Saturday, October 19, 2013

Toreros fall to Dayton 45-38 in double OT

DAYTON, OHIO (10/19/2013) Senior quarterback Mason Mills passed Josh Johnson as USD's all-time passing leader, senior running back Joe Ferguson put up 214 all-purpose yards, and junior receiver Reggie Bell added another 100-yard performance to his stellar season.

But it was all for nothing as the University of San Diego Toreros (4-3, 3-1 PFL) failed to hold off the Dayton Flyers (5-2, 3-1 PFL) in double overtime, suffering its first Pioneer Football League loss of the season.

The Toreros opened the first drive of the game with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Ferguson to take an early 7-0 lead.

The defense forced a three and out, but the Torero offense would miss out on two opportunities to go up 14-0.

Despite Bell's 58-yard touchdown catch being called back due to a chop block penalty, the Toreros managed to reach the Dayton goal line, but an incomplete pass on fourth down gave the Flyers possession on their own 1-yard line.

The Flyers took advantage with a 99-yard drive that ended with a 61-yard touchdown scramble by quarterback Will Bardo to tie the game 7-7 with 13:20 left in the half.

A forced punt helped Bardo lead the Flyers down the field again. This time he found receiver Gabe Macis for a three-yard touchdown to give his team a 14-7 lead with 6:50 left in the half.

The Toreros would answer back with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Mills to senior receiver Sam Hoekstra to end the first half with a 14-14 tie.

The second half began with a 75-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown run by sophomore Connor Kacsor to give the Flyers a 21-14 lead with 10:34 left to play in the third quarter.

On the next drive, the Toreros drove down to Dayton's 21-yard line before Mills' pass was picked off by cornerback Zach Elias and returned for 78 yards.

The Flyers settled for a 32-yard field goal by William Will to extend their lead to 24-14 with 5:24 left in the third quarter.

In the third play of the fourth quarter, the Toreros started to rally back.

Mills found Brandon White in the end zone for a two-yard goal line connection to cut the Flyers' lead to 24-21.

After a forced fumble by linebacker Micheal Ruffino was recovered by cornerback Toney Sawyer, Mills found White in the end zone again. The 18-yard touchdown gave the Toreros a 28-24 lead with 10:56 left to play.

The defense came through with their second consecutive turnover when junior cornerback Yogi Hale recorded his second interception of the season. That set up a career-high 38-yard field goal by David Last to extend the lead to 31-24 with 7:36 left to play.

After defensive stops by both teams, the Flyers received an opportunity to tie it with 2:06 left to play. Their 87-yard drive ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Bardo to Macis to force overtime with 31-31 tie.

On the first play from scrimmage, Mills found Bell for a 25-yard touchdown pass, but the Flyers answered back with a five-yard touchdown run by Kacsor to force another overtime.

The Toreros started off on defense and could not keep the Flyers out of the end zone. Bardo's one-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown gave Dayton a 45-38 lead.

The Toreros needed to score or the game was over.

Despite the help of a 15-yard pass interference penalty followed by a four-yard completion from Mills to Hoekstra, the Toreros turned the ball over on downs, sealing a much needed PFL victory for the Flyers.

Next week the Toreros return home to face the first place Butler Bulldogs (6-2, 4-0 PFL). This will be their first meeting since 2010 where the Toreros shutout the Bulldogs 24-0 at Torero Stadium.

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