Dolphin Football Falls To Drake On Homecoming

November 7, 1999

Jacksonville, Fla. - Jacksonville tried to re-group after a six turnover day cost the Dolphins a chance at victory against UVa.-Wise. Yesterday, however, special teams lapses were the undoing for JU as Drake handed a 34-14 Homecoming defeat to the Dolphins.

JU (3-4) and the Bulldogs played a tense, hard fought first quarter in which neither team was able to score. Drake would explode for 17 points in a span of 3:15 at the beginning of the second quarter, and the Bulldogs offense wasn't on the field. A bad snap on a JU punt attempt was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, another bad snap resulted in a safety, and Drake ran the subsequent free kick back 83 yards for another score. Drake (7-3) would extend its lead to 27-0at the half.

Because of the poor snaps, JU accounted for just 49 total yards in the first half. The Dolphins were also hampered by an injury to quarterback Gary Cooper. After a handoff to Brent Alexander late in the first quarter, Cooper fainted on the field, with no apparent contact, and did not return to action. He will be evaluated further after a series of tests on Monday. Freshman Greg Kannapel faced heavy pressure from the Bulldogs defense, ranked in the top ten in the nation among I-AA schools. Cooper was just 3 for 8 passing for 30 yards before coming out of the game, Kannapel fared no better completing 11 of 32 passes for 102 yards and 1 TD with 2 interceptions. Kannapel was also sacked four times.

The Dolphins finally got on the scoreboard when Kannapel found Rico Tillman on a 20 yard touchdown toss late in the third quarter. Tillman had a team high four catches for 46 total yards. The Bulldogs answered early in the fourth on a 38 yard run by Phil Joseph. JU would complete the scoring on an Eric Wells interception return of 48 yards. Wells had his best defensive game of the season with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and seven unassisted tackles in addition to his fourth interception of the year.

Jacksonville will go on the road for thefinal time next week taking on Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. Game time is 1:30 p.m. The Dolphins complete the 1999 season on November 20 at home against Charleston Southern.