|« Incarnate Word will lean on Kennan's experience as it makes transition to Division I||Stronger EIU Panthers show their running game »|
White prevails over red as Dayton spring wraps up
The University of Dayton football team concluded spring practices Sunday, April 14, with its annual spring game at Welcome Stadium.
Led by redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Johnson, who connected with his receivers on two touchdown passes in the second half, the White team secured a win over the Red by a score of 14-7.
Redshirt sophomore and returning starter Will Bardo quarterbacked the Red team and produced the big-play of the game with a 78-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Ian Pailin, according to Dayton’s website.
For the game, coaches split up the roster into two, evenly matched teams for the intra-squad scrimmage that served as the capstone to spring drills and workouts. The game allowed the coaches a glimpse of the product that will be on the field for the upcoming 2013 season.
With eight starters returning for UD’s 2012 Pioneer Football League leading defense and with only five starters returning on offense for the 2013 season, head coach Rick Chamberlin said he looked for new players to step up in the game and was impressed with the overall execution by his team.
For college programs across the country, spring games are typically marred with turnovers and miscommunication. UD’s 2013 spring game however, went smoothly.
“What I really liked about it was how clean of a game it was,” Chamberlin said, as the game produced only two penalties, one fumble and no interceptions.
Bardo’s connection with Pailin catapulted the Red team to a 7-0 lead at the half. With a long scoring drive in the third quarter, the White team responded to tie the game when Johnson found redshirt sophomore wide receiver Branden Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 17-yard score. With 1:28 left in the game, Johnson’s second TD pass of the game, this time targeting redshirt freshman wide receiver Dan Ney from 24 yards out, closed out the scoring and won the game for the White squad.
For the Red team, Bardo finished 8-of-15 for 124 yards and a TD. With three catches and 102 yards, Pailin was the team’s top receiver.
Johnson ended the day with an efficient 171 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-17 passing. Sophomore wide receiver Colin McManamon, with six catches totaling 41 yards, led the White team in receiving.
“All the work and evaluation [during the spring] builds up to the spring game,” Chamberlin said. “I thought our players did very well in executing.”
Chamberlin specifically mentioned freshman tailback Spencer Weeks as a player to watch for next year after a string of strong practices.
He also cited the team’s intangibles as a strength the coaching staff will take away from this spring heading into next season.
According to Chamberlin, his players have displayed an attitude “of commitment, of desire, because 6-5 seasons are not typical of UD football and these young men know that. They want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“Our goal is, going into the last game of the season, we have an opportunity to win the PFL championship,” Chamberlin said.
Before the game, Dayton announced redshirt seniors Ben Estey, Brannon Dunn, Colin Monnier and Kyle Sebetic as its captains.
Estey is an offensive tackle from Brighton, Mich., and started the last six games of 2012. He will look to anchor an offense line that was hit hard by graduation.
Dunn, a Brookville, Ohio native, was limited to six games in 2012 due to a mid-season appendectomy. He recorded 14 tackles, 2.5 for a loss and had 1.5 sacks in 2012.
Like coach Chamberlin, Dunn said he was impressed with his team’s execution during the spring game.
After watching the game film a few days later, he said he noticed his teammates, “doing a lot of the right techniques that we’ve been taught … It was good to see people learned something throughout the spring.”
Sebetic, a defensive back and Wisconsin native, finished the 2012 season with 52 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions. Most impressively, he led all Football Championship Subdivision schools in passes defended in 2012.
Sebetic credits the team’s improvements during the spring to the competitive atmosphere surrounding practices. As a DB, he is constantly in competition with the offense’s receivers. The spirit of competition manifested itself in the spring game.
“We always have that competitive aspect going for us,” he said. “It’s a good atmosphere.”
A two-time captain and Marist High School product, Monnier led the Flyers in total tackles and tackles for a loss with 92 and 12, respectively.
He anticipates the team to continue to improve throughout the summer after a strong spring.
“Building off of last season ending 5-1, we have a lot of momentum going into this offseason,” Monnier said. “So far this offseason has gone great.”
Dayton will open the 2013 season at Youngstown State University on Aug. 29.
By: Chris Bendel, Flyer News Student Paper