MOREHEAD, Ky. - The Dayton football team used 28 unanswered points in the second half to post a 42-14 win over Morehead State before a crowd of 7,547 on Saturday afternoon at Jayne Stadium.
The Flyers improve to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pioneer Football League with their fourth straight win. The Eagles fall to 3-5 on the year and 3-2 in league action with their first setback since Sept. 21.
Dayton improves to 14-5 in the all-time series with its fifth consecutive victory over Morehead State. Both teams entered the day just one game behind Butler for first place in the league standings.
"This is a disappointing loss because we were riding a three-game winning streak and you always want to play well in front of a big Homecoming crowd," Head Coach Rob Tenyer said. "I was pleased with the 14-7 halftime score, but Dayton got on a roll in the second half and you have to give them a lot of credit. There's a reason they're now 4-1 in the PFL."
Sophomore running back Connor Kacsor led the Flyers with 31 carries for a game-high 159 yards. His seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter capped an 11-play drive and began the 28-0 spurt which allowed UD to pull away.
Dayton senior quarterback Will Bardo completed 13-of-20 attempts for 191 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 42 yards and two scores. Senior slot receiver Gary Hunter led the Flyers with six receptions for a game-best 117 yards.
Dayton posted advantages of 297-41 in rushing yards, 504-223 in total yards and 24-14 in first downs. The Flyers converted 8-of-15 third-down opportunities, while holding the Eagles to 4-of-15.
"Dayton ran the ball really well today, especially in the third and fourth quarters," Tenyer said. "We certainly need to do better than 4-of-15 on third downs, and I think we had trouble in that area because we didn't execute on second down. There's a big difference between third-and-short compared to third-and-long and we had too many third-and-longs today."
Morehead State freshman quarterback Austin Gahafer completed 26-of-44 attempts for 182 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Junior running back Rees Macshara collected 51 receiving yards and 33 more on the ground.
Junior linebacker Jordan Hendrix tallied a season-best 16 tackles for MSU, which was just one short of his career high. Sophomore linebacker Christopher Beaschler managed a team-best nine stops and two tackles for loss for UD.
Morehead State made it 14-all when Gahafer found freshman wide receiver Mason Rutherford on a three-yard touchdown strike with 11:57 on the clock in the third quarter, but the Eagles failed to score in their final four drives of the day.
Morehead State continues PFL play next Saturday at 2 p.m. ET when it visits Drake. The Eagles will play their final three contests of 2013 at home as San Diego (Nov. 9), Butler (Nov. 16) and Charlotte (Nov. 23) all stop at Jayne Stadium.
"I want to thank our fans for their continued support," Tenyer added. "Today was a great Homecoming atmosphere for our young men, and it's disappointing when you can't deliver the desired result. We will get back to work tomorrow, and everyone in this program will give everything they have to get back in the win column."