SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2004
Football Bounces Back With 31-24 Win Over Webber International
Oct. 30, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - U scored 31 first-half points thanks to three big plays and sophomore RB Jerry Brant (Jacksonville/Raines) ran for a game-high 100 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries as the Dolphins held on for a 31-24 win over Webber International Saturday afternoon at D.B. Milne Field. JU improves to 3-5 overall on the season with its ninth win over a scholarship opponent, while the Warriors fall to 3-4.
Junior quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.) completed 6-of-11 passes for 76 yards and touchdown before leaving the game early in the third quarter after a hit to the back. Sturgill's 31-yard touchdown pass to freshman wideout Nathan Conner (Middleburg, Fla.) with three seconds to play in the first half turned out to be the difference in the game.
The JU defense limited the Warriors to just 68 yards rushing on 26 carries and came up with three huge stops in the fourth quarter after Webber had pulled to within a touchdown. Junior linebacker Zell Robinson (Pancea, Fla.) stopped Webber wideout K.C. Tolson for a two-yard gain on 4th-and-6 with 1:37 remaining to seal the win for the Dolphins. Robinson also had seven tackles in the game and picked off his second pass of the season. Junior linebacker Brandon Torre (Tallahassee, Fla.) led JU with 10 tackles and a sack as the Dolphins piled up a season-high six sacks (-37 yards).
JU jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Following Robinson's interception and 14-yard return to the Webber 8-yard line, Brant scored from four yards out. The Dolphins surprised the Warriors with an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff and Conner recovered the ball for JU at the Webber 49. Five plays later, Sturgill turned a broken option play into a 37-yard touchdown run with 4:37 to play in the first quarter.
Webber answered with a 12-play, 81-yard drive which was capped by a 20-yard touchdown strike from Ruben Rivas to Ean Randolph at the start of the second. Following a Dolphin punt, sophomore linebacker Justin Sturdivant (Bradenton, Fla.) stripped Jamarcus Watkins and redshirt freshman linebacker C.J. Jorif (Palm Coast, Fla.) scooped up the loose ball and sprinted 29 yards for the score. JU got the ball back on an interception by senior linebacker Adam Griffin (Jacksonville/Ed White) and junior Ryan Feely (Odessa, Fla.) connected on a career-long 38-yard field goal for a 24-7 advantage with 8:42 to play in the half. The Dolphins added their final score when Sturgill hit Conner to cap a 6-play, 66-yard drive in the final 35 seconds of the half.
The Warriors added a 38-yard field goal and then Rivas hit Randolph again for a 15-yard score to pull within 31-17 with 55 seconds to play in the third. The Dolphins went three-and-out and Webber responded with a 6-play, 64-yard drive after Rivas connected with Chad Pearce for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 13:10 to play in the game. Rivas completed 23-of-46 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Warriors.
The Dolphins return to action on Saturday, Nov. 6, as JU hosts No. 22 Southeastern Louisiana at 12:30 p.m. at Milne Field.