Football drops hard fought 41-13 contest to SE Louisiana

Sept. 16, 2006

Box Score

HAMMOND, La. - Facing a full scholarship opponent for the second week in a row, the JU football team made a statement by outscoring Southeastern Louisiana, 7-6, in the second half but a huge second quarter gave the Lions a 41-13 win over the Dolphins, Saturday evening in front of 6,677 fans at Strawberry Stadium.

JU (0-2) held an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter but Southeastern Louisiana (1-2) scored 35 unanswered points to control the scoreboard. The Dolphins bounced back in the second frame with a swarming, stingy defense while the offense made blocking adjustments to open up the running game. After allowing 147 rushing yards and 292 yards of total offense in the first half, JU held the Lions to only 81 rushing yards and 131 yards of total offense.

"I am proud of the effort our team made today," said JU head coach Steve Gilbert. "The score may not show it, but we did a tremendous job of hustling, scratching and clawing on every single play. We are going to leave here with a good feeling as we prepare for conference play next week"

Junior quarterback Chris Horton completed 11-of-26 passes for 151 yards and no interceptions. Senior running back Jerry Brant rushed for 59 yards on 15 carries and sophomore receiver Geavon Tribble had three catches for 37 yards. Junior Nate Conner also racked up 130 kick return yards on five attempts, including a game-high 41-yard return. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Tyler Thomas led the unit with 10 tackles while freshman strong safety Jason Wood added seven tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass break up.

For the Lions, Seth Babin completed 17-of-23 passes for 169 yards and three touchdown passes. Krishna Muhammed led the receiving corps with four catches for 49 yards and a score. Jay Lucas led the ground game with a game-high 125 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Defensively, Chris DiCarlo had seven tackles and a tackle for loss.

After trailing 35-6 at the half, the Dolphins found the endzone with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter after a nine-yard scamper by junior running back Bryan Gamble.

The Lions answered back with a four-yard touchdown run by Mario Gilbert but the extra-point attempt by Jeff Turner failed.

In the first half, JU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead at the 9:50 mark in the first quarter, after going 70 yards on 13 plays in the opening drive, when freshman Donovan Curry nailed a 23-yard field goal. Horton sparked the drive after connecting with junior receiver Michael Jenner for 44 yards.

The SE Louisiana answered quickly with a 42-yard touchdown run by Lucas with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter as the Lions took only four plays to move 78 yards.

The Dolphins moved the ball effectively in their second drive as JU had a first down at the Lions' 14 yard-line following a 22-yard screen pass to junior Brian Gamble. The drive stalled after a snap went over the head of Horton for a loss of 23 yards.

The Lions capitalized again on the next possession when Merrick Lanaux caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Babin at the 11:35 mark of the second quarter. SELU added a six yard touchdown run by Kendrick Perry (5:59 - second quarter), a 31-yard touchdown pass from Babin to Krish Muhammad (3:19 - second quarter) and an 18-yard strike from Babin to Byron Ross with 39 seconds remaining in the half to lead 35-3.

JU did not go silently as the Dolphins moved the ball 48 yards in four plays to end the half with a 37-yard field goal by Curry. On first down, Brant broke free for 25 yards before Horton connected with junior tight end Charles Lusk for 23 yards.

JU will continue its season long four-game road trip on Sept. 23 at noon as the Dolphins open Pioneer Football League play against Butler at the Butler Bowl.