Penn can't handle Bell to Randle

D'Andre Randle caught a game winning 27-yard TD pass from Kade Bell with 39 second left   (Photo by Skip Tapp Widespread Photography)
D'Andre Randle caught a game winning 27-yard TD pass from Kade Bell with 39 second left (Photo by Skip Tapp Widespread Photography)

JU quarterback Kade Bell knew something was up on the team's winning drive against Penn Saturday when he underthrew wide received D'Andre Randle five plays into it.

Three plays later the pair hooked up on a 27-yard touchdown with 39 seconds to play to give the Dolphins a 34-31 win over their first Ivy League opponent at D. B. Milne Field.

The winning drive capped an eight-play, 83 yard effort that took but 1:53.

"It came out of my hand a little wrong,'' Bell said of the under throw. "When we came back to the huddle 'Dre said 'we're gonna hook up' and then I threw the winning touchdown to him. It was a big play and I'm glad we got a chance to do it.''

Bell, from Fleming Island, Fla., was 20 of 39 for 239 yards and four touchdowns with a lone interception.

"I saw the ball in the air and just looked it in all the way to the catch,'' Randle (Miami, Fla.) said. "I knew I could beat them from that first pass and just came back and won the game.''

Randle caught three passes for 47 yards on the day.

The win for Jacksonville (2-1) came in its first try against an Ivy League school and for the Dolphins' league, the Pioneer Football League, it was the first since 2006 and just the  fourth win since 2000.

"We made history today,'' JU head coach Kerwin Bell, who won his 50th game at the school, told his team after the game. "There is only one first time for playing an Ivy League school.''

The game was played in an off-again, on-again rain with the winning drive and the game ending in a downpour.

"Everybody played in it,'' Kerwin Bell said. "What we did was believe in each other and that's the great thing about this team. They've got to want it and believe in each other and that's what they did. We were down a lot in bad conditions and came back and that's the mark of a good team.''

In fact, the Dolphins fell behind 17-3 in the first half as Penn (0-1) produced a pair of first quarter touchdowns. JU came back to 17-13 at the half with a pair of field goals from Brandon Behr (Fleming Island, Fla.) and a Kade Bell to Andrew Robustelli 28-yard touchdown pass. Robustelli led all JU receivers with 51 yards on four catches. He now has 19 career touch down receiptions.

JU's Andy Jones (Clermont, Fla.) caught a 28-yard score from Bell in the third quarter to give JU the lead before Penn pulled back in front 31-19 with two scores in less than three minutes.

Dolphin sophomore running back Ulysses Bryant, who ended the game with 127 yards rushing, scored on a 7-yard pass from Bell with 6:18 to play, a prelude to the winning drive and ran in a two-point conversion after Bell and Randle hooked up.

The JU defense did its part as sophomore linebacker Grady Redding (Cocoa, Fla.) recorded 13 tackles and defensive back Dallas Jackson had nine.

JU travels to Butler next week to play the Bulldogs in a PFL game at noon. Tune into all the action on 92.5 FM with the pregame show starting at 11:30 am EST. The next home game for the Dolphins will be Homecoming on Oct. 4 against Drake. Call 904-256-7400 for ticket information.

For the third consecutive game, the Dolphins recorded multiple interceptions and the team has seven on the season, only one away from the eight recorded last year.

Game Notes

  • The game was the sixth career four-touchdown passing game for JU's Kade Bell.
  • With 127 yards, Ulysses Bryant has back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the first time in his career. He is the first Dolphin to do so since Eric Baker in 2012 (10/6/12 at Morehead State, 10/13/12 at Davidson).
  • Penn blocked a point after touchdown in the third quarter and it ended a string of 70 consecutive extra points kicked by Jacksonville dating back to the 2012 season.
  • Place kicker Brandon Behr had a career high eight points kicking.