Dolphin 'D' delivers in 29-14 win over Drake

Jareeq Crenshaw (Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)
Jareeq Crenshaw (Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville University offense gets the accolades, but the defense put on another stifling performance Saturday as the Dolphins took control of the Pioneer Football League by beating Drake 29-14 in Homecoming.

The defense ignited a second-half surge by forcing turnovers on four consecutive third quarter drives throttling Drake efforts to come back from a 10-7 Jacksonville (4-1, 3-0) halftime lead.

The vise started on the first Drake (2-3, 1-1) drive in the half when defensive lineman Jareeq Crenshaw (Loganville, Ga.) picked off a pass from Bulldog quarterback Andy Rice.

That led to a 43-yard touchdown pass from JU quarterback Kade Bell (Fleming Island, Fla.) to wide receiver D'Andre Randle (Miami, Fla.) giving the Dolphins a 16-7 lead.

On the next Drake possession, defensive back Armani Sampson (Brandon, Fla.) picked off Rice. After a JU punt, linebacker Grady Redding (Cocoa, Fla.) stopped another Drake effort with an interception.

Bell then was intercepted and JU defensive lineman Josh Gilmore (Tallahassee, Fla.) recovered a fumble at the JU 10-yard line thwarting Drake again.

That turnover led to a five play, 90-yard drive that Bell ended with a 13-yard touchdown run and a 22-7 lead and the Dolphins were on their way to their fourth consecutive win overall and 11th consecutive Homecoming win.

"The defense won the game for us, no question about that,'' JU coach Kerwin Bell said. "We didn't play well on offense but that defense kept us in the game.''

The Dolphins' final score came on a 59-yard run by running back Ulysses Bryant (Jacksonville, Fla.), who ended the game with 140 yards rushing, the fourth consecutive game in which he has broken the 100-yard mark. He scored a pair of touchdowns.

Kade Bell ended the game with 275 yards passing as he went 17-for-34 with one interception and one touchdown.

The Dolphins' DJ Howard (Daytona Beach, Fla.) had his second consecutive game with double-digit tackles as he recorded 12. The linebacker was followed by defensive back Terrance Bryant (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) with 10 and Redding with 10.

Drake scored the first touchdown of the game with 6:26 to play in the first half when Rice hit tight end Eric Saubert on a 5-yard touchdown toss.

JU responded on the next drive as the Dolphins went 60 yards on nine plays. Bryant ran up the middle, found a pile of Bulldogs, bounced off left and went untouched  into the end zone from 2-yards out.

The Dolphins held Drake on the next drive and with 42 seconds to play in the half, placekicker Brandon Behr (Fleming Island, Fla.) connected on a 50-yard field goal, the longest of his collegiate career.

Jacksonville returns to action next Saturday at Morehead State. Listen to all the action on 92.5 FM. Download the app on your smartphone to hear the Dolphins anywhere in the country.

The next home game for Jacksonville will be Nov. 15. Call 904-256-7863 for ticket info.

 Game Notes

  • The four consecutive 100-yard rushing games for Bryant is the longest streak by a JU player since Rudell Small in 2009. Emmitt Hunter in 2003 has the school record with six.
  • The 50-yard field goal by Brandon Behr is tied for the second longest in school history and the longest by a JU player since week 3 of the 2012 season (Dylan Lynch, 50 yards, Sept. 15, 2012, vs Webber International)
  • Kade Bell when over 5,000 yards passing for his career and moved into second place all-time on the career passing list with 5,012 yards, passing Chris Horton (4,868; 2004-07). Josh McGregor is the leader at 11,430 yards.
  • Kade Bell improved to 11-2 in PFL games when playing a complete game.
  • The rushing TD by Kade Bell in the fourth quarter was the third of his career.
  • Ulysses Bryant now has 11 career rushing touchdowns
  • Jacksonville entered the game ranked 4th in the nation in defensive interceptions. The Dolphins picked off three passes to extend their season total 11. The 11 INTs are the most since the 2011 team picked off 13. Eight different players have now recorded at least one INT this season.