Sept. 12, 2009
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The Urbana Blue Knights used big plays and a strong defensive effort in the secondary to spoil the University of Dayton's season opener, 13-10. Urbana improved to 2-1 with the biggest victory in program history.
Dayton opened the scoring in the first quarter when Nick Glavin nailed a career-long 43-yard field goal, but Urbana took the lead in the second quarter when Matt Allen took it over from the one-yard line, capping off a 55-yard drive.
After a scoreless third quarter, UD re-took the lead on the second play of the fourth quarter. Following a Scott Horcher interception and 13-yard return to the Urbana 25, Jared Phillips hit Steve Valentino for a 10-yard touchdown.
The two teams traded three straight three-and-outs, but then Urbana put together a nine-play, 87-yard drive that decided the game. The Blue Knights gained 52 of those yards on their two third-down conversions in the possession. Evan Gehlert hit Jerrell Leak for 26 yards on a third-and-two at the Urbana 43, and then Gehlert found tight end Tar Kalimullah for the game-winning TD on a third-and-five from that Dayton 26 with 5:08 left in the game.
The Flyers were unable to move the ball on their next series, and got the ball back with 1:45 to go, but Phillips was hit in the backfield as he set to throw and Urbana's Chad Kinkead made a diving interception of the batted ball.
With 1:41 left and Dayton only having one timeout left, the Blue Knights were able to take three knees and then throw one downfield pass, leaving Dayton with just four seconds on the clock and the ball 52 yards from the end zone. Phillips' downfield pass was incomplete, and the much-improved Blue Knights doubled their win total from a year ago.
JMichael Jonard led the Dayton offense, catching a team-high nine passes and notching 71 yards. Valentino added five receptions for 45 yards and the TD, and Justin Watkins had three catches for 39 yards. Phillips was 14 of 32 passes for 145 yards but three interceptions in relief of starter Timmy Fogarty, who was seven for 14 for 28 yards before leaving the midway through the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Besides scoring the only touchdown, Valentino had 5 receptions for 45 yards, 69 kickoff return yards, and 36 punt return yard or 150 all-purpose yards.
Urbana, who is in its final year of transitioning to being a scholarship Division II school, was led by Gehlert, who was 26 of 45 for 254 yards. Leak and Ian Iler both caught eight passes, leak for 86 yards and Iler for 57.
On defense, Dayton's James Vercammen lead the game with 14 total tackles with two tackles for loss. Kevin Burns added 12 total tackles with one tackle for loss, while Joe Ries had 11 total tackles. Horcher added 10 tackles (eight solo), one interception, and two pass breakups. The Urbana defense was led by Shawn Lewis with nine hits. Kinkead had seven tackles (one in the backfield) to go with his interception.
Dayton's next game is at Robert Morris at 12:00 pm ET. The next home game is on September 26 at 1:00 pm ET against Duquesne. Urbana hosts Tusculum, also at 12 noon.