The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 3

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations


Marist at Columbia, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+ / SNY
Location: New York City, New York
Stadium: Wien Stadium
Series: Columbia leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: Columbia def. Marist, 34-24 (2018)

Dartmouth at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN3
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Stadium: Brown Field
Series: First Meeting

Morehead State at #19/21 Austin Peay, 3 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Stadium: Fortera Stadium
Series: Morehead State leads, 26-20    Streak: Austin Peay, 3 wins
Last Meeting: Austin Peay def. Morehead State, 78-40 (2018)

San Diego at #4/5 Montana State, 3 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Stadium: Bobcat Stadium
Series: First Meeting

Drake at #11/14 North Dakota, 5 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
Stadium: Alerus Center
Series: North Dakota leads, 3-0
Last Meeting: North Dakota def. Drake, 47-7 (2019)

St. Thomas at #18/15 Northern Iowa, 5 p.m.
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Stadium: Welcome Stadium
Series: First Meeting

Presbyterian at Campbell, 6 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Buies Creek, North Carolina
Stadium: Barker-Lane Stadium
Series: Presbyterian leads, 3-2    Streak: Campbell, 2 wins
Last Meeting: Campbell def. Presbyterian, 28-14 (2019)

Dayton at #8/9 Southern Illinois, 7 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Carbondale, Illinois
Stadium: Saluki Stadium
Series: Southern Illinois leads, 3-2-1    Streak: Southern Illinois, 1 win
Last Meeting: Southern Illinois def. Dayton, 38-16 (1974)

Butler at Taylor, 7 p.m.
Location: Upland, Indiana
Stadium: Turner Stadium
Series: Butler leads, 8-1    Streak: Taylor, 7 wins
Last Meeting: Taylor def. Butler, 17-14 (2019)

Off Week: Davidson & Stetson


After facing three FCS Top 25 teams in Week 2, a nine-game Week 3 slate features PFL teams facing off against five FCS Top 25 teams… San Diego makes its first roadtrip of 2021 to face #5/4 Montana State… Dayton, fresh off downing OVC foe Eastern Illinois at home, travels to #8/9 Southern Illinois of the Missouri Valley Conference… Drake makes its second foray to the west with a matchup against #11/14 North Dakota… St… Thomas gets its toughest test as a Division I FCS team in its second outing with a trip south to face #18/15 Northern Iowa… Meanwhile, Morehead State faces a former PFL member in #19/21 Austin Peay… Marist (at Columbia) and Valparaiso (hosting Dartmouth) will help a pair of Ivy League members kick off their season… Elsewhere, Butler (at Taylor) and Presbyterian (at Campbell) will face regional foes to cap Week 3 action.

The PFL went 7-3 in Week 2 with the three losses coming on the road to nationally-ranked FCS foes… Dayton scored on each of its first three possessions to start the second half and downed Eastern Illinois, 17-10… Louis Hyde hit a 32-yard field goal with 59 seconds left, helping St. Thomas win in its Division I debut, 12-9 at Michigan Tech… Mark Pappas threw a career-high five touchdowns, including four to start the game, as Morehead State swamped Point University (Ga.), 62-9… Ren Hefley threw for four touchdowns and 309 yards, leading Presbyterian to a 68-3 victory against Fort Lauderdale… Butler broke out to a 28-7 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a 49-24 victory… Ave Maria scored the game’s first touchdown but Stetson scored the next six touchdowns to post a 49-16 victory… Davidson fended off Shaw’s fourth-quarter comeback bid, holding on for a 28-26 victory… North Dakota State used big plays and a stout defense to down Valparaiso, 64-0… UC Davis scored the first 36 points and downed San Diego, 53-7… Montana State scored the game’s first 24 points to down Drake, 45-7.

Dayton, St. Thomas and Marist saw their 2020 seasons wiped out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and all three saw their Week 1 contests canceled as the pandemic continued to affect schedules into the 2021 season. Dayton finally took the field in Week 2 for their first game in 658 days while St. Thomas ended a 665-day break from the field with its Week 2 road game. Marist took its off week in Week 2 and will see action (hopefully) in Week 3, bringing an end to its own 665-day hiatus.

After scoring a FCS record 84 points in its 2021 season opener, Presbyterian stacked up a 68-point performance against Fort Lauderdale in Week 2, giving the Blue Hose the FCS’ No. 1 and No. 3 single-game point totals through two weeks. Morehead State has the FCS’ No. 8 total with 62 points in a Week 2 win against Point (Ga.).

As would be expected with the previous note, Presbyterian also holds two of the Top 10 offensive yard marks in the FCS, including its FCS-leading 814-yard outing in the season-opener. But PFL teams have posted five of the FCS’s 500-plus yard performances through two weeks with Stetson, Butler and Drake joining Presbyterian. 

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