The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 11

Monday, November 4, 2019
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

League-leading San Diego makes another trek cross country to face Stetson. The Hatters the lone remaining opponent on the Toreros schedule with a winning PFL mark. San Diego travels to DeLand seeking to become the first team to defeat Stetson at home this season… Second-place Drake returns home to face Jacksonville while seeking to keep sole control of the No. 2 spot in the standings… The group of two loss teams is now down to four squads entering Week 10: Davidson, Dayton, Marist and Stetson… Stetson hosts the aforementioned Toreros, Marist travels to Dayton in a matchup of third-place teams, while Davidson travels to Butler… Morehead State will look to get back to .500 in league play when it travels to Valparaiso.

All times Eastern. 


Davidson at Butler, Noon
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Stadium: Sellick Bowl
Series: Series tied, 6-6    Streak: DAV, one win
Previously: Davidson def. Butler, 41-38 (2018)

San Diego at Stetson, Noon
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: DeLand, Florida
Stadium: Spec Martin Memorial Stadium
Series: SAN leads, 6-0    Streak: SAN, six wins
Previously: San Diego def. Stetson, 49-10 (2018)

Jacksonville at Drake, Noon
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Stadium: Drake Stadium
Series: DRA leads, 15-3    Streak: DRA, four wins
Previously: Drake def. Jacksonville, 41-9

Marist at Dayton, 1 p.m.
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Stadium: Welcome Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 8-2    Streak: MAR, one win
Previously: Marist def. Dayton, 28-17 (2018)

Morehead State at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Stadium: Brown Field
Series: MOR leads, 20-4    Streak: MOR, one win
Previously: Morehead State def. Valparaiso, 31-24 (2018)


Davidson at Butler, Noon
Davidson hits the road looking for its first back-to-back wins since opening the season with three consecutive victories while Butler returns home looking for its second-straight home victory. Davidson has alternated wins and losses since Sept 14, most recently defeating Valparaiso 27-21 at home. Butler won in its last outing at the Sellick Bowl, defeating Jacksonville 24-14, and both its wins this season have come at home. WILDCAT TO WATCH. Running back Wesley Dugger notched his third 100-yard outing in PFL play (4th this season) with 106 yards against Valparaiso. He leads all PFL runners with 14 rushing touchdowns in his five PFL outings this season and ranks fifth in total yardage in PFL action. BULLDOG TO WATCH: Butler handed the reins to freshman quarterback Nick Orlando fully at Marist and he responded with 243 offensive yards (183 passing, 60 rushing) in Butler’s 306-yard day. His run threat could give Butler a potent 1-2 punch with running back Brad Sznajder in the backfield.

Jacksonville at Drake, Noon
Jacksonville continues its hunt for PFL win No. 1 with its Week 11 tripe to Drake, which will look to rebound from its loss at San Diego last week. The Dolphins came their closest to PFL win No. 1 last week, dropping a three-point decision to in-state rival Stetson. Three of Jacksonville’s PFL losses have come by 10 or fewer points this season. Drake saw its path to a potential PFL title hit a road bump with a loss at San Diego last week, ending its four-game PFL win streak. However, the Bulldogs will look to keep the pressure on in the final three weekends, beginning with Saturday’s contest. DOLPHIN TO WATCH: Wide receiver/return specialist BJ Byrd had a busy day last week against Stetson, amassing 196 all-purpose yards. A chunk of that total came courtesy his 64-yard touchdown reception but he also had 120 yards in kick returns and seven in punt returns, helping move him to second among PFL return specialists in combined kick return yards (631 yards). BULLDOG TO WATCH: Drake saw its offense hemmed in by the San Diego defense last week, but freshman quarterback Ian Corwin finished with 177 offensive yards, his 14 pass completions going for 159 yards and he rushed for Drake’s lone score.

San Diego at Stetson, Noon
In firm control of its own destiny over the final three weeks, San Diego makes the first of two trips to Florida in that closing stretch to face Stetson, which looks for its first-ever win against the Toreros. San Diego has had little trouble in PFL play so far in 2019, outscoring opponents by 24.6 points per game and outgaining them by 189.6 yards per game. Stetson hopes that Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, where it is unbeaten in five tries this season, provides for visiting San Diego. In their two previous PFL home games, the Hatters have averaged 511.0 yards and 34.0 points while defeating Butler by three points and Dayton by a touchdown. TORERO TO WATCH: Quarterback Reid Sinnett has nearly been a one-man show through five PFL games, averaging 340.2 offensive yards out of San Diego’s 496.2 offensive yards (68.6 percent). He has passed for more than 300 yards in three of those five PFL games and five times overall. HATTER TO WATCH: Freshman running back Jalen Leary has made the most of PFL play this season, averaging a league-leading 122.2 yards per game in five PFL outings. He has run for 100-plus yards in four of those five games, including his 220-yard outburst against Dayton, Oct. 19.

Marist at Dayton, 1 p.m.
A battle of two teams tied for third place will unfold when Dayton hosts Marist. Dayton rebounded from its Week 9 loss to San Diego by winning a shootout at Morehead State last week. Marist claimed its second-straight PFL victory by defeating Butler at home. Oddly, Dayton has had trouble at home in 2019, entering this week’s home affair with a 1-2 record at Welcome Stadium – the losses coming to Duquesne and San Diego while doubling-up Jacksonville for a win. Meanwhile, Marist is just 1-2 on the road this season, with its win at Davidson, Oct. 26, following decisive losses at Georgetown and San Diego. RED FOX TO WATCH: The sudden emergence of freshman running back Hunter Cobb has rejuvenated the Marist offense. A week after breaking out for 178 rushing yards against Davidson, Cobb posted 146 yards against Butler last week. His 324 yards in the two games dwarfing his 47 yards prior to the outburst. FLYER TO WATCH: Similarly, Dayton’s offense has been jump started by the recent emergence of sophomore Jake Chisholm, who broke off a PFL 2019 best 268 yards against Morehead State last week. That outing followed his 117 yards against San Diego, the back-to-back week total of  385 yards also dwarfing his 285 rushing yards after the season’s first eight weeks. 

Morehead State at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
Morehead State will seek to bring its two-game losing streak to an end when it travels to face a Valparaiso squad that won in its last home outing. Morehead State continues to have little trouble scoring in PFL this season – its 35-point effort against Dayton was its fourth 30-point game in PFL play this season. However, the Eagles surrendered 30-plus points for the third PFL game this season with each of those contests also seeing it surrender 300-plus rushing yards. Valpariaso could not follow up its season’s first win with a second victory, falling by six points at Davidson. Outside of facing the league’s top two teams, the Crusaders have played within 10 points of their other three league opponents, going 1-2 in those games. EAGLE TO WATCH: Running back Isiah Aguero had another solid all-around day for Morehead State against Dayton, finishing with 201 all-purpose yards and is now fifth among PFL runners with 952 all-purpose yards this season. CRUSADER TO WATCH: Speaking of all-purpose runners, Valparaiso boasts sophomore Ollie Reese who enters the week ranked second among the league’s all-purpose runners with 1,076 yards, the bulk of that coming on his league-leading 709 kick return yards (3rd in FCS).


Complete news and notes available in PDF version

After a week nine slate that trimmed the PFL title competition to two teams, Week 10’s results narrowed the group to one and again its San Diego leading the pack with three regular-season weekends remaining. San Diego faces its toughest remaining test in Week 11 when it travels to Stetson, which is one of four third-place teams in the PFL. The Toreros then host Morehead State before heading back across the country for a meeting with Jacksonville.

With its win against Drake in Week 10, San Diego’s extended its PFL win streak to 34 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 third in total rushing yardage (3,113), averaging 107.3 yards per game (2nd among active career leaders). He is just ahead of Monmouth junior Pete Guerriero (3,078 yards) on the list. Dugger needs 180 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 157.95 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 3,071 career receiving yards. Bandy is the ninth PFL receiver to record 3,000 career receiving yards and enters this week ninth all-time, 41 yards from moving past Dylan Ching (3,111 yards) for eighth on the list.

Drake’s defensive back Will Warner nabbed four interceptions in a three-week span (Weeks 7-9) 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.