SATURDAY, OCTOBER 02, 2004
Football Falls to No. 6 Drake, 20-7
Oct. 2, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU junior quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed 16-of-27 passes for 170 yards and the Dolphin defense held Drake's high powered offense scoreless in the second half, but the Dolphins couldn't overcome a 20-point deficit and two second-half turnovers in a 20-7 loss to the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. JU, which is 0-4 for the first time in school history, opens PFL South Division play next week at Davidson. Drake (3-2), which won for the first time on the road in 10 games, limited the league's top rushing offense to just 101 yards on 32 carries.
JU fell behind 20-0 in the first half, but stuffed the Bulldogs following intermission by allowing just 51 yards on the ground, while forcing two turnovers. Senior free safety Omar Platt (Tallahassee, Fla.) came off the bench to lead the Dolphin defense with a career-best 12 tackles, while forcing two Drake fumbles. Senior linebacker Tim Hasse (Bradenton, Fla.) added a season-best 11 stops and junior strong safety Drew Stafford (Rockville, Md.) had 10 tackles.
Junior wide receiver Eldin Ferguson (Riviera Beach, Fla.) led the JU offense with a career-best seven receptions for 100 yards.
After falling behind 20-0 in the first half, JU marched 75 yards on 10 plays to open the second half as sophomore running back Jerry Brant (Jacksonville/Raines) scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to cut the Drake lead to 20-7 with 11:20 to play in the third. Sturgill hit Ferguson on a 46-yard timing route to set up the JU score. The next threat from JU would not come until midway through the fourth quarter.
Freshman tailback Phillip Fields (Orlando, Fla.) busted a 23-yard run to move the Dolphins to the Drake 13-yard line with less than six minutes to play, but JU managed to lose a yard on the next four plays combined. Drake appeared to have the game in hand with less than four minutes remaining when Bulldog running back Scott Phaydavong was stripped by Platt to give JU the ball at the Drake 30-yard line with 3:35 to play.
The Dolphins lost four yards on a fumble exchange between Sturgill and Brant on first down and then Sturgill was sacked for a loss of 10 yards on the very next play. Sturgill would not return after re-injuring his leg. Backup QB Chris Horton (Boca Raton, Fla.) threw incomplete on third down and was picked off by Curtis Martindale on 4th-and-24.
JU also had a fourth-quarter drive stall at the Drake 46 when Sturgill was picked off by free safety Ryan Frehse.
Drake took a 7-0 lead on its first possession when running back Michael Bialas scored from two yards out to cap a 13-play, 80-yard drive. The Bulldogs made it 10-0 on a 39-yard field goal from Tyler McGlade with 1:17 remaining in the first and then extended the lead to 17-0 midway through the second quarter following a Dolphin turnover.
JU was driving into Drake territory when Brant was stripped by linebacker James Adams at the Bulldog 25-yard line following a 22-yard run. Drake cornerback Jace Denison picked up the loose football and returned it 32 yards to the JU 43. Five plays later, quarterback Connor Jostes hit Jason Jones for a 32-yard touchdown reception. The Bulldogs added a 35-yard field goal as time expired in the first half after stopping the Dolphins on fourth down.
Jostes completed 16-of-25 passes for 246 yards and a score as Drake piled up 383 yards of total offense. Phaydavong, who had rushed for at least 100 yards in three consecutive games, was limited to just 70 yards on 25 carries. Weakside Linebacker Nick Ross led the Bulldog defense with eight tackles and two sacks.