DAYTON, Ohio – Trailing 3-0 at halftime, the University of Dayton football team took the second-half kickoff and scored 17 points on its first three possessions to win the 2021 season opener 17-10 over Eastern Illinois.
Quarterback Jack Cook passed for the first touchdown and ran for the second. Cook was 18 of 32 passing for 134 yards, and also carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards. Jake Chisholm caught the TD pass, which was one of his nine catches for 65 yards. He also carried the ball 27 times for 84 yards.
1ST QUARTER – Dayton 17, Eastern Illinois 0
• The Dayton defense held Eastern to 49 yards in the first quarter, and the Flyer offense gained 63 of its 69 yards in the first on a 14-play drive that resulted in a missed field goal on UD’s first series.
• The Flyer highlight was an acrobatic interception by Logan Tate, the first of his career.
2ND QUARTER – Eastern Illinois 3, Dayton 0
• Dayton only mustered 39 yards, while EIU had its most productive period with 127.
• The Panthers got on the board with a nine-play, 61-yard drive that resulted in a Stone Galloway 37-yard field goal.
3RD QUARTER – Dayton 17, Eastern Illinois 3
• Dayton took the second half kickoff, and the lead, thanks to a 14-play, 71-yard TD drive that took almost half of the quarter (7:24). Jack Cook hit Jake Chisholm all alone in the end zone from 10 yards out.
• On Eastern Illinois’ very next play, safety Brandon Easterling stripped the ball out and defensive tackle San Schadek made the fumble recovery 18 yards downfield.
• That set up a short field, and Jack Cook capped off a five-play, 43-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Flyers a 14-3 lead.
• The Flyers had another short field thanks to Easterling, whose 29-yard punt return put the ball at the EIU 31. That led to a 31-yard field goal by Sam Webster.
4TH QUARTER – Dayton 17, Eastern Illinois 10
• The two teams exchanged punts in to start the fourth, and then Eastern threatened with a nine-play, 66 yard drive that ended at the Dayton six.
• UD pushed away Eastern’s thoughts of a comeback win by playing keep away. UD only gained 23 yards, but chewed up 5:14 on the clock thanks to a pair of third-down runs by Cook that moved the chains.
• The Panthers got back on the board with a 48-yard scoring drive, but only 19 seconds were left on the clock and when the on-side kick went out of bounds, Dayton was one snap away from the victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Dayton has now scored in 488 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in all of college football.
• Jack Cook was 18-for-32 for 134 yards passing. He was 11-for-15 in the second half, for 85 yards.
• Jake Chisholm was the game’s leading rusher (27 carries for 84 yards) and receiver (10 catches for 65 yards).
• Every player on Dayton’s offensive line was seeing his first college action, and the quintet – tackles Brian Stevens and David Tkatch, guards Dylan DeMaison and Marc Rumpke, and center Mason McLaughlin – played all 75 of UD’s snaps.
• Brandon Easterling led the Flyers with eight tackles and the big forced fumble. He also averaged 22.5 yards on two punt returns.
• Elijah Smith had seven hits (six solo), Zach Rumpke had six (with a TFL and PBU), Logan Tate had five tackles (all solo) with an interception, and Grant Dyer also had five tackles.
• Kyle Finnick had the game’s only sack.
• The Flyers were a perfect 3-for-3 on scoring opportunities in the red zone.
• UD will go on the road, traveling to Carbondale, Ill. to visit Southern Illinois of the Missouri Valley.
•Game time is 7 p.m. ET
•Dayton’s next home game will be the Pioneer Football League opener.
•The Flyers will host new league member Presbyterian.
•Kickoff with the Blue Hose is at 1 p.m. ET.