The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 3
courtesy Dayton Athletics
courtesy Dayton Athletics

Wednesday, September 13, 2023
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations


Taylor at Dayton, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: Facebook Live
Location: Dayton, Ohio     Stadium: Welcome Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 1-0    Streak: DAY, one win
Last Meeting: Dayton def. Taylor, 62-3 (1984)

St. Thomas at Harvard, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Boston, Mass.    Stadium: Harvard Stadium
Series: First Meeting

Davidson at Marist, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.    Stadium: Tenney Stadium
Series: MAR leads, 11-1    Streak: MAR, nine wins
Last Meeting: Marist def. Davidson, 27-21

Stetson at #3 Montana State, 3 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Bozeman, Montana    Stadium: Bobcat Stadium
Series: First Meeting

Drake at #1 South Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Broadcast: Midco Sports+
Location: Brookings, South Dakota    Stadium: Dykhouse Stadium
Series: SDSU leads, 8-5    Streak: SDSU, three wins
Last Meeting: South Dakota State def. Drake, 38-10 (2019)

Princeton at San Diego, 4 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: San Diego, California    Stadium: Torero Stadium
Series: PRIN leads, 3-1    Streak: PRIN, one win
Last Meeting: Princeton def. San Diego, 27-17 (2017)

Wabash at Butler, 6 p.m.
Broadcast: FloSports
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana    Stadium: Sellick Bowl
Series: BUT leads, 42-17-8    Streak: BUT,
Last Meeting: Butler def. Wabash, 35-12 (1976)

Presbyterian at Wofford, 6 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina    Stadium: Gibbs Stadium
Series: WOF leads, 42-40-3    Streak: WOF, seven wins
Last Meeting: Wofford def. Presbyterian, 45-21 (2018)


Three big story lines highlight the PFL’s Week 3 slate, beginning with the 2023 PFL Opener when Davidson travels to Marist Saturday. Davidson has only beaten Marist once in 12 tries all-time with the lone victory coming during the 2010 season in Poughkeepsie. Since then, the Red Foxes have rattled off nine straight wins, though the last two have been by a combined 13 points. Next, two PFL teams will face off against FCS Top 5 teams in Week 3. Drake traveling West to face top-ranked and defending FCS Champion South Dakota State. Stetson treks into the mountains for a meeting with No. 3 Montana State. Finally, the PFL will once again have teams involved in the Ivy League’s opening weekend. Defending PFL Champion St. Thomas heads to Boston to square off against Harvard in the first-ever meeting between the programs. San Diego stays home for a second consecutive week to host Princeton for the fifth meeting between the two teams. Elsewhere, bucking the trend of cross-country travel this week are Butler, Dayton, and Presbyterian. Presbyterian has the league’s shortest trip in Week 3, needing only  37-mile drive to meet Wofford for the first time since 2018. Dayton remains at Welcome Stadium this week to host Taylor, which requires the Trojans to make a 113-mile trip to revive a series that has been dormant since 1984. Butler hosts Wabash in a meeting between programs separated by 47 miles but have not met since 1976.

Stetson improved to 2-0 with a second-straight home win, downing Webber International by 38-28 margin. The Hatters raced out to a 38-7 lead before holding on late for the win. Running back Nazeviah Burns ran for 136 yards and a touchdown in the win. Meanwhile, Butler, Dayton, and Presbyterian won their home openers and improved to 1-1 overall. PFL Offensive Player of the Week Jyran Mitchell rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns as Butler dominated in-state foe Taylor, 41-13. Dayton had little trouble with local foe Central State, with eight different Flyers scoring a touchdown in the 62-24 victory. Presbyterian held Virginia-Lynchburg to minus eight rushing yards and notched seven sacks to secure a 48-17 victory. St. Thomas saw its 13-game win streak halted at South Dakota despite the Tommies holding the Coyotes to 106 rushing yards. Drake and San Diego suffered overtime losses on home turf. Drake fell to Northwestern (Iowa), 27-24, despite quarterback Luke Bailey’s 253 yards and three touchdowns through the air. San Diego freshman quarterback Dom Nankil threw for all three Toreros touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough in a 28-21 overtime loss to Colorado Mesa. Valparaiso charged back from an 11-point deficit after three quarters but was undone by a failed two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter in a 24-22 loss to Indiana Wesleyan. Morehead State scored 13 points to begin the second quarter and led 15-14 at Mercer but could not hold on and dropped a 48-22 decision. Davidson opened the week with a Friday game against Barton College and scored 21 points in the first quarter but trailed 27-21 at halftime and could not recover in a 33-31 loss.

Jyran Mitchell, Butler (12 carries, 178 yards, 3 TDs)
Isaiah Williams, San Diego (32 carries, 153 yards)
Michael Neel, Dayton (20 carries, 125 yards, TD)
Mari Adams, Davidson (19 carries, 115 yards)

Nazeviah Burris, Stetson (7 receptions, 136 yards, TD)

Jacob Schachte, Dayton (76 yards)
Caleb Francis, Presbyterian (32 yards)