MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Dayton defeated Robert Morris by a score of 34-31 on Saturday afternoon to open the season with a 2-0 record for the first time since the 2016 season. Robert Morris falls to 0-3 on the year following the loss. Both of Dayton’s wins have come on the road and against scholarship opponents.
Robert Morris struck first on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead, but a pair of short rushing touchdowns from Ryan Skibinski and Jack Cook gave the Flyers a 14-7 advantage at the 14:47 mark of the second quarter.
Dayton and Robert Morris traded field goals, including a 53-yard boot from freshman Sam Webster, to make the score 17-10 with 8:26 to play in the opening half, but the Colonials tied it up on the next drive at 17 apiece on a Matthew Gonzalez two-yard touchdown reception from George Martin. Webster kicked his second field goal of the day with 25 seconds left in the opening half to give UD a 20-17 lead heading into the break.
Robert Morris was trailing 34-31 with 5:16 left in the game when they took over at the UD 35-yard line with the chance to take the lead. The Colonials drove down to the 22-yard line, but a screen pass that went for negative four yards set up a 3rd-and-14 for RMU and Nate Obringer sacked George Martin on the next play to make it 4th-and-23, which set the stage for Tim Simon’s interception with 2:08 left in the game to allowing Dayton to run out the clock.
- Jack Cook threw for two passing touchdowns for the second straight week and finished the game 13-of-26 with 238 yards, while also adding 32 yards and an additional touchdown on the ground.
- Sean Prophit was the leading rusher for the Flyers with 120 yards on 21 attempts.
- Ryan Skibinski scored both a rushing and a receiving touchdown on the day and finished with 70 receiving yards on three catches to go along with his two-yard rushing score, which came on his only carry of the day.
- Adam Trautman was the team’s leading receiver with five catches and 82 yards.
- Tim Simon intercepted Robert Morris’s George Martin on fourth-and-23 with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to set up Dayton’s clock-killing drive to seal the game.
- Simon now has an interception in each of the first two games.
- Nate Obringer sacked Martin the play before Simon’s interception for a 9-yard loss to set up the 4th-and-23 for the Colonials.
- Freshman kicker Sam Webster was a perfect 2-for-2 on field goals, including his first-career field goal, which came from 53 yards out.
- Webster’s 53-yard field goal is Dayton’s longest since 1984.
- Brandon Easterling had a team-high 11 tackles (nine solo).
- Five different Flyers notched a solo tackle for loss including Easterling, Grant Dyer, Zach Rumpke, Brennan Burdo and Mike Stodola.
- Stodola also forced a fumble early in the fourth quarter to set up a Flyer touchdown.
Dayton will have its home opener next week on Saturday, Sept. 21 against Duquesne, which also coincides with the University of Dayton’s Family Weekend.