The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 7

Monday, October 7, 2019
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

Only eight of the league’s 10 teams will be in action but each of the PFL’s four unbeaten teams will be in action during Week 7 play. An early meeting of unbeatens takes place in North Carolina when San Diego leaves California for the first time this season and heads cross country to meet Davidson in a meeting of the league’s top passing team (San Diego) and its top rushing squad (Davidson). Drake takes its 2-0 mark to Indianapolis for a meeting with Butler in the PFL’s annual Battle of the Bulldogs. Dayton also heads into Indiana after winning its PFL opener, making the trek to Valparaiso. Meanwhile, Jacksonville returns to Florida to host Morehead State with each team seeking its first PFL victory.

All times Eastern. 

Drake at Butler, 1 p.m.

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Stadium: Sellick Bowl
Series: DRA leads, 19-8-1    Streak: DRA, three wins
Previously: Drake def. Butler, 36-6 (2018)

San Diego at Davidson, 1 p.m.
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Stadium: Richardson Stadium
Series: SAN leads, 12-2    Streak: SAN, seven wins
Previously: San Diego def. Davidson, 56-52 (2018)

Morehead State at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: D.B. Milne Field
Series: JAC leads, 12-4    Streak: JAC, 11 wins
Previously: Jacksonville def. Morehead State, 61-49 (2018)

Dayton at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Stadium: Brown Field
Series: DAY leads, 25-3    Streak: DAY, one win
Previously: Dayton def. Valparaiso, 53-20 (2018)

Off Week: Marist, Stetson


Drake at Butler, 1 p.m.
The annual Battle of the Bulldogs will feature a Drake squad unbeaten in PFL play on the road at Butler. Drake is out to a 2-0 start in league play thanks to a defense that has allowed just 23 points in its first two PFL games, ranking second in scoring defense (11.5 ppg) and second in total defense (289.0 yards allowed per game). Meanwhile, Butler’s defense picked off four passes against a quarterback that had not thrown a interception in 2019 in a Week 6 loss at Stetson and is ranked third in pass defense efficiency (108.6) in PFL action. DRAKE BULLDOG TO WATCH: With the ball-hawking Butler defense coming off its highlight-reel outing at Stetson, the attention turns to freshman quarterback Ian Corwin who has marshalled Drake to its 2-0 start. He has thrown just one interception in 49 passes in league play and five in 137 passes overall. BUTLER BULLDOG TO WATCH: On the other side, sophomore quarterback Sam Brown opened PFL action with a 202-yard passing performance with a pair of touchdown throws last week. He has three interceptions in 119 pass attempts in 2019.

San Diego at Davidson, 1 p.m.
San Diego makes its first foray outside the state of California in Week 6 and ventures to a Davidson squad that was less than two minutes away from an upset victory in San Diego last season. San Diego needed a touchdown with 1:43 left to eke out a 56-52 victory last season. The Toreros got 556 yards and seven touchdowns from the arm of quarterback Anthony Lawrence. Meanwhile, Davidson had its way on the ground, amassing 789 yards and seven touchdowns through its rushing game in last season’s meeting. TORERO TO WATCH: Quarterback Reid Sinnett opened PFL play with a 341-yard outing against Marist and has averaged 345 passing yards per game in four games this season. He’s also one of three PFL quarterbacks with double-digit touchdown totals with 12 TD tosses in 90 completions this season. WILDCAT TO WATCH: Running back Wesley Dugger led Davidson’s run-game attack in 2018 with a career-best 231 rushing yards. He enters this season’s meeting against the Toreros with 100-yard rushing performances in each of his last two outings in a sign he’s starting to find his rhythm.

Morehead State at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
The league’s leading rusher squares off the league’s leading all-purpose runner when Jacksonville hosts Morehead State. Jacksonville quarterback Calvin Turner Jr. is no longer a surprise when he uses his legs, hitting Dayton for 169 yards and four touchdowns in Week 6 to take the mantle as the top rusher in league play. Meanwhile, Morehead State return specialist Ian Holder posted 186 kick return yards alone against Davidson and finished with 196 all-purpose yards to end the week as the PFL’s top all-purpose runner. EAGLE TO WATCH: Jovan Smith was Morehead State’s featured back against Davidson with 20 touches (12 rushes, 8 receptions) totaling 107 yards and a touchdown. It was his team-leading fifth touchdown of 2019. DOLPHIN TO WATCH: Turner Jr. attracts a lot of the attention on offense, which will happen when you account for 46.7 percent of your team’s total yardage and nine of its 12 rushing touchdowns in 2019.

Dayton at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
A meeting between former coaching teammates unfolds in Valparaiso when former Dayton assistant – and current Crusader head coach – Landon Fox meets his former boss in Dayton’s Rick ChamberlinAfter displaying an impressive passing attack to open PFL play with a win, Dayton heads north to face Valparaiso. The Flyers used their passing game to devastating effect against Jacksonville in Week 6, as Jack Cook completed 10-of-12 passes for 175 yards and five touchdowns – four to tight end Adam Trautman – in the first half alone. Valparaiso will look to shake off a slow start to PFL play that saw it held to 131 total yards by a surging Drake defensive unit. FLYER TO WATCH: Running back Jake Chisholm was the Flyers go-to man when it came time to control the ball, rushing 10 times for 101 yards with six carries coming in the second half. It was the second 100-yard rushing performance by a Flyer this season. CRUSADER TO WATCH: Linebacker Nick Turner has made the most of his return to action after missing the final seven games of 2018. He leads Valparaiso with 30 tackles and seven tackles for loss, including 3.5 tackles for loss in last week’s outing at Drake.

Complete news and notes available in PDF version

Five Pioneer Football League student-athletes were named as semifinalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Mazada and The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The five PFL student-athletes recognized as semifinalists were: Brad Sznajder, Butler; Ethan Steinbacher, Davidson; Tim Simon, Dayton; Andrew McElroy, Marist; and Gaven DeFilippo, Stetson.  That quintet joins a group that now includes 82 PFL student-athletes who have been named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, or its predecessor the Draddy Trophy, since 1998.

Davidson running back Wesley Dugger pushed past the 2,500 career yard mark against Campbell, Sept. 21. One of two juniors among the FCS Top 10 Active Career Leaders, he is ranked fourth in total rushing yardage (2,705) after Week 5, averaging 108.2 yards per game. He is just ahead of Monmouth junior Pete Guerriero (2,513 yards) on the list. Dugger needs 779 yards to move into the PFL’s career Top 10 in rushing yards (3,292 yards, Drake’s Jonathan Taylor).

Seeing a PFL quarterback listed on the FCS Active Career Leaders list in passing efficiency is a normal occurrence. However, that quarterback not having San Diego next to their name is a new twist. Dayton signal caller Jack Cook is the FCS’ active career leader with a 163.06 career pass efficiency rating. That would rank second all-time on the PFL’s career pass efficiency list, behind San Diego’s Josh Johnson’s 176.68 mark (2004-07)

Meanwhile, San Diego wide receiver Michael Bandy moved past the 2,500 receiving yard plateau in Week 6. He now is ranked fifth among FCS active career leaders with 2,533 career receiving yards. Bandy needs just 374 yards to move into the PFL’s Top 10 in receiving yardage (2,907 yards, Morehead State’s Jake Raymond).

Drake’s defensive back Will Warner nabbed his first interception of 2019 against Valparaiso in Week 6. It was his 12th career interception, keeping him atop the list of the FCS’ active career leaders. With his next pick he moves into the PFL’s career Top 10 in interceptions.

Davidson linebacker George Hatalowich was named to the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Sept. 12.  As the founder and current president of Davidson Football Uplifting Athletes, George has been responsible for raising more than $25,000 to benefit the rare disease community. George has also taken the Davidson Chapter a step further to engage with local patients, families and caregivers through the Uplifting Athletes Bowling event, which allows the families the opportunity to bowl alongside the football team. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team will be invited to the 2020 Allstate® Sugar Bowl® and will join Tebow and Allstate volunteers to give back to New Orleans through a special community service project. Allstate will recognize the team during the halftime show. Fans are invited to visit to vote for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain once per day, now through Nov. 22. The team captain will be honored at The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN later this season.


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