POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Jacksonville defense forced six turnovers and the offense rolled up 485 yards as the Dolphins (3-0) hung on for a 20-16 road victory at Marist (1-3).
The game ended in appropriate fashion with Marist facing fourth and 26 from the Dolphin 32 yard line and 28 seconds left in the game. The Jacksonville front four collapsed the pocket on Marist quarterback Mike White and Tre Davis picked off the pass to assure Jacksonville of its first win against Marist in the last three tries.
"It was a tough game. Our defense held us in there. We had so many scoring opportunities and turnovers to make it a crazy game. Our defense continued over and over to help us win this football game," said Jacksonville Head Coach Kerwin Bell.
Jacksonville's winning score came on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Kade Bell to cap a seven-play, 63-yard drive with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter. The score was the second for the Dolphins in the second half coming after a nice 21-yard catch-and-run by Andy Jones with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter.
The defense, led by Terrance Bryant's 15 tackles, held Marist to 102 rushing yards in the game. The unit stepped up in the clutch and held Marist to just 55 yards and one of five on third downs in the fourth quarter. Of the six turnovers, four were interceptions. Bryant and DJ Howard both picked off passes in Jacksonville's endzone while Dallas Jackson and Davis came away with fourth down interceptions.
"The turnovers were huge for us and our defense was sensational," said Bryant.
The lone second half score for Marist came with 12:03 in the fourth quarter when the Red Foxes capitalized on one of five Dolphin turnovers for a one-yard touchdown pass from White to Matt Tralli.
The first half was a series of frustrations for both teams. Jacksonville's offense, while successful in moving the football with 250 passing yards, stalled in the red zone multiple times. In the first quarter, Brandon Behr connected on two field goal tries with success from 37 and 21 yards for Jacksonville's only first half points.
Marist scored its first touchdown of the game following Behr's 37-yarder when White found receiver Juston Christian on the first play of the drive for an 85-yard strike with 10:04 remaining in the first quarter. The Red Foxes added to their lead on a failed Jacksonville punt attempt that resulted in a safety with 36 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Kade Bell finished with for 348 yards passing on 32 completions and a career-high 63 attempts. The signal-caller facilitated the football to nine different receivers which were led by Andy Jones' nine receptions for 133 yards.
Penalties plagued both squads throughout the game. The Dolphins were flagged 20 times for 187 yards and the Red Foxes suffered 13 penalties for 118 yards.
Jacksonville opens its five-game home schedule next weekend with a 1 p.m. kickoff against conference opponent Morehead State.