The Flyers were a loss for the Dukes last year, a 23-20 defeat that arguably should not have been. The only consolation is that the Flyers beat Robert Morris as well. The Dukes’ offense sputtered somewhat inexplicably and they had a difficult time containing mobile quarterback Will Bardo.
At the end of 2013, the Flyers sat with a 7-4 record, tied for fourth in the league. They’ve been picked to finish second this year.
The bad new for the Dukes is that Will Bardo is still a part of the team; this skilled athlete, now a senior, was a huge factor in the Dukes struggles last year.
As well as the Dukes played against running backs, they were seemingly stymied by this mobile quarterback. Bardo absolutely torched the Dukes on the ground. He’s almost a running back with an arm.
Bardo doesn’t have a crazy arm, but he’s accurate with the quick hits. He prefers to use shorter passes, stretching the field by letting receivers do the work. The team also features Connor Kacsor, the best returning running back in the Patriot Football League.
The defense gave the Dukes trouble in the second half. The running game was an issue, as it had been much of the year, but the offensive line clearly had trouble holding against the Dayton front seven – and this is still a strong front seven.
Pat Dowd is the anchor. He had 11.5 sacks last year and forced two fumbles. He’s an incredibly skilled player.
Christopher Beaschler is a defensive back but also was used to take care of things up front. He had the second most tackles for a loss.
Nick Weston, DB – among other accolades, he had the most interceptions on the team.
Colin Monnier – LB – he was tied for the lead in tackles for a loss and was second in interceptions. His departure is one of the few things that will make it easier to overcome pressure from the Dayton defense. It’ll also put more pressure on Pat Dowd.