Comeback Falls Short, Season Ends in Loss


The Jacksonville University football team’s season came to an end the same way it began, with a loss. Following a victory over Campbell that broke a two-game losing streak, the Dolphins came up short against Pioneer Football League rival Drake.
JU put itself in a deep 17-0 hole that proved to be insurmountable by games end.
The Dolphins came roaring back but the defense failed to hold up their end of the bargain despite their tremendous playing all year.
Drake (8-3, 7-1) was able to clinch a share of the PFL title along with Butler with the 32-29 victory over the Dolphins who finish the season 7-4, 5-3. San Diego may also factor into the PFL title conversation baring the outcome of a Dec. 1 meeting with Marist.
After falling behind 17-0 early in the second half, senior defensive lineman Daniel Del Guidice sacked the Bulldog quarterback in the endzone for a safety. As time expired in the first half, kicker Dylan Lynch hit a 24-yard field goal to cut the Bulldog’s lead to 17-5 at the half.
“I’m not sure what that first half was,’’ JU coach Kerwin Bell said. “It might have been the emotion of Senior Day, but we ran some bad ball plays. We fumbled around, bumbled around, didn’t take handoffs properly. More than anything else we just settled them down at halftime and told them we couldn’t play any worse and we made some adjustments in our running game that we needed to make.’’
The Dolphins kicked off the second half with a 50-yard interception return touchdown by Andre Addison cutting deeper into the Drake lead.
Later in the third quarter, quarterback Trevius Folston, making only his third start, hit D’Andre Randle for a 48-yard touchdown pass giving the Dolphins their first lead of the game, 19-17.
The Dolphins then added to their lead on a 40-yard fieldgoal from Dylan Lynch giving them 22 unanswered points and extending their lead to 22-17.
The lead was short lived as Drake marched down the field and scored not once, but twice in about two minutes to regain the lead.
Folston lead the Dolphins back down the field, capping a 10 play, 92-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run from Keith Dawson. Folston ended the day 17-of-28 for 237 yards and one touchdown and Dawson lead the Dolphins ground game with 53 yards on 18 carries.
Despite the loss, the JU defense remained solid holding the Bulldogs to 80 yards rushing.
The Dolphins say goodbye to yet another group of seniors after an up and down year that saw them open with a 58-0 loss at Georgia Southern before reeling off six straight wins. A few close calls and mistakes going the other way and the Dolphins may have been PFL champions yet again.