SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2002
Dolphins Drop PFL Opener At Davidson, 28-10
Box Score

DAVIDSON, N.C. - Junior running back Emmett Akins ran for a career-high 104 yards, but Davidson tight end Mike Chase caught six passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past JU, 28-10, in the Pioneer Football League opener for both at Richardson Stadium. The Dolphins (1-1, 0-1 PFL) allowed a season-high 191 yards on the ground and committed 13 penalties for 123 yards in the loss.

Leading 12-10 at the half, Davidson (1-1, 1-0 PFL) pulled away in the second half thanks to two TD catches by Chase. JU punted on the first possession of the third quarter and pinned the Wildcats inside the five, but a penalty forced the Dolphins to punt again. Another penalty on the return gave Davidson the ball at their own 33. JU then racked up 35 yards of penalties during the drive, leading to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Paul Nichols to Chase for a 19-10 Wildcat lead.

JU went three-and-out on its next possession and the snap on the punt sailed over Brett Keener's head into the end zone, where he fell on the ball for a safety and an 11-point Davidson lead.

Chase caught a 28-yard pass from Nichols at the start of the fourth for the Wildcats' final score. JU quarterback Mike Sturgill, who was 11-for-21 for 152 yards on the day, was taken off in an ambulance in the middle of the fourth after receiving a hit to the chest.

Davidson got on the board first with a career-long 48-yard field goal from Daniel Hanks at the 12:20 mark of the first. Chase caught the first of his three scores on a two-yard toss from Nichols with 4:12 to play in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 9-0 lead. Davidson rushed for 147 yards in the first half. Last year, JU limited the Wildcats to just 40 yards rushing for the game.

JU battled back in the second quarter, thanks to a 34-yard field goal from freshman Ross Shmunes with 12:13 to play in the half. Hanks responded with a 40-yard field goal to extend the Davidson lead to 12-3, but the Dolphins again responded on special teams. JU receiver Jon Turner blocked Chris Costello's punt and it went out of bounds at the Wildcat two-yard line. Two plays later freshman Chad Davis scored to cut the JU deficit to 12-10 with 4:15 to play in the first half.

JU tight end James Willman dislocated his shoulder on the third play of the game and did not return. Travis Lewis led the Dolphins with a career-best eight receptions for 86 yards, while Turner grabbed two catches for 54 yards. Davis added 47 yards on the ground.

Senior free safety Jeremy Kearson paced the JU defense with eight tackles, while senior linebacker Jim Carney had 15 stops to lead Davidson. Wildcat defensive end Ryan Tennis added 3 1/2 sacks as Davidson recorded nine sacks on the afternoon.