(STATS) - A funny thing happened on the way to another expected loss for the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League against a Missouri Valley Football Conference that has been the best in the FCS this decade:
In their season opener on Saturday, the Dayton Flyers realized they could upset the highest ranked opponent in their FCS era.
The STATS FCS Team of Week surprised No. 14 Indiana State 42-35, giving the PFL just its third all-time win in 45 games against the MVFC.
Indiana State was coming off a Week 1 loss in which it led an FBS program, Kansas, in the closing minutes of the game. The Flyers reversed the scenario when running back Sean Prophit scored the go-ahead touchdown from 13 yards out with 1:57 left, then redshirt freshman Zach Rumpke, who was subbing in the secondary for injured team captain Andrew Lutgens, intercepted a Sycamores' pass at his team's 20 with 18 seconds to play.
"This is at the top of all the games I've been in as a player and a coach," 12th-year coach Rick Chamberlin, who is 86-38, told the Dayton Daily News. "As good as they are. As highly ranked. No one thought we could do this."
Dayton trailed for less than 3½ minutes in its win, twice building two-touchdown leads. Jack Cook, the 2018 PFL offensive rookie of the year, accounted for 304 yards of total offense and four touchdowns -- two rushing and two passing. All-America tight end Adam Trautman caught a career-high 11 passes for 132 yards, while safeties Brandon Easterling (game-high-tying 13 tackles) and Tim Simon (11 tackles, interception and two pass breakups) helped fuel the defense.
HONORABLE MENTION: Holy Cross (13-10 win over New Hampshire); Montana State (38-17 win over Southeast Missouri); North Dakota State (38-7 win over North Dakota); and Southern Illinois (45-20 win over Massachusetts)