Kenny James leads USD past Dayton
Nov. 5, 2011
(Dayton, OH) - The USD Toreros dealt the Dayton Flyers a 31-28 setback before 4,580 fans at Welcome Stadium today in a key PFL contest. With the win the Toreros improve to 7-2 on the season and 5-1 in the Pioneer Football League standings; the host UD Flyers falls to 6-4 and 4-3. USD sophomore running back Kenny James scored on a 2-yard run with forty-seven seconds left for the game-winner as he totaled 184 yards rushing and 3 rushing scores.
The win did not come easy for the Toreros who were coming off a bye week after a tough road loss at Campbell two weeks ago. Despite jumping out to a commanding 24-0 halftime lead, USD saw Dayton rally in the second half in their homecoming/senior day contest to take a 28-24 advantage with 2:33 to go.
Getting the ball back with 2:26 to go, the Toreros produced an impressive two-minute drill that resulted in the winning score. Taking over on their own 39 following a 25-yard kickoff return by Kenny James, QB Mason Mills connected with Brandon White for 25 yards on their first play from scrimmage. Mills followed with two more complete passes to John McGough (5 yards) and Packy Doyle (9 yards) to move USD to the Dayton 22 yard line. USD would eventually face a 3rd-and-goal from the Dayton 2-yard line and the perfect call resulted in an option call with Mills pitching to James who bolted into the end zone with under a minute to go. Mike Levine's PAT kick gave the Toreros the all-important three-point lead.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Dayton started at their 18-yard line and was able to move the ball out towards midfield. QB Will Bardo's pass from their 47 towards the end zone was picked off by DB Robbie Beathard to seal the win as time expired.
It was all USD in the first half as the Toreros jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter advantage. Kenny James, who scored from 1-yard out for the game's first points, helped the drive with a 46-yard reception from Mills. The Torero defense forced a Dayton turnover that set up USD's second score. San Diego marched 86 yards in 8 plays and it was actually OL Shane Kanie recovering a Torero fumble in the end zone for a 14-0 lead. James added a 3-yard TD run to close out the first quarter. The only points in the 2nd quarter came on a 29-yard field goal by Torero kicker Mike Levine.
Dayton made some halftime adjustments that helped them gain back all the momentum as they ran off 28 straight points against the Toreros. QB Will Bardo threw three touchdowns (26, 11, 36) while Brian Mack added a 35-yard rushing score. Bardo's third touchdown toss was to Branden Johnson with 2:33 to go that gave Dayton their first lead of the game and set up USD's end of game highlights. For the game Bardo completed 20-of-40 passes for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns, and added 47 yards rushing.
Besides James, USD also received big games from QB Mason Mills (21-31 for 271 yards), WR John McGough (9 receptions for 103 yards), DE Blake Oliaro (11 tackles; 3.5 sacks, 3 QB hurries), LB Zach Dunaj (8 tackles) and DE Mario Kurn (7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble).
The Toreros now return to Torero Stadium for their final two games of the 2011 season. Marist will be first on Nov. 12th (1pm), followed by Jacksonville on the 19th (1pm).