Football's Late Rally Falls Short Against Austin Peay, 20-16

Sept. 28, 2002

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior wide receiver Jon Turner (Melbourne, Fla.) caught a school-record 10 passes for 84 yards as JU racked up 434 yards of total offense, but it wasn't enough to overcome five turnovers and a 17-point halftime deficit as the Dolphins dropped a 20-16 decision to Austin Peay in Pioneer Football League South Division action Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. The Dolphins (1-3, 0-2 PFL) drop to 0-2 in conference play with their third straight loss, while Austin Peay (3-2, 1-0 PFL) broke a two-game losing streak with its first-ever PFL victory.

Senior running back Jay Bailey rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Governors, who played with their second and third-string quarterbacks much like the Dolphins did a week ago. Austin Peay held a 10:36 advantage in time of possession, but accumulated 11 penalties for 95 yards and had two kicks blocked.

JU quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed 20-of-40 passes for 271 yards, including a career-best four catches for 101 yards by senior tight end Andrew Bianchi (Tallassee, Ala.). Travis Lewis (Jacksonville, Fla.) also caught four passes for 76 yards for the Dolphins as JU out-gained the Governors, 273-119 in the second half. Charlton Williams (Lynn Haven, Fla.) and Boshawn Mack (Clearwater, Fla.) had eight tackles each to pace the Dolphin defense, which allowed just 24 yards rushing in the second half.

JU trailed, 17-0, at the half but opened the second half with an 11-play, 80-yard drive, which was capped by a Chad Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) 1-yard touchdown run at the 10:33 mark. Davis finished the day with a career-high 94 yards after busting a career-long 77-yard run on the Dolphins' next possession from the JU four to the Austin Peay 19. Junior running back Emmett Akins (Largo, Fla.) broke through a hole on the left side to score and cut the Governors' lead to 17-14 with 9:49 to play.

Brett Keener's (Melbourne, Fla.) 42-yard punt pinned the Governors at their own one-yard line with 5:45 to play. Two plays later, Dolphin defensive linemen Matt Kappelmann (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Tyrone Bethea (Jacksonville, Fla.) tackled Bailey in the end zone for the first safety in JU history. Trailing 17-16 with 5:01 to play at the Austin Peay 43, Sturgill fumbled the first snap from center and the Governors recovered. A 36-yard pass from Pat Curran to tight end Pat Murphy and a 16-yard run by Bailey set up a 1st-and-goal for the Governors at the JU two-yard line. The Dolphin defense forced APSU to kick an 18-yard field goal for the 20-16 advantage with 1:04 to play, but JU failed to convert on its final possession.

In the first half, Justin Deardorff hit a 30-yard field goal to give Austin Peay a 3-0 lead after the first quarter. Bailey added touchdown runs of one and 34-yards in the second quarter to give the Governors a 17-0 lead heading into the locker room. JU rushed for just 19 yards on 12 carries in the first half and lost two fumbles, while turning the ball over three times. The Dolphins missed an opportunity to score when Bianchi fumbled at the two-yard line following a career-long 45-yard reception from Sturgill midway through the second quarter.

The Dolphins return to action next Saturday when they travel to San Diego for a PFL interdivisional contest against the University of San Diego at 10 p.m. JU does to return home until Nov. 9 against Edward Waters.