Maat Mong rushed for three touchdowns and Dayton returned both a fumble and punt for a touchdown as the Flyers defeated Valparaiso 52-7 on Saturday afternoon at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Ohio.
Valpo trailed by just 14 late in the first half, and was driving for a touchdown when the Crusaders fumbled, which was returned for a score and changing the momentum.
Dayton took the opening kickoff and marched down field. Valpo's defense forced a 4th-and-2 at the Crusader 29 but the Flyers went for it. Ryan Wrobleski took an end around from his wide receiver position and scampered down the right sideline for a touchdown to cap off the ten play drive to put Dayton in front.
After the Crusaders were held on their first possession, Wrobleski took the punt and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown, breaking several tackles in the process and put the Flyers in front 14-0 with 7:22 left in the first quarter.
Valpo's offense struck quickly following the punt return. On the third play of the drive, Ryan Doerffler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) found a wide open Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) about 30 yards down field. The redshirt freshman hauled in the pass and raced the rest of the way for a 62-yard scoring strike.
Just before the end of the first quarter, the Crusaders forced a 3rd-and-11at the Dayton 25 before Kevin Hoyng kept the ball and scrambled before racing 64 yards to set up a Flyer score early in the second. Mong scored from 1 yard out to increase the lead to 21-7.
Just before halftime, Doerffler and Ogden hooked up once again. A 50-yard pass down the right side set the Crusaders up first and goal at the Flyer five. With the Crusaders knocking on the door to close within a score at the break, Doerffler scrambled on the next play, ran to the one and was hit, fumbling the football. Brandon Cramer picked up the football and raced 98 yards for the fumble return touchdown to put Dayton (7-1, 2-1 PFL North) up 28-7 at intermission.
The Flyers added three points on the first possession of the second half as Josh Heyne converted a 20-yard field goal to push the lead to 24. Mong tallied his second one-yard run of the game for a score on the ensuing possession and Robert Dence followed with a 23-yard touchdown run as Dayton extended its lead to 45-7 after three quarters.
Mong's third touchdown score of the day was a 32-yard run on a 4th-and-1 with 9:03 left in the game to cap off the scoring.
Ogden finished the game with three catches for 129 yards for the Crusaders and Joe Blahowicz (Buffalo, N.Y./Alden H.S.) grabbed three passes for 61 yards. Doerffler completed 12-of-26 for 207 yards while Jeff Horton (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran North H.S.) led the way rushing with 16 carries for 60 yards.
Hoyng led Dayton with 85 yards rushing while completing 8-of-13 for 104 yards.
Valpo finished the game with 266 yards of total offense, but just 61 after halftime. Dayton tallied 493 yards of offense, including 368 on the ground.
Valparaiso (2-6, 1-1 PFL North) will return home to Brown Field next Saturday after playing three of the last four games on the road. The Crusaders will entertain San Diego with kickoff set for 12 p.m.