Dolphins race past Valparaiso, 49-20
Rudell Small’s 57-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the game set the tone for the JU offense as the Dolphins rolled up 581 yards in a 49-20 rout of Valparaiso in Pioneer Football League play.

JU’s (5-4, 3-2 PFL) offensive output was led by Small’s 151 yards on the ground with Josh McGregor throwing for 305 yards. The JU defense did its part as well, picking off two passes and holding the Crusaders to just 62 yards on the ground.

“This was a good win after last week’s game,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “We set the tone early on offense and stayed in a good flow throughout the game. Anytime you don’t use your punter, you must be doing something right.”

Small’s 57-yard run is the longest of his career, surpassing his previous best of 54 set at San Diego. It is the third straight 100-yard rushing day for the junior and the fifth of the season. As a team, JU piled up 266 yards on the ground, with Keith Dawson getting 74 yards on 10 carries and J.J. Laster getting 31 yards on seven carries.

McGregor was the maestro directing the offense, completing 16-of-24 passes with three touchdowns – connecting with 10 different receivers. Larry Thompson led the Dolphins with three catches for 63 yards.

JU scored on its first two possessions in the first four minutes of the game. Small busted his 57-yard scoring run on the second play from scrimmage, which was followed by McGregor hooking up with Josh Philpart on a 12-yard touchdown pass.

The reception was Philpart’s 15 touchdown catch of his career, tying the school record set by Geavon Tribble last season.

Valpo (1-8, 0-6 PFL) scored 13 unanswered points to get back into the game. Ryan Myers caught a 4-yard pass from Nate Goergen for the first touchdown followed Nick Jones running in from two yards out.

The Dolphins were not to be denied this game. J.J. Laster scored on a 3-yard run with 39 seconds left in the first half to give JU momentum entering halftime with a 21-13 lead.

Jacksonville came out in the second half and scored on three of its first four possession to take a 42-13 lead. McGregor threw two 11-yard scoring passes – the first to Chris Kuck and the second to Rodney Sumter.

Small put the game away with his 1-yar run with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter. Dawson added a late touchdown after a Valpo score for the final margin.

The defense harassed the Crusaders all day, racking four tackles for a loss, two sacks, six pass breakups and two interceptions. Jason Wood and Lacy McDougald each had a pick while Kennan Bowe led the unit with two breakups.

Shaun Lewis added to his school record chase with two sacks, raising his career total to 20. Senior Allen Fennell had 10 tackles to lead the unit.

Valparaiso’s Nate Goergen threw for 261 yards, completing 21-of-35 with one interception, with two touchdowns.

Jacksonville will wrap up its home schedule next week as they host PFL co-leader Butler. Kickoff is set for Noon.