JU Football

George Wahl II

Photo by Grace Singer

JU Football travels to the Empire State and scores big.

The Dolphins held off a late surge to defeat the Marist Red Foxes 21-9, grasping proudly their third win of the season Saturday, Oct. 1. Sealing the deal for Jacksonville University’s win was a powerful interception by Schon Thomas, snagged with only 3:21 left in the game.

On their trip to Poughkeepsie, New York, Saturday, JU (3-2, 2-0) braved damp and breezy conditions. The elements negatively impacted the Dolphins passing game, which is usually an above average attack, led by QB Josh McGregor.

McGregor, who had five touchdowns the previous week, was held to just 11 of 19 passing for 112 yards, 29 coming in the first half. Though he tallied no touchdowns, he led the team to a pivotal victory. WR Larry Thompson nabbed McGregor’s three completions for 40 yards, thus extending his consecutive game with a catch streak to 25 games.

The offensive game ball deservedly goes to senior RB J.J Laster. Laster tallied three touchdowns, the most important one coming with 11:07 remaining to play in the fourth and final quarter.

The second half surge put on by the Red Foxes swiftly found itself at a screeching halt. The Dolphins cut them in their tracks, opening the fourth quarter with a 15 play 89-yard drive capped off by the third TD of the day for Laster. This late score extended the Dolphin lead to 21-9.

Senior Running back Keith Dawson dominated the offense, with 69 yards rushing on 11 carries. The backfield tandem combined for 113 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.

The biggest story of the day was the JU defense. Leonard Smith led the team with 10 tackles. All together, the defense forced five turnovers, including the game sealing interception late in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense played extremely well and our special teams made some good plays,” said Coach Kerwin Bell. “We didn’t perform well on offense and that’s my fault. I game planned on what they did last year when they dropped eight back and that was my fault.”

Although their early season play was lacking, the Fins turned it around and are looking toward the future. Saturday’s win against Marist marked JU’s 13th straight Pioneer Football League win dating back to 2009.

After the (2-0) conference start the Dolphins boast a (3-2) record overall. They’re looking to continue the quality conference play and potentially earn a playoff bid. The team aspires to obtain their third PFL championship in the last four years.

This Saturday the Dolphins welcome another challenge in the form of a division rival University of Dayton to D.B. Milne Field. Dayton and JU were last year’s Co-PFL champs, all signs point to a big game. The ‘Fins will push forward to continue their winning ways of late by defeating the Flyers, on the way to a fourth win. In doing so, JU would remain undefeated in conference play and put them in an opportune spot for the remainder of the season. Be sure to head out and watch your JU Dolphins take on the division rival Dayton Flyers this Saturday. This match up promises to be an action packed PFL battle.