Drake Football Gets A PFL Road Win At Davidson, 27-6
DAVIDSON, N.C. – Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns to push the Drake University football team past Davidson, 27-6, Saturday afternoon.
Drake (3-3, 2-1 PFL) also added two scores through the air with Andy Rice (Stevens Point, Wis.) connecting with Kevin Marshall (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.) in the first half. Rice finished his afternoon 26-of-34 for 278 yards. Rosa was his top target with 108 yards receiving on eight catches while the offense put up a season-high 480 yards of offense
“Our offensive line is getting better and better,” Drake head coach Chris Creighton said of the team’s balanced offensive attack. “It’s fun to run the ball and go five, six, seven yards at time. It takes a lot of work by those guys up front.”
The defense held Davidson (0-6, 0-3 PFL) to just 303 total yards and the offense controlled possession for much of the second half to prevent any type of Davidson comeback. Drake had the ball for 35 total minutes in the contest, including a 9-minute scoring drive in the second half to keep the Davidson offense off the field.
Taylor Coleman (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) recorded a team-high eight tackles, three for a loss, in his first career start. Alex Kramer (Springfield, Ill.), also making his first start, added six tackles.
“Our defense bent some, but didn’t break,” Creighton said. “We had some new people out there that stepped up. We were begging for a turnover and they got that, which was huge.”
Drake’s offense moved the ball effectively for much of the first quarter, but it needed three possessions before it found the end zone on a 3-yard strike from Rice to Marshall. The point after touchdown attempt sailed wide to give Drake an early 6-0 lead. Scott rushed for 39 of Drake’s 58 yards on the scoring drive.
The Bulldogs’ first drive of the second quarter gave the squad a two-score lead as Rice marched the team 62 yards in five plays and capped the drive with a 35-yard strike to Rosa in the back of the end zone to make the score 13-0. Drake almost pitched a shutout in first half if not for a Davidson interception at midfield on one of Rice’s few mistakes on the day.
Six plays after the miscue, Davidson quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff found William Morris in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Matt Acree (Shawnee, Kan.) blocked the point-after attempt. Carkhuff, who surpassed the 10,000 career-yard mark in the game, was 20-of-35 passing for 228 yards. Morris caught six of his passes for 84 yards.
Drake’s ability to move the ball created a third period that saw just two combined drives between the teams. Davidson received the opening kickoff of the half and drove inside the Drake 10-yard line before the defense held and forced a turnover on downs at its own 2-yard line.
From there, the Bulldogs ate up 9:11 of the clock on a 98-yard scoring drive that finally ended when Scott took a pitch off left tackle five yards into the end zone. Scott rushed for 41 of the 98 yards covered by the drive.
Two possessions later, Brandon Coleman (Cary, Ill.) forced a fumble on the Davidson 17-yard line to set the Bulldogs up with prime field position. Drake was unable to capitalize on that possession, but the shift in field possession benefitted it on its next drive when it received a punt on the 50-yard line. Five complete passes later, three of them to team’s tight ends, set up Scott’s second touchdown, a 6-yard dive to account for the final 27-6 tally.
Davidson’s final drive saw the defense bend, but not break again as the Wildcats moved the ball to the Drake 10-yard line before committing another turnover on downs. With 4:41 left, Drake’s offensive reserves were able to get snaps and seal the game with Conley Wilkins (Overland Park, Kan.) rushing for 46 yards on the game’s final drive and Cody Thibault (Lone Tree, Colo.) completing a pair of passes before taking a knee to end the game.
“Our challenge was to be better than we were last week,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “Subjectively, some things felt good, but some didn’t. We played a good Davidson team and we have a ton of respect for them.”
Drake continues PFL action on the road next weekend with a much anticipated matchup against fellow defending league co-champion, Butler. Kickoff for the Oct. 19 contest is scheduled for Noon, CDT at the Butler Bowl.