Big day planned as football closes out home season

Ulysses Bryant needs 110 yards rushing to break 1,000 for the season (Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)
Ulysses Bryant needs 110 yards rushing to break 1,000 for the season (Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The idea that Saturday's regular season game was upcoming hit Jacksonville University linebacker Jordan Dewhirst sometime last week.

Upcoming has turned to it's here, and Dewhirst along with 16 other seniors will try to cap off a championship season by playing their final game at D. B. Milne Field Saturday against Pioneer Football League opponent Campbell at 1 p.m.

"It started setting in last week that it's getting close to the end now and I want to accomplish the goals I set out to do,'' Dewhirst, from Fort White, Fla., "I've been here a while It's been fun and interesting. I didn't know early on what I was watching as it was taking place but it's been fun watching younger guys come in, grow up and become men and go on to do some of the things they are doing. It's been a humbling experience, but a lot of fun.''

The Dolphins (8-2, 6-1) are tied with San Diego at the top of the PFL standings as they play their first home game since Oct. 4 and will be celebrating Senior Day as part of the festivities.

"This senior class have been contributors through their four years,'' coach Kerwin Bell said. "They were pretty mature kids early on and played early in their careers. This class has done a lot for this university.''

The Dolphins are coming off a 56-0 shellacking of Davidson, the team's first shutout since 2010 and a game in which quarterback Kade Bell threw six touchdown passes for the second time this season and heading into the finale, JU running back is Ulysses Bryant is 110 yards from breaking 1,000 yards for the season.

Kerwin Bell said the Camels (5-5, 4-2) will present unique challenges to his team because senior quarterback Dakota Wolf offers versatility on offense and the Campbell defense will try things other won't.

"The quarterback can run and throw and that presents a few problems,'' the coach said. "They also give some unbalanced looks so you have to make sure you get lined up properly. Once we get lined up properly, I'm comfortable with what we can do.''

The Camel defense is particularly worrisome to Bell.

"They are very athletic and they'll play us some man which we don't see a whole lot,'' he said. "Most teams won't play us man because of the skill of our receivers and running backs. They'll challenge us and they can run like we can so it will be exciting on both sides of the ball.''

The game's halftime will be a highlight as JU will honor the memory of the late Rico Tillman by retiring his number 8 jersey. It is the first retired jersey for the school.

Tillman was the first captain the Dolphins had and scored the first touchdown in school history in the late 90s. He was stabbed in March of 2000 while helping protect friends at a nightclub and died several weeks later.

The game can be heard on 92.5 FM with Scott Manze and David Lamm on the call.

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