The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 1

Monday, August 27, 2018
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

Nine of the PFL's 10 teams will be in action during the opening weekend of college football play. Morehead State will open the league's 2018 slate with a Thursday contest followed by eight games across the league Saturday. In Thursday's lid-lifter, Morehead State will face a familiar foe in-state foe in Eastern Kentucky which was picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference. Highlighting Saturday's action is Butler's trip to nationally-ranked Youngstown State, the third-place pick in the Missouri Valley Football Conference's preseason poll. Defending PFL Champion San Diego opens its schedule with a familiar matchup against Western New Mexico, an opponent it has faced every season since 2011. Dayton, the PFL's No. 2 preseason pick, hosts Northeast Conference foe Robert Morris for the 20th meeting between the two teams. The league's newest face, Davidson head coach Scott Abell, will lead his charges into their season opener against Brevard. Marist also opens the year with a familiar foe as Georgetown will visit Poughkeepsie for the 27th meeting between the two teams, but the first time since 1998 the two programs have opened a season against each other. Drake opens its season at home when William Jewell makes the trip up Interstate 35 in the third meeting between the teams. Jacksonville and Stetson will meet first-time foes to open their seasons with the Dolphins host St. Augustine's (North Carolina) while the Hatters meet Point University (Georgia).

All times Eastern.

Morehead State at Eastern Kentucky, 7 p.m.

Location: Richmond, Kentucky
Stadium:  Roy Kidd Stadium
Series: EKU leads, 52-16-4    Streak: EKU, eight wins
Previously: Eastern Kentucky def. Morehead State, 55-13 (9/13/14)
Video: ESPN+

Robert Morris at Dayton, 1 p.m.

Location: Dayton, Ohio
Stadium:  Welcome Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 17-3    Streak:  RMU, one win
Previously: Robert Morris def. Dayton, 13-10
Video: Facebook Live

Saint Augustine’s at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium:  D.B. Milne Field
Series: First Meeting
Video: ESPN3

Georgetown at Marist, 1 p.m.
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Stadium:  Tenney Stadium
Series: GU leads, 15-5    Streak: GU, one win
Previously: Marist def. Georgetown, 14-12 (9/16/17)

Butler at #25/24 Youngstown State, 2 p.m.
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Stadium:  Stambaugh Stadium
Series: YSU leads, 2-0    Streak: YSU, two wins
Previously: Youngstown State def. Butler, 44-13 (9/13/14)
Video: ESPN+

Western New Mexico at San Diego, 5 p.m.
Location: San Diego, California
Stadium:  Torero Stadium
Series: SAN leads, 7-0    Streak: SAN, seven wins
Previously: San Diego def. Western New Mexico, 34-20 (9/2/17)
Video: Not Available

Brevard at Davidson, 7 p.m.
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Stadium:  Richardson Stadium
Series: DAV leads, 1-0
Previously: Davidson def. Brevard, 30-7 (9/2/17)

William Jewell at Drake, 7 p.m.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Stadium:  Drake Stadium
Series: DRA leads, 2-0    Streak: DRA, two wins
Previously: Drake def. William Jewell, 44-30 (9/5/15)

Point at Stetson, 7 p.m.
Location: DeLand, Florida
Stadium:  Spec Martin Municipal Stadium
Series: First Meeting
Video: ESPN3

Off Week: Valparaiso

Complete news and notes available in PDF version

PFL’s 26TH CAMPAIGN | The 2018 season marks the 26th year for the Pioneer Football League – the nation’s only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The league will feature 10 teams each playing an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA FCS Championship.

PRESBYTERIAN TO JOIN PFL IN 2021 | Pioneer Football League Commissioner presidents’ council has agreed to accept Presbyterian College’s request for membership, effective for the 2021 season. Presbyterian College’s football program will remain a Big South member for the 2018 and 2019 seasons while beginning to phase out scholarships in order to obtain PFL eligibility. The Blue Hose will play one season as a Division I independent in 2020 before joining the PFL in 2021.

SAN DIEGO SEEKS TO EXTEND PFL RECORD WIN STREAK | San Diego brings a PFL record 21-game win streak in conference-only games into the 2018 season. The Toreros have posted unblemished 8-0 marks in PFL play in both 2016 and 2017. San Diego’s last PFL loss was a 13-12 loss to Dayton on Oct. 10, 2015 in Dayton, Ohio.

DAYTON’S SCORING STREAK AT 465 GAMES | The nation’s longest streak of games without being shutout belongs to Dayton, which enters the 2018 season at 465 games. That streak includes 270 games as a FCS member that is second among active FCS-only streaks. Montana holds the FCS-only longest streak without being shutout at 381 games which dates back to 1989. On the FBS side, Florida holds the nation’s longest streak of games without being shutout at 371, dating back to the 1988 season. The Flyers streak dates back to 1976 when it suffered a 9-0 loss to Marshall.

12 FIRST-TEAM ALL-PFL RETURNEES HIGHLIGHT PRESEASON SQUAD | The 31-member Preseason All-PFL squad was loaded with 12 First-Team All-PFL selections from the 2017 season returning. Seven of those first-team returnees can be found on offense with the San Diego quarterback Anthony Lawrence, the 2017 PFL Offensive Player of the Year, highlighting the group. Marist linebacker Willie Barrett is one of three 2017 First-Team All-PFL picks returning on defense while Dayton punter Sean Smith is one of two returning first-team honorees. Six different teams have a First-Team All-PFL returnee on their roster in 2018.

SAN DIEGO PICKED TO WIN PFL | For the eighth consecutive year, the University of San Diego has been picked to win the Pioneer Football League regular-season race in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. The Toreros, which have won regular-season title and then advanced to the second round of the FCS Championship in back-to-back seasons, were chosen just ahead of Dayton in polling that was dominated by the two teams. San Diego and Dayton combined to receive all available first-place votes (coaches could not vote for their own team). The Toreros received a maximum nine first-place votes to finish with 81 points of the maximum 100 points possible. The Flyers earned the other first-place vote and finished with 72 points.

COONEY NAMED TO FOUR FCS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA SQUADS | San Diego senior offensive lineman Daniel Cooney received plenty of national preseason attention, earning recognition on four preseason All-America teams. The STATS FCS, Athlon Sports, Phil Steele FCS Magazine and Hero Sports groups each recognized the 6-8, 315-pound lineman from Western Springs, Illinois on their respective preseason squads.

FOUR NOMINATED FOR ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM | Four Pioneer Football League student-athletes were among 169 nominees from across the country for the 27th edition of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. Drew Bevelhimer (Butler), Nathan Clayberg (Drake), Jake Dempsey (Jacksonville) and Kyle Hamrick (Stetson) were nominated for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.

PFL ALUMNUS NAMED TO NFL ALL-PRO TEAM | San Diego’s Jamal Agnew was named an NFL All-Pro selection by the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association and Sports News after an impressive rookie campaign with Detroit. Primarily a return specialist for the Lions, Agnew finished 2017 leading the NFL with 447 punt return yards while scoring two punt return touchdowns.


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