Three game charge to chase a title

(Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)
(Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With its seventh consecutive win tucked away, the Jacksonville University football team gets back to league business this week with a trip to New York and Pioneer Football League rival Marist on Saturday.

The Dolphins (7-1, 5-0) knocked off Division II Limestone 61-10 Saturday and took sole possession of first in the PFL when previously unbeaten Dayton and Campbell both lost.

With that, JU starts a final three-game stretch run in attempt to capture the league title with the first game against the Red Foxes, its fourth consecutive road game.

"I started looking forward to them at halftime (of the Limestone game when the Dolphins led 42- 7)," coach Kerwin Bell said.

The Limestone game was just what the doctor ordered as starters basically played the first half and several banged up players didn't play at all and rested.

"We should be getting some other people back that we kept our for precautionary reasons s'' Bell said. "We should be close to full strength.''

That is key because Marist, which leads the series 3-2, has had a habit of making things tough on the Dolphins.

Last year, for example, despite 123 receiving yards from wide receiver Andrew Robustelli, including a career-high 93-yard touchdown catch, the Red Foxes rolled up 567 yards and knocked off JU, 42-35, in Poughkeepsie.

 "It's just a tough trip,'' Bell said. "We have tried to keep it as easy as we can but you're flying into New York City then getting up there to Marist.''

Bell said the team will try some new travel arrangements this time around, but …

"It just comes down to when the ball kicks off you've got to play and the best team will win if you do the things that make you successful,'' Bell said. "For us, that means playing outstanding defense and taking care of the ball. We'll score points if we do those things. And, if the special teams continue to play well, we'll have a good shot to win the game.''

The Dolphins had a zero turnover game against Limestone and rolled up 651 yards on offense. The defense continued its blistering ways and intercepted two more passes giving it 18 on the year. One of those picks was from junior Andrew Hooks who returned it 95 yards for a touchdown and the other by Nick Benton, the first of his collegiate career.

Kickoff this week is at noon and the game can be heard on 92.5 FM with the pregame show at 11:30 a.m.