Playoff Bound! ‘Cats Hold Off Dayton for Third Straight PFL Bid
DAVIDSON — Thanks to Saturday’s 24-23 win over Dayton, the Davidson Wildcats are headed to the FCS Playoffs for a third straight year.
The Wildcats, now 8-3 overall, punched their ticket with a dramatic victory in the regular season finale at Richardson Stadium and wrapped up Pioneer Football League play 6-2, securing the league’s automatic postseason bid. League champion St. Thomas is ineligible for postseason play.
It’s Davidson’s 13th straight win at home and ends a 10-game losing skid to the Flyers (8-3, 6-2).
“What a great Saturday here in Davidson,” said head coach Scott Abell. “I’m so proud of our team. I’m so proud of our fight, the perseverance. That showed up throughout the entire game, showed up for four quarters.”
To get past the Flyers, Davidson quickly erased a third-quarter deficit, took the lead shortly after and preserved it late with a blocked field goal attempt and multiple defensive stops.
Coy Williams’ 75-yard touchdown run up the middle with 7:19 to play in the third quarter came on the first play of a drive and tied it at 17-all. Just more than four minutes later, the Wildcats pulled ahead 24-17 on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Jayden Waddell to Maxwell Weaver.
The Flyers got in position to tie it on a 17-yard score by quarterback Shane Hamm with 14:18 to play, pulling within 24-23, but missed the extra point. Tyreece White blocked the Flyers’ potential go-ahead 40-yard field goal with 5:03 left, and their final drive stalled at their own 32 with 24 seconds left.
Dayton struck first Saturday on a 15-yard run by Jake Chisholm, but the Wildcats quickly answered with a 3-yard Williams touchdown, set up by a 72-yard Dylan Sparks run. Caden Bonoffski’s 35-yard field goal to start the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 10-7 lead before Dayton evened it with a 28-yard field goal with 1:28 left in the half.
Williams and Sparks finished with 99 yards on 12 and 11 carries, respectively, while Waddell completed five of his eight passes for 113 yards. Jaden Pask led the Wildcats defense with 11 tackles.
See our full album of News of Davidson photos from the game.