JU Survives Late Scare From Davidson.

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The Jacksonville University football team traveled up the east coast to take on conference competitor Davidson College. The Dolphins (6-1, 4-0) survived the “never say die” Wildcats (0-6, 0-3), pulling off a 34-24 victory.

The Dolphins had to come up from behind yet again in this game, as Davidson jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. This marks the fourth consecutive Pioneer Football League game in which JU has fallen behind and allowed the opponent to strike first.

JU bounced back quickly on the backs of quarterback Kade Bell and wide receiver D’Andre Randle who hooked up for a touchdown of 17 and 62 yards. Kicker Dylan Lynch struck from 38 yards putting three more points on the board and JU continued the scoring with a 12 yard pass from Bell to Dorian Guy which pushed the score to 24-10.

Despite the rapid scoring in the first half, JU couldn’t distance themselves from Davidson in the second.

With 11:16 to play, the Wildcats got within 10 points on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff to tight end Reese Williams.

JU played a bit of smash-mouth football, answering the Wildcat score with a 13 play, 68 yard drive of their own, ending with a nine yard touchdown run from Eric Baker.

JU’s play in the second half was short of satisfactory as they turned the ball over and kept leaving the door open for Davidson to climb back in. It was not the effort JU has come to expect from the team under head coach Kerwin Bell.

“We played a sloppy second half,’’ Bell said. “We turned the ball over, losing the ball, not converting in the red zone and the defense not playing up to its end of the bargain. We’ve got to go home and work. Hopefully we’re looking forward to San Diego, that’s going to be a big one at home next week.’’

The Toreros come to town after defeating the Dolphins in last year’s match up that determined the PFL champion.

JU came into the game with the top-ranked pass defense in the country but allowed Carkhuff to pass for 245 yards in the first half. The run defense stepped up, holding the Wildcats to -3 yards rushing in the first. Carkhuff ended the day with 404 yards passing.

Kade Bell ended the day 23 of 36 for 313 yards. Baker rushed for 115 yards, marking the second week in a row that he has gone over the century mark. Juan Pimienta had six tackles and two sacks on the day pacing the defense. Kicker Dylan Lynch secured the PFL special teams player of the week. This is the fifth consecutive week a Dolphin has won the award.

This Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at D.B. Milne field.

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