The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 10

Monday, October 28, 2019
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

All eyes will turn to the Week 10 nightcap that will go a long way to defining the 2019 PFL championship race as PFL co-leaders Drake (4-0 PFL) and San Diego (4-0) square off on the Pacific Coast. Drake last defeated San Diego in 2012 while the Toreros have not lost a PFL home game since 2010. The Battle of Florida will unfold in the day’s early action when Stetson (2-2) travels to Jacksonville (0-4). Dayton travels to Morehead State in a matchup of 2-2 PFL squads. Marist returns home with its 2-2 PFL mark to host Butler, which picked up PFL win No. 1 last week. Valparaiso also will look to build on its first win of 2019 when it travels to 2-2 Davidson.

All times Eastern. 


Butler at Marist, Noon
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Stadium: Tenney Stadium
Series: MAR leads, 3-1    Streak: MAR, two wins
Previously: Marist def. Butler, 30-21 (2016)

Valparaiso at Davidson, 1 p.m.
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Stadium: Richardson Stadium
Series: DAV leads, 8-4    Streak: DAV, one win
Previously: Davidson def. Valparaiso, 40-35 (2018)

Stetson at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: D.B. Milne Field
Series: JAC leads, 5-1    Streak: STE, one win
Previously: Stetson def. Jacksonville, 38-35 (2018)

Dayton at Morehead State, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Morehead, Kentucky
Stadium: Jayne Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 18-6    Streak: DAY, one win
Previously: Dayton def. Morehead State, 63-20 (2018)

Drake at San Diego, 5 p.m.
Location: San Diego, California
Stadium: Torero Stadium
Series: SAN leads, 16-10    Streak: SAN, six wins
Previously: San Diego def. Drake, 27-10 (2018)


Butler at Marist, Noon
Fresh off claiming its first PFL win of 2019, Butler will travel to Marist to open Week 10 in the PFL. Marist returns home after an impressive win at Davidson that saw it limit the league’s top run offense to under 200 yards for only the third time this season. Butler held the league’s top rusher, Jacksonville’s Calvin Turner Jr., to 68 yards below his season average en route to its victory in a game that featured 103 rush attempts against only 12 pass attempts. Statistically, this is a contest between near equals with Marist outranking Butler offensively (7th vs. 9th in total offense) while Butler outranks Marist defensively (6th vs. 8th in total defense). BULLDOG TO WATCH: Senior Brad Sznajder hit his stride in the run-oriented outing against Jacksonville, posting season bests in yardage (150) and touchdowns (2) against the Dolphins. RED FOX TO WATCH: Freshman Hunter Cobb enjoyed his outing in a run-oriented contest at Davidson, posting his season bests in yardage (178) and touchdowns (2) against the Wildcats.

Valparaiso at Davidson, 1 p.m.
Valparaiso will look to build on its first victory of 2019 when it meets a Davidson squad seeking to end a two-game home losing streak. 200 has been the magic number for the Davidson offense, with the Wildcats going 1-2 when they fail to rush for 200 yards in a game. That top-ranked Davidson run game (290.2 ypg in PFL play) will meet a Valparaiso defense ranked 6th against the run in PFL play (190.2 ypg). Valparaiso topped the 100-yard rushing mark for just the second time this season, two weeks removed from a season-best 299-yard rushing outing against Dayton, while Davidson has surrendered 150 or more rushing yards in each of its four PFL games this season. CRUSADER TO WATCH: Offense has been at a premium for the Crusaders in 2019 with senior Elias Earley’s 112-yard rushing performance against Stetson was just the team’s second 100-yard performance either rushing or receiving. WILDCAT TO WATCH: Davidson saw Marist put forth a 232-yard rushing performance – the most by a Wildcats opponent this season. Bryce Perry-Martin, who ranks No. 2 among PFL tacklers with 10.0 tackles for loss, will lead a Davidson defense looking to prevent a repeat.  

Stetson at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
The annual Battle for Florida will see Stetson head just up the coast to meet Jacksonville. The Hatters will look to build on its first win in the series, last season, ending a five-game win streak by the Dolphins to start the series. Also, both teams return to action after suffering road losses in Week 9 – Stetson falling at Valparaiso while Jacksonville fell at Butler. The return to warmer climes should help both clubs offenses, which suffered under the cloudy, rainy skies of Indiana last week. Stetson was held to a season-low 277 offensive yards by the Crusaders and the weather, their lowest total by nearly 200 yards this season. Jacksonville faired just as poorly with only 258 offensive yards against the Bulldogs and the weather. HATTER TO WATCH: Stetson signal-caller Gaven DeGilippo will seek a return to form that has seen him average 214.5 passing yards per game in four league outings – third-best among PFL quarterbacks. DOLPHIN TO WATCH: Jacksonville quarterback Calvin Turner Jr. had a rare off day at Butler, finishing with 45 rushing yards, but still enters this week’s outing averaging 98 yards per game in his four league contests – best among PFL quarterbacks. 

Dayton at Morehead State, 1 p.m.
Dayton and Morehead State are both looking to shake off a Week 9 loss in another matchup of league neighbors. The Flyers offense continues to churn out yardage in league play with outings of 466 yards and 467 yards in its back-to-back losses, but the defense surrendered two of its top three yardage totals of the season in those two outings. Morehead State also is fighting defensive woes entering the game, surrendering a 458-yard outing to Drake that was the fifth 400-yard game surrendered by the defense. Meanwhile, the Eagles offense has back-to-back 300-yard passing efforts for the first time in 2019. FLYER TO WATCH: Jake Chisholm is the first Dayton runner with two 100-yard rushing performances this season. His 117 yards against San Diego were the most rushing yards by a Flyer since Week 3 of the campaign (Sean Prophit). EAGLE TO WATCH: Landon Hurst became the first Morehead State receiver to post a 100-yard outing, going for 123 receiving yards at Drake last week. He has 221 receiving yards in Morehead State’s previous two outings as the passing game finds its wings.  

Drake at San Diego, 5 p.m.
The final month of the regular season begins with a game that will prove pivotal in determining the 2019 PFL championship. Drake and San Diego each enter the contest with perfect 4-0 PFL records, and no other PFL team is closer than a 2-2 mark. The Toreros boast the league’s No. 1 offense in both scoring (40.0 ppg) and yardage (501.2 ypg) through four PFL outings. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are the league’s No. 1 defense in both scoring (11.8 ppg) and yardage (297.0 ypg) in four PFL games. All that while both teams have faced similar strengths of schedules in league play: Drake’s opposition has a combined 6-10 record while San Diego’s has a 7-9 mark after four weeks. TORERO TO WATCH: The Toreros will look to rattle Drake freshman quarterback Ian Corwin, who ranks No. 3 in pass efficiency (161.1) in league play. To do so, they will turn to a pass defense that leads the league with seven picks in PFL play. Senior David Tolbert leads that pass defense with six passes defended, including a pair of interceptions. BULLDOG TO WATCH: Similarly, Drake will look to slow down San Diego senior quarterback Reid Sinnett, who owns an impressive 198.1 pass efficiency rating in PFL play. Drake’s defensive unit also has seven interceptions in league play this season. Senior Will Warner has picked off four passes in his last three games, including two in the Week 9 win against Morehead State.

Complete news and notes available in PDF version

Drake and San Diego each won their Week 9 contests to set up a showdown between the two 4-0 PFL clubs in Week 10 as San Diego hosts Drake in the league’s nightcap. Dayton, Davidson, Morehead State, and Stetson each were 2-1 a week ago, but each lost in Week 9 and are now 2-2 and are left looking for help during the season’s final four weeks.

Stetson entered the game with the most-potent offense in FCS statistics, but Booker helped Valparaiso stymie the fellow Pioneer Football League squad 19-10 to earn its first win of the season. Booker had 13 tackles (seven solos), two interceptions for the second time this season and a pass breakup. Both picks came inside Valpo’s 25, with the first one leading to a go-ahead field goal and the second clinching the win. He had 32 interception return yards. It is the third national STATS FCS honor by a PFL athlete this season.

Marist’s game against Butler, Saturday, will be the Red Foxes’ second #SetTheExpectation game. #SetTheExpectation is a campaign that engages male athletes and their coaches as the solution to end sexual assault and physical violence. It is spearheaded by Brenda Tracy, who has traveled to college campuses nationwide to deliver her message, including Marist in the spring of 2017. The Red Foxes’ participation in the campaign is led by Marist’s Center for Student-Athlete Enhancement in partnership with Tracy. Sponsors also include Marist’s Title IX Office, Marist Dining Services, Marist’s Chapter of It’s On Us, and The Purple Thread.

With its win at Dayton in Week 9, San Diego’s extended its PFL win streak to 33 games. It is the third longest conference win streak in FCS history. It trails a 39-game win streak by Duquesne in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (1999-06) and a 36-game win streak by Jacksonville State of the Ohio Valley Conference (2013-18).

Davidson running back Wesley Dugger pushed past the 3,000 career yard mark against Marist, Oct. 26. One of two juniors among the FCS Top 10 Active Career Leaders, he is ranked fourth in total rushing yardage (3,007), averaging 107.4 yards per game (2nd among active career leaders). He is just ahead of Monmouth junior Pete Guerriero (3,001 yards) on the list. Dugger needs 286 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 ranked No. 2 on the FCS’ active career leader list with a 157.97 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 3,000 receiving yard plateau in Week 9. He now is ranked fourth among FCS active career leaders with 3,016 career receiving yards. Bandy is the ninth PFL receiver to record 3,000 career receiving yards and enters this week ninth all-time, 96 yards from moving past Dylan Ching (3,111 yards) for eighth on the list.

Drake’s defensive back Will Warner has nabbed four interceptions in his last three games and has regained the top spot on the NCAA’s Active Career Leaders list for picks. He now has 15 career interceptions, the eighth PFL defender to record 15 career INTs. Morehead State’s David Hyland and Dayton’s Mark Kasmer hold the PFL record with 21 interceptions each.

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