JU hangs on to beat Morehead State, 30-26

Jamal Adjamah ran for 163 yards against Morehead State
Jamal Adjamah ran for 163 yards against Morehead State

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Junior Ulysses Bryant scored two touchdowns and sophomore running back Jamal Adjamah ran for 163 yards to lead Jacksonville University to a 30-26 win over Morehead State in a Pioneer Football League game at D.B. Milne Field here Saturday.

Bryant, from Jacksonville, Fla., rushed for 115 yards and scored two second quarter touchdowns first on a 35-yard pass from Kade Bell with 8:34 to play in the half and followed that with a 15-yard run with 1:35 to play.

JU (4-0, 2-0), which has tied the school record set in 2001 for its best start, then forced a three and out and Dolphin placekicker Brandon Behr connected on a 48-yard field goal and JU appeared to have broken the game open with a 24-7 halftime lead.

MSU (2-3, 1-1) revived itself in the second half and held JU to a pair of Behr field goals, from 36 and 40 yards in the second half and the Eagles' offense responded as wide receiver Justin Cornwall had 9-yard and 11-yard touchdown passes from quarterback Austin Gahafer in the third quarter. Cornwall had a third scoring catch earlier.

Morehead State's Shavi Bash kicked a 41-yard field goal then a 32-yarder with 4:48 to play.

The Dolphins took over and drove the field and with 37 seconds to play on third and 9 from the MSU 18, Bell scrambled and fumbled but recovered JU then ran out the clock.

"Kade sometimes does crazy things but he's a gamer and finds ways to win games and that was a great example on that scramble,'' JU Head Coach Kerwin Bell said.

The coach also is wondering why his team is having trouble putting teams away.

"It seems like we're getting in a rut; it's been a long time since we couldn't put people away,'' he said. "Even though we're not hitting our full potential, there is a lot of potential left and we're finding a way to get it done. Resiliency isn't something you can coach, you've got to have it in your heart.''

While Bryant and Behr handled most of the scoring, wide receiver Emoni Williams had the Dolphins' first score of the day on a 44-yard pass from Bell, Adjamah carved out a career-best day with his 163 yards on 14 carries. He had 126 yards in the first half.

"We did pretty well but left a lot of points out there,'' Adjamah said. "We have to get back to practice and iron the wrinkles out.''

He then  gave credit to the offensive line which helped the team produce its first pair of 100-yard rushers since J.J. Laster and Keith Dawson did it against Campbell in 2011.

"They played very well and made it easy to get out on the edge,'' Adjamah  said.

Damien Strange led JU receivers with seven catches for 100 yards and Bell ended the day completing 22 of 45 passes for 351 yards and one interception.

Gahafer finished the day completing 32 of 53 passes for 324 yards and the three touchdowns and Cornwall ended with 12 catches for 93 yards.

The Dolphins play host to Stetson in homecoming Saturday at 6 p.m., the first-ever night football game at D.B. Milne.