, 1-2 in the league.
The Wildcats had chances to get back in the game late in the first half, but two fumbles proved costly, and helped Dayton run up a big lead.
Davidson quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff completed 22-of-39 attempts for 231 yards, with Garrett Diehl leading the Cats with six receptions for 76 yards. Six players combined to rush for 72 yards, led by Colby Everett with 22 yards on four carries.
Connor Kacsor led Dayton with 135 yards on 11 carries, including a pair of touchdownsgoing for 30 and 38 yards, respectively. Will Bardo (4-of-8 passing, 58 yards) and Jake Voigt (6-of-9 passing, 54 yards) split time at quarterback, with Bardo also rushing for 65 yards and throwing a touchdown, and Voigt throwing one interception. Nik Gillum caught Bardo’s touchdown pass and totaled 52 yards on four receptions.
AJ Pignone and Matt Casey led Davidson defensively in tackles with career-highs of nine and eight, respectively. Adam Dulberger had an interception in the second half.
Ben Welsh made six stops to lead Dayton, while Devon Morgan had a sack and forced a fumble that he returned 66 yards for a touchdown.
Trailing 24-0 late in the first half, a 43-yard pass to Lanny Funsten gave Davidson 1st-and-goal from the Dayton nine, but running back Spencer Perry fumbled on the next play and it was recovered by Dayton’s Zach Elias. Davidson stopped Dayton to get the ball back, and a 19-yard run by Carkhuff gave Davidson the ball at the Dayton 20, but Carkhuff was stripped of the ball by Morgan, who returned it for a touchdown and 31-0 Dayton lead to conclude the half.
Dayton scored on its first possession of the game. After Davidson went three-and-out on its first drive, Ben Welch returned a punt 31 yards to Davidson’s 32. A 20-yard pass to Gillum gave Dayton a 1st-and-goal from the 9-yard line, and Washington was able to rush into the end zone on the next play with 12:27 remaining in the first quarter.
Dayton took a 10-0 lead late in the first after converting a 25-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 51-yard drive. With 11:13 remaining in the second quarter, Kacsor rushed 30 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 Flyer lead.
Bardo scampered for 53 yards to start another touchdown drive midway through the second quarter, and he capped it with an eight-yard pass to Gillum with 3:54 remaining in the second half. Davidson threatened but was doomed by its fumbles, and entered the locker room trailing 31-0.
Davidson got on the scoreboard on its first possession of the second half after Dulberger intercepted a pass by Voigt at the Davidson 6-yard line. The ‘Cats drove 81 yards on 14 plays to setup a 29-yard field goal that Robert Schick converted.
Dayton answered with a 38-yard touchdown run by Connor Kacsor with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter for the final margin.
“We’ll keep working at it,” said Davidson head coach Tripp Merritt. “We have six winnable games coming up, but we can’t win six games playing like we did today.”
JACKSONVILLE HERE NEXT SAT.
Davidson will conclude its three-game homestand Saturday at 1 p.m., hosting Jacksonville.
Notes: Robert Schick’s field goal was the first of his career and the first one attempted by Davidson this season … Davidson has dropped its last six meetings with Dayton, and has just one win in 11 all-time meetings … Funsten needs five more receptions to tie the Davidson career record of 179 … freshman quarterback Connor Hall made his debut for Davidson late in the fourth quarter.