SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2009
Dolphins survive storm and turnovers for win over Webber, 40-24
Wind, rain, nor lightning could stop the JU football team in its season opener as the Dolphins survived for a 40-24 win Saturday night at Legion Field against Webber International.

The Dolphins (1-0) put up 448 yards of total offense with Josh Philpart making six catches for a career-best 195 yards and two touchdowns. Josh McGregor threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns, completing 11-of-22 passes.

The game was delayed for two hours and 35 minutes due to lightning and a torrential down pour at the end of the first quarter with JU sporting a 7-0 lead.

“We hung in there tonight and was able to come away with the win,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “This is a new team and they showed a championship mentality late with the game in the balance.”

Philpart’s 195 yards receiving is the fifth highest total in school history and is the most by a Dolphin since Geavon Tribble’s 109 yards at Morehead State last season.

Rudell Small rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns to lead the JU rushing attack that piled up 133 yards.

JU’s defense did its part as well despite being on the field for 38:55. Webber had 390 yards of total offense, limiting the Warriors to just 53 yards on the ground.

“The defense really stepped up and made some stops when we needed them,” Bell said. “There were out there a long time tonight and we’ve got to do a better job of staying on the field on offense.”

Leading by three with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Philpart made his first touchdown catch on a 54-yard connection with McGregor to push the lead to 27-18.

Small put the Dolphins ahead 34-18 with 4:21 left in the game on a 5-yard run.

Webber fought back with Andre Edwards catching a 46-yard pass from Jerry Caplan to cut the deficit to 34-24 with 3:17 left. JU put the game out of reach just a minute later as McGregor threw a 30-yard pass to Philpart to make the final margin 40-24.

McGregor’s 311 yards is the third highest total in his career and his third 300-yard passing game.

Webber had a game performance from Torrence Moise, hitting 16-of-22 passing for 183 yards and one touchdown.

The Dolphins are back in action again on Saturday as they face Southern Conference foe Samford in Birmingham. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (EST).