Dolphins fall victim to Drake rally, 45-38
In an old fashioned shootout, the JU football team ran out of bullets in seeing a 38-32 lead vanish as Drake rallied with two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out a 45-38 win in Pioneer Football League play.

The Bulldogs (7-1, 5-0 PFL) took their first lead of the game on Stephen Platek's 2-yard run with 9:04 left in the game as Drake came all the way back from being down 28-10 at one point in the first half.

JU (4-4, 3-2 PFL) can see its undoing came on penalties and turnovers. The Dolphins committed 10 penalties for 96 yards and lost three fumbles, which Drake turned into 14 points.

Jacksonville had two final drives, getting inside the 1-yard line on the first one, but was unable to tie the game.

"You've got to give Drake credit, they took advantage of our mistakes and you can't do that against a team like this," said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. "We had several chances to put this game away and we let them off the hook."

The fourth quarter, which has been a problem for the Dolphins all season, came back to haunt them again today.

Trailing 38-32, Drake drove 60 yards on seven plays despite losing starting quarterback Mike Piatkowski with his backup Peter Badovinac scoring on a 1-yard keeper to tie the game with 11:21 left in regulation.

Momentum seemed to be headed back to JU when the Dolphins blocked the extra point to keep the game. But on the ensuing kickoff, Colby Walden fumbled the return for JU and the Bulldogs recovered at the JU 26-yard line.

Five plays later, Drake was celebrating its first lead of the game when Platek scored from two yards out to put the Bulldogs up 45-38 with 9:04 left in the game.

Jacksonville went to work and marched down the field in an effort to tie the game, getting inside the 1-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal from inside the one, the snap to JU's quarterback Josh McGregor went through his left with Drake's Skye Buckner picking the ball up and racing towards the end zone - only to see him return it 46 yards before fumbling it away and Tim Kraemer recovering the ball at the JU 37-yard line.

Armed with new life after the roller coaster of emotions, the Dolphins still had 3:53 left to tie the game. Once again, McGregor methodically moved JU down the field but four straight passes from the Drake 28-yard line fell incomplete and the Bulldogs began their celebration.

The comeback by Drake overshadowed another big day by the JU offense. The Dolphins got 100 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown from Rudell Small, his fourth 100-yard effort of the season. McGregor threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns by completing a career-best 27 passes on 43 attempts, with 10 of those going to Josh Philpart, who finished with 116 receiving yards - his fourth 100-yard day of the season.

The game started out completely different than how it finished.

JU scored on its first two possessions to build a 14-0 lead, with Small scoring on a 26-yard run followed by Philpart scoring on a 12-yard pass from McGregor.

Drake got back into the game with 10 straight points before JU put up two more touchdowns to build a 28-10 lead with 1:14 left in the first half. Larry Thompson hooked up with McGregor on a 19- yard touchdown to make it 21-10. Kennan Bowe intercepted a Piatkowski passes and returned it 35 yards for his first career touchdown.

The Bulldogs came right back and got a lot of help from the Dolphins, starting a 35-10 run to finish the game.

On 1st-and-10 from the JU 38, Piatkowski was out of bounds with a six yard gain before Joseph Fennell hit him late for a 15-yard penalty. With 1st-and- 10 at the JU 17, the Dolphins committed another personal foul resulting in Drake getting 1st-and-goal at the JU 8-yard line with 12 seconds left in the half.

Two plays later, Piatkowski ran in from two yards out to get the Bulldogs back into the game.

Drake got a total of 110 rushing yards from six different rushers, with Tom Kostek leading the Bulldogs with 53 yards on 13 carries. Before getting knocked out of the game, Piatkowski completed 17-of- 29 for 212 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Jacksonville returns home to face Valparaiso on Saturday at D.B. Milne Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.