The Pioneer Football League Report: Week 4
Courtesy St. Thomas Athletics Communications
Courtesy St. Thomas Athletics Communications

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations


Butler at Stetson, Noon
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: DeLand, Florida    Stadium: Spec Martin Memorial Stadium
Series: BUT leads, 4-1    Streak: STE, one win
Last Meeting: Stetson def. Butler, 30-27 (2019)

Marist at Valparaiso, 1 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana    Stadium: Brown Field
Series: MAR leads, 9-2    Streak: VAL, one win
Last Meeting: Valparaiso def. Marist, 45-24 (2022)

Morehead State at St. Thomas, 2 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota    Stadium: O’Shaughnessy Stadium
Series: First Meeting

Dayton at San Diego, 5 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: San Diego, California    Stadium: Torero Stadium
Series: DAY leads, 16-11    Streak: SAN, four wins
Last Meeting: San Diego def. Dayton, 50-38 (2019)

St. Andrews at Davidson, 7 p.m.
Broadcast: ESPN+
Location: Davidson, North Carolina    Stadium: Richardson Stadium
Series: DAV leads, 1-0    Streak: DAV, one win
Last Meeting: Davidson def. St. Andrews, 56-6 (2022)


After Davidson and Marist opened the 2023 PFL race, seven other teams will get their league schedules underway in Week 4. Defending champion St. Thomas returns home to open PFL play against Morehead State in the first meeting between the two programs. St. Thomas enters league play with back-to-back losses against FCS foes, while Morehead State returns to action following its off week. Dayton travels west to meet San Diego in a match-up of 12-time league champions. However, it is the first time Dayton head coach Trevor Andrews and San Diego head coach Brandon Moore will lead their respective teams into one of the league’s highest-profile series. Butler takes to the road for the warmer climes of Florida and a meeting with Stetson. It is the only matchup of 2-1 teams across the league in Week 4, with both Butler and Stetson 2-0 at home. Marist heads to Valparaiso for a meeting between teams seeking their first victory this season. While Marist leads the series overall, the road team has won the last three meetings in the series. After opening PFL play with a win at Marist in Week 3, Davidson briefly steps out of league play to host NAIA foe St. Andrews.

Davidson won the PFL opener at Marist, while Butler, Dayton, and Presbyterian notched victories during Week 3 of the college football season. Davidson closed the first half with 21 unanswered points to secure a 49-21 PFL victory at Marist. Davidson quarterback Coulter Cleland picked up the PFL Offensive Player of the Week award after his five-touchdown performance, completing 17-of-21 passes for 303 yards. Marist quarterback Brock Bagozzi threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Matt Stianche. Dayton scored the game’s first 24 points and fended off a second-quarter charge by Taylor to secure a 52-20 home victory. Dayton running back Michael Neel ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns while wide receiver Gavin Lochow had 124 receiving yards and a touchdown. Presbyterian rallied from a touchdown deficit with 14:49 remaining to win 23-20 at Wofford for the Blue Hose’s first win since 1984 against the Terriers. Quarterback Tyler Wesley’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Worth Warner with 28 seconds remaining provided the game-winning score and capped a 281-yard passing day for the Blue Hose’s signal caller. Butler’s Bret Buska threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 47-21 victory against Wabash. Bushka completed 13-of-18 passes for 198 yards in the win. Stetson got a touchdown runs from Kaleb Costner and Kaderris Roberts in a 57-20 loss at No. 3 Montana State. Drake’s Luke Bailey connected on touchdown pass to Colin Howard in a 70-7 loss to defending national champion South Dakota State at Target Field in Minneapolis. St. Thomas’ first-ever trip to Harvard saw Hope Adebayo and Shawn Shipman score in a 45-13 loss. San Diego got a touchdown run from Isaiah Williams in the first quarter but fell to Princeton, 23-12.



  • Michael Neel, Dayton (15 carries, 110 yards, 2 TD vs. Taylor)


  • Matt Stianche, Marist (4 receptions, 161 yards, 2 TD vs. Davidson)
  • Gavin Lochow, Dayton (3 receptions, 124 yards, TD vs. Taylor)
  • Worth Warner, Presbyterian (7 receptions, 117 yards, game-winning TD vs. Wofford)
  • Andrew McElroy, St. Thomas (6 receptions, 114 yards at Harvard)
  • Ja’seem Reed, San Diego (11 receptions, 105 yards vs. Princeton)
  • Colin Howard, Drake (3 receptions, 103 yards, TD vs. South Dakota State)


  • Camron Ball, Marist (15 tackles vs. Davidson)


  • Nick Bafia, Butler (66 yards vs. Wabash)


  • Tristan Shannon, Marist (5 returns, 113 yards vs. Davidson)