Taylor Harris had his second 100-yard game this season in the CSU win.
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WILBERFORCE, Ohio — Senior running back Taylor Harris scored two second-half touchdowns and ran for 101 yards to lead the University of Dayton to a 17-7 win at Central State on Saturday.
Dayton trailed 7-3 at halftime. Harris’ two-yard run with 9:33 to play in the third quarter gave Dayton a 10-7 lead, then his 17-yard run with 1:35 to play in the game clinched the win for the Flyers.
Linebacker Colin Monnier, a redshirt sophomore making his first career start, led UD with eight tackles (1.5 for loss) a fumble recovery and an assisted sack. Senior safety Ben Welsh added six tackles (4 solo) and an interception, and senior cornerback Matt Pfleger also picked off a pass.
After a scoreless first quarter, CSU executed a perfect out-and-up pass route, quarterback Jeffery Brooks connecting with wide receiver Steve Heard down the left sideline for a 49-yard TD pass to take a 7-0 lead. Dayton got on the board two possessions later when Nate Miller hit a 28-yard field goal.
The two teams exchanged punts to start the second half, and then Dayton drove 46 yards on six plays to score its first TD. Neither team moved the ball more than 27 yards until early in the fourth quarter. CSU head coach E.J. Junior took a gamble and nearly hit the jackpot. Junior elected to go for it on fourth-and-one at his own 27, and tailback Michael Wilson bounced around right end with no one in front of him.
Wilson looked like he would score a go-ahead TD, but Dayton safety Eric Robbe ran him down after a 55-yard gain. It was the first time the Marauders penetrated the Flyer red zone in the game, but the UD defense stiffened and the potential CSU game-tying field goal fell short.
The Dayton offense responded with its longest drive of the day, going 80 yards (70 of it on the ground) in 15 plays to set up Harris’ second TD of the day.
UD doubled up Central State in first downs 20 to 10, but CSU out-gained the Flyers 294 to 266.
For the second straight game Dayton pounded it on the ground in the second half to earn the win. Last week in the Marist win, UD ran for 80 of its 125 rushing yards in the second half. Against Central State, 133 of its 177 yards on the ground came after halftime.
Harris ran for more than 100 yards for the second time this season, carrying the ball 17 times for 101 yards. In the second half, he ran 11 times for 78 yards.
Dayton is now 3-1 on the season.
The Flyers return home to face Butler next Saturday in a Pioneer Football League contest. Game time at Welcome Stadium is 1 p.m. ET.