Flyers & San Diego Predicted For The Top Two Spots For Fifth Straight Year

 ST. LOUIS –The University of Dayton football team was picked to finish second in the Pioneer Football League for the 2018 season in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches.  Dayton has 12 league championships to its credit in the PFL’s 25 seasons. 

Dayton and preseason favorite San Diego were ahead of the rest of the league in the balloting.  USD was picked as the unanimous favorite to win the 2018 PFL crown with 81 voting points. The Toreros received a maximum nine first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own teams).

UD was next with 72 points, including the remaining first-place vote.  This is the fifth consecutive year that San Diego and Dayton have been picked 1-2 in the preseason poll.  The two teams will meet this year in San Diego on Oct. 13.

Drake was voted third with 58 points.  A tight grouping of Butler (48 voting points), Valparaiso (also 48 points), Jacksonville (47) and Marist (44) trailed the top three.  Morehead State (22 points), Stetson (19) and Davidson (11) rounded out the league.

Dayton returns 17 starters – nine from the offense, six from the defensive side of the ball, and both kicking specialists from last year’s team.  The Flyers finished 5-6 in 2017, just UD’s second sub-.500 season in the last 41 years.  Four of the losses were by a total of 15 points.  The Flyers were 4-4 in the PFL, which tied them for sixth.

UD had seven players named to the PFL’s preseason All-PFL team which was announced yesterday.  They were offensive tackle Ben Gauthier, safety David Leisring, punter Sean Smith, defensive end Nick Surges, tight end Adam Trautman, wide receiver/long snapper Matt Tunnacliffe and running back Tucker Yinger.  Also returning is quarterback Alex Jeske, a three-year starter who was limited to six games last year due to injury.

Gauthier and Surges are the team’s 2018 captains.

UD opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Robert Morris at Welcome Stadium.  Game time is 1 p.m. ET.  For ticket information, please visit

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