Dayton scored on the first possession of the game and jumped out to a 27-7 lead at halftime on Saturday afternoon on its way to a 33-7 victory over Valparaiso at Brown Field.
Joe Castaneda returned the opening kickoff for the Flyers to the Valpo 32-yard line and within four plays Dayton had found the end zone on a one-yard run by quarterback Kevin Hoyng.
The Crusaders tried to answer, moving to the Dayton 29, but a field goal try from 46 yards out hit the left upright. Hoyng then led the visitors down field and hooked up with Nick Ruhe from 15 yards out to put the Flyers in front 14-0 with 7:58 to play in the opening quarter.
Valpo again marched down field, this time finding the goal line. Warren Arnold (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) found Bill Burgett (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter H.S.) sliding in the end zone from seven yards out to cut the deficit in half.
Jack O’Dell added a four-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and Hoyng scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with 1:18 left before halftime to put the Flyers in front 27-7 at the break. Dayton (7-1, 3-1 PFL) added on final touchdown, Hoyng’s third rushing score of the day, on its first possession of the third quarter, a quarterback keeper from 16 yards out to wrap up the scoring.
“Playing a good Dayton team we had to play mistake free football and make big plays when we needed it,” head coach Stacy Adams said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do.”
Valparaiso finished the game with 255 yards of total offense, but just 147 after the opening quarter. Ross Wiemer (Burlington, Wis./Burlington H.S.) rushed for 88 yards to lead the Crusader ground game which finished the game with 114 yards on 38 carries. Arnold completed 12-of-23 passes for 137 yards and the one score. He connected with Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.) six times for 69 yards.
Hoyng completed 16-of-21 passes for 254 yards and one score as the Flyers racked up 408 yards in total offense. The senior quarterback also led the ground charge with 16 carries for 78 yards and the three scores.
Defensively, Steve McDonald made a game high nine tackles for Dayton while Eli Crawford (Bogart, Ga./North Oconee H.S.), Kyle Himmelwright (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall H.S.), Ryan Koepke (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.), and Matt Mancl (Neenah, Wis./Neenah H.S.) made seven stops each for the Brown and Gold.
Valparaiso (4-4, 1-3) will wrap up the 2007 home schedule next Saturday afternoon against Morehead State. Kickoff on Senior Day is set for 1 p.m. with all the action carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network.
“Right now we are at .500,” Adams said. “I’m pleased with our level of play over the first eight weeks and now we are going to try and finish strong.”