The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 5

Monday, September 25, 2017
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

All times Eastern.


San Diego at Dayton, Noon
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Stadium: Welcome Stadium (11.000)
Series: DAY leads, 15-8    Streak: SAN, one win
Last Meeting: San Diego def. Dayton, 34-22 (2016)

Drake at Butler, 1 p.m.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Stadium: Butler Bowl (5,400)
Series: DRA leads, 17-8-1    Streak: DRA, one win
Last Meeting: Drake def. Butler, 28-14

Marist at Davidson, 1 p.m.
Location: Davidson, North Carolina
Stadium: Richardson Stadium (5,500)
Series: MAR leads, 8-1    Streak: MAR, six wins
Last Meeting: Marist def. Davidson, 31-10 (2016)

Guilford at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium:  D.B. Milne Field (5,000)
Series: First Meeting

Morehead State at Campbell, 2 p.m.
Location: Buies Creek, North Carolina
Stadium: Barker-Lane Stadium (5,500)
Series: MOR leads, 5-4    Streak: CAM, one win
Last Meeting: Campbell def. Morehead State, 27-21 (2016)

Stetson at Valparaiso, 2 p.m.
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Stadium: Brown Stadium (5,000)
Series: Series tied, 1-1    Streak: VAL, one win
Last Meeting: Valparaiso def. Stetson, 21-18 (2016)

Complete news and notes available in PDF version

OH, THAT DOLPHIN PASSING | Jacksonville enters Week 5 of the 2017 campaign ranked No. 2 among FCS teams in Passing Efficiency, boasting a 189.20 rating. The Dolphins have six touchdowns and 487 yards on 49 pass attempts this season while throwing only one interception on the campaign. They lead a pack of five PFL teams – Morehead State, Valparaiso, Drake and San Diego – ranked among the FCS Top 50 in the category.

PATIENT FLYERS | Dayton is the least penalized team in the FCS after four weeks, averaging just 2.75 penalties per game. They are also ranked fourth in fewest penalty yards per game, averaging only 31.25 penalty yards.

CRUSADERS SURGING | Valparaiso’s offense has enjoyed a resurgence in 2017, its 443.3 total yards per game ranking 21st among FCS programs and leading the PFL. The Crusaders ran up 450 offensive yards against Montana in Week 1 before tacking on 511 offensive yards against Duquesne and another 518 against Trinity International. Valparaiso averaged just 300 offensive yards per game last season, ranking 106th among FCS teams.TRIO OF KICK RETURNERS TO FEAR| The PFL boasts three kick returners that have proven to be dangerous in 2017. Morehead State’s

TRIO OF KICK RETURNERS TO FEAR | The PFL boasts three kick returners that have proven to be dangerous in 2017. Morehead State’s Jaunyea Tarver (6th, 376 yards), Dayton’s Christian Searles (11th, 348) and Butler’s Cam Cooper (14th, 339) are each ranked among the FCS Top 15 in Combined Kick Return Yardage (punt and kick returns) after four weeks.

MARIST’S JOHNSON 1ST TO RETURN KICK FOR SCORE | Marist’s Mekhai Johnson became the first PFL return specialist to return a kickoff for a touchdown in 2017, turning in the score against Jacksonville in Week 4. He was one of only 13 FCS players to return a kick for a touchdown in the season’s first four weeks.

RETURNS TO THE HOUSE | Three of the 19 FCS return men to take a punt back for a touchdown reside in the PFL. Davidson’s Austin Wells, Dayton’s Christian Searles and Campbell’s Jaquan Brooks have each put six on the board after fielding a punt in 2017.

HIGGINBOTHOM, PRIEST LEADS RECEIVERS | Morehead State’s Jaren Higginbothom and San Diego’s Justin Priest each have five receiving touchdowns this season, ranking fourth among FCS athletes in the category. 

WILDCATS’ DUGGER RUNNING WILD | Davidson freshman running back Wesley Dugger  has motored to a quick start, compiling 377 rushing yards in his first three collegiate games. His 125.7 rushing yards per game ranks eighth among all FCS runners this season and it leads all rookie runners with a minimum of 20 rushes to their credit.

BOXRUCKER SCORING ON THE GROUND | Valparaiso sophomore running back Cody Boxrucker is getting the job done on the ground, as one of only 11 runners with five or more touchdowns this season.

PFL QUARTET LEADING FCS IN TACKLERS FOR LOSS | Davidson’s Bryce Perry-Martin enters Week 5 ranked fourth among all FCS tacklers with 2.2 tackles for loss per game. He is one of four PFL defenders ranked among the Top 10 in tackles for loss with Stetson’s Jeb Boudreaux, Morehead State’s Jerome Brooks and Campbell’s Emmanuel Olenga each averaging 2.0 tackles for loss per game – each fifth-most in the FCS.

OLENGA A SACK LEADER | In addition, Olenga is one of three PFL tacklers to rank among the FCS Top 10 in sacks, his 1.38 sacks per game ranking third in the subdivision.

LASTONAS STILL PERFECT ON FGs | Valparaiso sophomore Dimitrios Lastonas (4-for-4) is one of only 17 kickers who have not missed a field goal in 2017 after four weeks.