VALPARAISO, Ind. – The University of Dayton football team fell in heartbreaking fashion, 8-7, to Valparaiso Saturday at Brown Field in abysmal, cold, windy conditions in the final game of its season.
All the scoring occurred in the fourth quarter. The Flyers struck first with a 30-yard pass play from Alex Jeske to Adam Trautman. Mike Ruffolo’s extra point made it 7-0 with 13:54 left to play in the quarter.
Valparaiso scored a TD on a Jarrett Morgan one-yard rush with 1:20 left in the quarter and decided to go for the two-point conversion and the lead. The Crusaders converted on a direct snap to Morgan who completed the jump pass to Ryan Clarke.
UD completed one pass to get to its own 44-yard line but lost the ball on downs after four incomplete passes.
The Flyers drop to 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the Pioneer Football League. Valparaiso improves to 6-5 (5-3 PFL), marking the Crusaders’ first winning record since 2003.
• Alex Jeske passed for 116 yards on 6-of-24 passing and threw for one TD.
• Tucker Yinger rushed for a game-high 83 yards on 22 carries.
• Adam Trautman had two receptions for 49 yards, including a 30-yard TD catch. Kyle Butz had three receptions for 36 yards and Yinger caught one pass and went for 31 yards.
• Sean Smith averaged 44.1 yards on seven punts. He had a long of 68 yards and three of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
• There were six fumbles in the game. Dayton had four with two lost fumbles. Valparaiso had two fumbles with one lost.
• Jack Crain led UD with 13 hits, including seven solo tackles. He also broke up two passes. Other defensive leaders included David Leisring who added eight tackles and Andrew Lutgens who had seven.
• Defensive end Nick Surges had a game-high two quarterback hurries.
• In kickoff and punt coverage, UD limited Valparaiso to 16 yards on eight attempts (seven punts and two kickoffs).
• Jeske is 22-5 as a starter.
• Yinger is sixth in career rushing at UD with 2,417 yards.
• Searles started his 36th career game. He has started the last 33 in a row.
• The Flyers have scored in 465 consecutive games, the best active string in college football.