Jacksonville Rolls Morehead State In Home Opener

Orlando Thomas runs for one of his two touchdowns (Photo by Skip Tapp)
Orlando Thomas runs for one of his two touchdowns (Photo by Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lighting seemed to be the only thing that could slow down the Dolphins on Saturday as Jacksonville University put on a show in its first home game of the season, defeating Morehead State, 69-19. The Dolphins improved to 1-2 on the season behind 719 yards of total offense and a D.B. Milne Field record for points scored.

The game was called with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter due to lighting in the area.

Sophomore running back Orlando Thomas(Ocoee, Fla.) broke an 84-yard TD run in the second quarter and powered the attack with a career best 176 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Sophomore receiver D'Andre Randle (Miami, Fla.) had a career day as weel catching eight passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.
After deferring on the coin toss, Morehead State opened the game with a bit of trickery. The team nearly recovered its onside kick but ended up giving the Dolphins solid field position on their own 35. Quarterback Kade Bell (Fleming Island, Fla.) needed just three plays to put the Dolphins on the board and gave JU a 7-0 lead on 25-yard pass to wide receiver Dorian Guy (Jacksonville, Fla.).

JU's defense forced a three-and-out on the Eagles opening drive, leading to a punt. Jacksonville was able to move the chains a bit on its second drive, and the final result was a field goal to make it 10-0.

Although Morehead State answered with a field goal of their own, the Eagles couldn't contain JU's running game and allowed back-to-back rushing touchdowns late in the second quarter. With 5:10 left on the clock, Thomas found a gap in the defense and ran up the right sideline for the 84-yard score and his first career touchdown. On the next play, Morehead State turned the ball over on a forced fumble and JU made them pay with a 27-yard rush from freshman Ulysses Bryant (Jacksonville, Fla.).

The Dolphins entered halftime up 31-16, and continued to turn on the pressure in the second half. Senior Adrian Riley (Ocoee, Fla.) was an offensive machine for JU in the third quarter. After the Dolphin defense forced a punt on the opening possession of the third quarter, the wide receiver flashed his speed when he scored a 75-yard punt return touchdown. He later added a nine-yard pass from Bell, one of three from the sophomore QB on the day who finished 18-34 for 276 yards. With the Eagles only able to score one more field goal, JU cruised to an easy 69-19 victory. Sophomore QB Steven Hughes(Melbourne, Fla.) came on in relief in the fourth quarter to throw for 78 yards and a TD on 8-10 passing.


  • JU did not attempt a single punt in the game
  • The Dolphins' 719 yards (365 rushing - 354 passing) of total offense surpassed the previous record of 713 set on Sept. 24, 2011 vs Campbell
  • 69 points are the second highest total in school history by JU behind 86 points on Oct. 16, 2010 at Valparaiso
  • Ninth time under Kerwin Bell JU has scored over 50 points in a game
  • Dylan Lynch (Jacksonville, Fla.) connected on field goals of 32 and 47 yards running his career total to 18. He is a perfect 7-7 in his JU career between 30-39 yards
  • Orlando Thomas' 84-yard TD run was the second longest in school history behind a 98-yard run by Jon Underhill on Oct. 17, 1998 vs Greensboro
  • Orlando Thomas entered the game with 14 rushes for 57 yards in his JU career
  • Adrian Riley's 75 -ard punt return was the second longest in school history behind a 94-yard return by D'Andre Randle on Oct. 22, 2011 vs Davidson
  • JU has now won eight straight over Morehead State
  • JU is a PFL best 33-8 in league play over the past five seasons
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