TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2009
Dolphins host PFL co-leader Butler on Saturday
For 14 members of the JU football team, Saturday will mark their final home game at D.B. Milne Field.
The winningest senior class in program history looks to add one more victory to their total and derail one of only two unbeatens in the Football Championship Subdivision when they host Butler.
Kickoff is set for Noon, with the Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show airing at 11:30 a.m. Barry Milligan and Josh Ellis will have the call on the JU Sports Network, with the game being available on ASun.TV.
The Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 PFL) are coming off a hair-raising 31-28 victory against Dayton, dashing the Flyers last second Hail Mary to win the game inside the one-yard line. Butler has been the PFL team of destiny this season, having won five of its games by a touchdown or less.
“Butler is good team that is playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “This is an important game for our seniors and they know to set the tone in practice this week. We need a good week of preparation for a very tough opponent.”
Jacksonville (5-4, 4-2 PFL) is coming off its balanced offensive day of the season. The Dolphins posted the third-highest total offense output in school history with 581 yards, with 226 of that coming on the ground.
Leading the rushing attack was Rudell Small, who had his third straight 100-yard rushing outing, gaining 151 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns to move him within 80 yards of becoming the first Dolphin ever to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
Aiding the rushing attack was a stellar day in the passing game. Josh McGregor threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, his first to sophomore Josh Philpart – which tied him atop the school’s career receiving touchdowns list with Geavon Tribble at 15.
The defense was superb as well – limiting the Crusaders to less than 70 yards on the ground. Shaun Lewis led the unit with two sacks while Allen Fennell had 10 tackles.
SENIOR SALUTE:This senior class is on the verge of becoming the first to have two winning seasons to their credit and will leave JU as the winningest graduating class in program history with no worse than 21 victories.
The class of 2010 features five from the offense, eight from the defense and one special teamer.
And each has their own story.
Eric Kornhauser is the elder of the group - the only fifth year senior in the class. Kornhauser graduated last December, but came back to JU to start graduate school and exhaust his eligibility.
Jason Wood went from a starter as a freshman to backup before re-establishing himself as a dominant force on the defense - picking off six passes thus far in his career.
Wood is one of a quartet of defensive backs in the senior class. Daryl Campbell was a critical part of JU’s run to the PFL title a year ago as a cornerback. Keenan Bowe moved from safety to corner this year and shined - picking off two passes with one returned for a touchdown.
Oscar Johnson rounds out the senior defensive backs, excelling in his role as a nickel defender with some bone-crushing hits over the past two seasons.
The defensive line will lose half of its starters this season with the graduation of Haywood Range and Aaron Frye. This duo has made huge strides the past two seasons, with Range leading the unit in tackles this season. Frye has become one of the top rushing ends in the PFL and serves as a great compliment to Shaun Lewis.
JU’s defense will also lose its man in the middle - Allen Fennell. The four-year starter at middle linebacker is just a few tackles shy of 200 during his impressive career.
The defensive seniors is rounded out by Mr. Versatility - Todd Copeland. The senior has played just about every position on the defensive side of the ball and been a valuable special teams player.
While the defense will lose a lot to graudation, the JU special teams unit will lose its leader when Donovan Curry graduates.
Curry has been a staple for the Dolphins with a career full of highlights. He’s been the kicker, the punter and sometimes both during his career - filling whatever need the team has.
He filled it best when he booted home a career-long 50 yard field goal to lift JU to a 30-29 win over San Diego last season - a kick that will live forever in the memories of JU fans.
The offense will lose a lot of experience and talent as well.
JU will see Sam Bell and Greg Louissaint depart at wide receiver, Tim Kraemer at tight end, Kornhauser at fullback and Ron Harris at tailback.
Bell and Louissaint have been apart of JU’s passing renaissance under Kerwin Bell. Louissaint is a man who only catches touchdowns - scoring on both of his career receptions.
Sam Bell has become a threat in the Dolphins 5-wide formations - catching 11 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown this season.
Kraemer will be a big loss due to his versatility. One of the best, if not the best, blocking tight ends in the PFL, Kraemer has developed into a receiver threat when matchup against linebackers.
Harris has been a key part in the Dolphins stable of running backs the last four years. His change of pace ability has made him a valuable piece of the offensive puzzle.