Finkley, Valdez earn Player of the Week honors
There were a lot of key plays in JU’s 19-14 win over Dayton to win the Pioneer Football Championship.

Elliott Finkley, who ran back his third punt for a touchdown this season, was named PFL Special Teams “Player of the Week” and was joined by Bryan Valdez, who picked off two passes, including the final Dayton pass attempt with less than a minute remaining to seal the title.

“These two guys made some key plays that helped us win the game,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “But it wasn’t just the plays they made, it was a total team effort. Our defense played so well in keeping Dayton off the scoreboard and created some turnovers, which gave us an opportunity to win.”

Valdez’s first interception came in Jacksonville’s end zone in the first quarter, stopping a possible Dayton score in its tracks. Valdez found his second pick of the day at Jacksonville’s nine-yard line with 36 seconds remaining, sealing the win.

Finkley’s 54-yard punt return in the fourth quarter put Jacksonville on the doorstep to victory in its PFL clinching victory against Dayton. With Jacksonville trailing 14-6, Finkley broke through for his third punt return touchdown this season, moving Jacksonville within two points, 14-12. Finkley returned four punts for 88 yards and a kickoff for eight yards.

The Dolphins will travel to Albany, N.Y. to face the University of Albany on Dec. 6 in the third annual Gridiron Classic.