Dayton drops Dolphins, 31-14

Kade Bell completed 18 passes against Dayton Saturday. Photo by Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images
Kade Bell completed 18 passes against Dayton Saturday. Photo by Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images

DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton roared to a 24-0 halftime lead and kept its undefeated record intact by cruising past Jacksonville, 31-14, in a Pioneer Football League game here Saturday.

The Flyers (8-0, 5-0) dealt the Dolphins (6-2, 3-2) their second consecutive defeat the first time that has happened since the 2013 season.

Dayton scored first on an 11 play, 65-yard drive when redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Jeske ran in from the one with 4:25 to play in the first quarter. The drive was aided by two personal foul penalties against JU.

The Flyers followed that with another score with 12:58 to go in the second quarter when Jeske hit Tyler Tumpane on a 7-yard pass that ended a seven-play, 40-yard drive and gave Dayton a 14-0 lead.

About four minutes later, Dayton place kicker William Will connected on a 29-yard field goal and with 3:55 to play right tackle Jimmy Vogel recovered a fumble by Jeske in the end zone for the 24-0 lead.

The Flyers added another score in the third quarter when Tucker Yinger took off on a 40-yard run and a 31-0 lead.

The Dolphins averted their first-ever PFL shut out on the last play of the third quarter when redshirt sophomore quarterback Rylan Wells, on in relief of starter Kade Bell, led JU on a six-play, 79-yard drive that ended when he connected with wide receiver Brian Burnett on a 39-yard touchdown pass.

Wells struck again with 7:33 to play in the game when he hit wide receiver Damien Strange on an 84-yard touchdown pass to get JU 31-14.

Bell ended the day completing 18 of 32 passes for 143 yards and an interception. Wells was 11 of 18 for 254 yards and the two touchdowns.

"I was excited to see what Rylan could do,'' JU Head Coach Kerwin Bell said. "Kade was banged up and 60 to 70 percent and looking back maybe we should have gone with Rylan. He looked awful cool back there.''

Andy Jones led JU receivers with 10 catches for 133 yards and Strange had 124 yards on five catches as the Dolphins rolled up 429 yards in offense.

"They beat us in every phase of the game,'' JU Head Coach Kerwin Bell said. "They physically whipped us. We're banged up and we looked tired out there. But, give Dayton credit, they outcoached us and outplayed us.''

JU returns home Saturday against Davidson for a 1 p.m. game on Military Appreciation Day.