Junior varsity football falls short to Valdosta State, 30-22
The JU junior varsity football team nearly rallied back from three scores down in the second half, but Valdosta State held off the comeback to earn a 30-22 victory on Monday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field.

The Dolphins (1-3) came within one score in the fourth quarter after falling behind 20-0 in the first half. The Blazers scored twice in the final 10 minutes to seal the victory and sweep the season series following a 44-13 win in Valdosta, Ga. on Oct. 20.

On Valdosta State’s first drive of the game, the Dolphins held the Blazers to a fourth down and five on the 24-yard line after they drove from their 36-yard line to start the game.

Blazers’ quarterback Austen Roberts threw an incomplete pass, but the Dolphins were flagged for pass interference which moved the Blazers down to the nine-yard line. Two players later, Roberts hit Tony Tanner for a one-yard score to give the Blazers a 7-0 advantage.

Miscues would continue as the Dolphins delivered an 11-yard punt to the JU 23-yard line after their second offensive drive failed to produce anything. After three plays, the Blazers had a 17-yard run to put them up 14-0 in the first quarter.

With 1:25 left in the second quarter, Roberts hit Marlon Riddick for a five-yard touchdown pass to complete a five-play drive to take a 20-0 lead into half time.

In the second half, the Dolphins got on the board with an 11-yard touchdown run by Keith Dawson following a six-minute drive to start the third quarter.

The Dolphins defense quickly gave the offense back the ball after forcing the Blazers to a three-and-out for their only drive of the quarter.

JU would drive the ball back down the field again and make it a 20-14 game on a Dawson one-yard run less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

With 10 minutes left, the Dolphins would shank another punt as the Blazers started on the JU 39-yard line. Blazers finished the drive with a 28-yard field goal by Michael Thompson to make it a 23-14 advantage.

The JU defense had Valdosta State to a fourth down and nine on the 11-yard line at the 4:06 mark in the fourth quarter. The Blazers would use a version of the swinging gate offensive set and get the Dolphins napping as Roberts faked the run, but hit Collin Roper in the back of the end zone for his third touchdown pass of the game to take a 30-14 advantage.

Dolphin quarterback Michael Clifton marched the offense quickly down the field and capped off an eight-play drive with a one-yard run of his own to make it a 10-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining. Clifton would run in a two-point conversion as well, but the Dolphins’ kicking team couldn’t get the onside attempt and the Blazers would run out the clock to quash the rally.

The Dolphins finish the 2008 schedule on Monday, Nov. 3 as they head to face Webber International in Babson Park, Fla. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.