FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2008
PFL SHOWDOWN: JU hosts Dayton for conference title
The JU football team will host the biggest game in the 11-year history of the program on Saturday.
The Dolphins (8-3, 6-1 PFL) face Dayton (9-2, 6-1 PFL) for the Pioneer Football League title and a berth in the Gridiron Classic. Kickoff is set for Noon at D.B. Milne Field, with the game being broadcast on 1010XL as Barry Milligan calls the play-by-play.
After a crushing loss to Davidson in September, the Dolphins have circled the wagons – winning five straight games “must win” games to keep their title hopes alive to setup this week’s regular season finale.
“This is what we’ve worked for all season,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “These young men have worked hard to get to this point to have a chance to win this championship and I expect nothing but another good week of preparation for this game.”
Both teams enter the game with questions about the starting quarterbacks. JU starter Josh McGregor missed the final three quarters against Drake, with sophomore Erik Stepeleton filling in admirably – completing 10-of-12 for more than 140 yards.
Dayton lost senior signal caller Rob Florian earlier in the season and the Flyers are unsure who will start at QB this week.
“At this point in the season, everyone is banged up and has some injuries,” Bell said. “We’ve had a lot of young guys step up in the past few weeks to make plays for us and we will need them to do that again this week.”
While injuries at quarterback steal the headlines, the two teams are known for their defense.
Jacksonville and Dayton have both thrived off of creating turnovers this season, while also limiting their opponent’s aerial attack.
“Our defense has done a great job all season of shutting our opponents down and getting us the ball back,” Bell said. “We have a lot of playmakers on defense and Coach McCrone does a great job of getting them ready to play.”
This is the second time these two teams have met with the PFL title hanging in the balance. The first time was in 2001 in the old divisional format when Dayton handed JU a 49-7 defeat in the old PFL Championship Game.