Dayton dealt Drake its first Pioneer Football League loss of 2012 on Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. The 28-13 win lifted Dayton to fifth in the PFL and dropped Drake to second place.
Drake can still win the PFL if it manages to win its next two games.
A late offensive push sealed Drake’s fate as Dayton scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“If you’re not at your best in our league, you’re going to get beat,” said head coach Chris Creighton in a Drake athletics press release. “This was one of Dayton’s best games, if not their best game. We have a ton of respect for them. I thought that they were great today, and we weren’t at our best.”
The Bulldogs evened the score at 7-7 in the opening quarter, but the Flyers used an interception off a Piatkowski misfire to take an early 14-7 advantage. Drake narrowed the lead to 14-10 thanks to a 25-yard field goal by freshman kicker Cam Bohnert.
Dayton never relinquished its lead, though, using 118 rushing yards to topple Drake.
As the clock wound under 13 minutes, the Flyers added a touchdown on a 3-yard run by senior running back Rob Washington to go up 21-13. The Bulldogs couldn’t convert their next possession, giving the Flyers another chance to extend their lead.
Dayton took advantage of the chance as redshirt senior running back Dan Jacob scored a touchdown on a 5-yard run.
Despite the defeat, fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski completed 20 of 41 for 243 passing yards. Senior wide receiver Nick Rosa led Drake’s receiving effort with a season-high 119 yards.
Creighton lauded Rosa’s performance.
“Nick (Rosa) is a great receiver, and I’m not surprised that he had a big game,” Creighton said. “That guy is a fighter and a guy that we want to go to and rely on. I know he was fighting today, we just weren’t able to do it.”
The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they take on PFL-leading Butler at Drake Stadium. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m.