Football Story

George Wahl II

Photo by Brett Durda

JU’s fight to stay in title contention began slowly this past Saturday when they took on the Butler Bulldogs on Senior Day at D.B. Milne Field. The Dolphins surged late to grab the victory and remain in play for the PFL crown.

Sophomore receiver Adrian Riley gave JU their first lead of the day on a 71 yard TD catch with 12:46 to play.

The 34-24 victory gave JU the longest home winning streak in the nation at 14. JU (7-3,6-1) is still very much alive in the Pioneer Football League title race. With a win next week, they will gain ashare of the title with Drake, their lone conference loss of the year thus far.

Butler jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter and remained up 21-17 at half. Injured center Kevin Halverson felt it was time to light a fire under his team.

“I saw that we came out flat and needed to get some enthusiasm going, not false enthusiasm but real enthusiasm because there is a total difference,” said Halverson. “I feel like we came out as a totally different team in the second half. I respect these guys. They did it, not me. It was all of them.”

After a tight third quarter where Butler scored the only points, JU’s back was now against the wall. The team had two options, pack up and accept defeat, or come out of the corner fighting and swinging full force, and they did just that. They scored back to back touchdowns and held Butler scoreless in the fourth and final quarter. They did exactly what they needed to do and what head coach Kerwin Bell asked of them.

“I told them if were going to lose, lets lose playing with passion, lets lose with a chip on our shoulders, lets not lose like this. Sure enough, our kids responded and I’m proud of that,” said Bell.

The day was marked by yet another career day for QB Josh McGregor who finished with a personal best 422 yds passing. McGregor also set the all-time PFL TD record on the day with his 114th career TD pass. In doing so, he moved into 6th place on the all time Football Championship Series TD list and 18th on the FCS all-time passing yd list with 11,016 yards. He is 64 yards away from making it to 16th on the list.

With the final game coming this weekend in San Diego, JU will look to get another victory on the season and also another PFL title. The scenario is easier said than done. Win and they are champs, lose and its all over. Lets hope that our Dolphins go out to California and hand another championship hopeful team a loss and come back with a title.